Significant Benefits of Premarital Counseling

By George Kleban

“No matter what, our love will never keep us apart.”

Marriage represents a bond of strong love between two people that is solidified by making it official in a Church or in front of a judge. Ask the old-timers and they will say that marriage is supposed to last a lifetime. But we know that unfortunately, this is not the reality today.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Protection in 2010, the United States clocked in a rate of 3.6 divorces per 1,000 people. In 2010, there were 872,000 divorces and annulments. Several studies go on to show that strained finances are the top reason for separation. Miscommunication, misunderstanding, mistrust, extramarital affairs, abusive spouses, cheating (the list goes on and on) are other reasons for concluding a marriage.

With divorce rates on the rise, marriage is being approached with caution. This doesn’t mean that people are no longer getting married, but that they are just looking at ways to lower their risk for divorce.

One of these ways is premarital counseling. Like the counseling we know and see on TV shows, premarital counseling is facilitated by a psychiatrist, a therapist, a pastor, or a priest. The main objective is for the couple to face each other, talk, and see if they have any points of differences that may be a source of conflict later on in their marriage. Contrary to popular belief, prematurely airing out concerns and differences before the marriage will not cause them to separate right there and then. In fact, the opposite happens. Because they are aware of each other’s point of view, they can prepare themselves and develop skills that will help them get through the future bumps and hiccups a marriage can bring under the careful guidance of a counselor.

Areas addressed during premarital counseling
Therapists normally use a tool called the PreMarital Inventory (PMI). It lists several categories that the counselor brings up as discussion points during the session. Let’s talk about the first five categories.

1. Interests and activities
As a marriage progresses, a couple’s individual interests and activities determine the kind of lifestyle that they could be facing. The couple needs common interests that they can share, and differences that they can spend some alone time doing.

2. Role Expectations
Gone are the days of the housewife, and enter the age of the househusbands. In this age, women can be earning more than their spouse, and that can make the male feel inferior. It is good to put a marriage on the right foot by knowing what a couple expects out of each other.

3. Personal Adjustment
What will the first few years of the marriage be like? Is one person relocating to be with the other? Will they be close or far from family? Believe me, this all matters.

4. Interpersonal Communication
There is a Bible passage that says not to let the sun go down on your problems. A couple needs to be equipped with skills to dialogue with each other regularly, and keep the communication lines open.

5. Religion and Philosophy
While in the first stages of the relationship, religion and philosophy may not be an issue. But once the wedding is planned, family is in the way, and the kids arrive, the couple needs to be clear on whose religion the kids will grow up with.

Other important discussion points talked about during premarital counseling are marriage expectations, family issues, finances, children, and sexuality. All these topics should be addressed by a premarital counselor during your sessions.

One of the best ways to show your love for your partner is Premarital Counseling. Go through and prove that your love is real.

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