Have you recently gotten engaged? Congratulations! This is an exciting time in your life and it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of wedding planning. While you are busy deciding the details of your big day, however, it is also important to take the time to think about what will happen after the wedding. Many couples choose premarital counseling as a way to strengthen their existing relationship and begin their marriage on a firm foundation. Taking even just a few weeks to discuss your individual needs and shared goals can help immensely as you make the transition from wedding to happily ever after. The following list is just a few of the things that we can work on during our premarital counseling sessions.
- Identify the strongest aspects of your relationship. You fell in love for a reason, and knowing what makes you two “click” as a couple and the positive things you both get out of being together will help you cherish and respect those aspects as you continue your journey together.
- Improve communication between you and your partner. The importance of good communication in a marriage cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, many couples wait until their relationship has become strained before taking an in-depth look at the way they talk and relate to one another. We will strengthen your communication skills before they have a chance to break down, giving you the tools to tackle any problem (major or minor) that might crop up in your married life.
- Discuss any family of origin issues that might impact your relationship. As you join your two families via marriage, and create a new family of your own, any number of issues may arise. Counseling can help you prepare and work through these issues so that neither of you is caught off guard.
- Work through any financial issues so that you and your partner are on the same page (or spreadsheet!) money-wise. Whether you are dealing with an unwieldy wedding budget, you want to clear the air regarding financial mistakes made in the past, or you simply want to discuss your shared savings goals, premarital counseling is a safe environment in which to do that.
- Create a plan for achieving personal and family goals.
- Address any other points that need to be worked through—such as stress, cohabitation conflicts, or intimacy issues.
Some couples know that counseling is important, but don’t know exactly where to begin. Those couples can benefit tremendously from the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment—a leading relationship inventory and skill-building program. For more information, please visit the PREPARE/ENRICH website.