Without premarital education there are three things you need to worry about.
- One is divorce,
- Another is divorce after you have children, the third is
- living in an unhappy marriage for the rest of your life.
You know, I know what I am talking about. When I was a divorce mediator I saw it all. Now, as the head of The Marriage Foundation, which helps couples in troubled marriages, I still see it; the lack of marital understanding that causes all kinds of grief. Time and again people fall into the same old traps, not knowing how to get out of them. It is sad, and it is unnecessary. Marriage is meant to be amazingly happy!
But its crazy, In spite of the divorce statistics, (where they think 40% is “good”), and what the unhappy marriages they see all around them, some people still don’t want to hear what happens without premarital education. Brides are too busy planning for their wedding to worry about their marriage? More likely, they think there are “other” people who need premarital counseling or education, but they don’t. Then there are those who imagine they will learn as they go. Nope! Doesn’t happen!
Let me give you some perspective, what those in the wedding industry think. When I call the select merchants I would like to sign up for our “rewards program” I tell them we, Premarital Academy, offer premarital education. Then I tell them that most couples don’t think they they need it. Because they think they already know how to be married… That gets a laugh nine out of ten times! Unless they are single.
They have seen the ill fated marriages, too. Some tell me stories about how terribly couples are already treating themselves on their wedding day; which is supposed to be the “happiest” day of their lives!
In fact, speaking with wedding vendors at trade shows I hear a lot of stories that makes me so sad. Couples, who are good people, marrying the right person, are doomed to fail simply because they do not know what to do to make their marriage happy. My own survey (not very scientific, but I trust it) tells me that 35% of the young couples planning their special day are fighting with each other by the time they are getting fitted for tuxedos. Its a very bad sign if you are arguing. It is hard to never ever argue, but you should not be arguing more than once every ten years! Well, how do you avoid it if you never learned?
There are two kinds of views when it comes to marriage. Those who get what marriage is; that it is highly complex multifaceted conglomeration of no less than 6 different relationships with as many moving parts as a 747, and those who do not see it. Some people are fooled by what it looks like from the outside and think anyone can do it. Or they imagine that as long as you have the right attitude, or if they are both madly in love, or some other simplistic idea; like it is all about some thing; just one or two “things”! Ludicrous!
Those who understand a successful marriage takes more than a little preparation are also of two kinds; those who think it is about “who” you marry. and those who finally understand that marriage is a lifetime journey that requires in-depth study, such as we offer in our premarital program.
If you get married without premarital education you will have to get it later anyway, or your marriage will not make it. Why do you think there is such a high divorce rate? Do you think the all the ones who are married are happily married? And, what if you get a lesser program, one that is cheaper, faster, or less scientific? well…you should know that not all marriage programs are the same.
Just to be clear and be on the up and up, there are actually couples who are naturals for marriage. But they are rare. I have met some over the years. But they are so rare. I doubt if 5% of all people are natural for marriage.
Honestly, I personally am not a natural for marriage. I would be lost without the principles and techniques we have here. I fall back on my marital training; every day. The rare people who are natural are like angels. They are universally selfless, understanding, compassionate, supportive, joy filled, and ready to please because that is who they are. The rest of us have to learn about marriage, and what it takes to make it work. We need the techniques, like the SEW (especially), to get through what all of us encounter from time to time.
I understand why couples do not trust pitches for premarital education
I understand the hesitation to trust, because of my own experiences dating back to when I was a divorce mediator. I thought I was doing good for people, by helping them destroy their families…I was wrong. I mean “distribute assets and set up child sharing plans” is helpful?…NO! I was helping them destroy their families, and it was not a good thing to do, and I was part of the problem. But then I had a epiphany, and turned my attention to saving marriages. Naturally, I sought a marriage family therapist I could refer couples to who would help those I saw as salvageable…But I couldn’t find any! Not one! The ones I spoke with all had a different approach, and mostly they were about keeping a couple in therapy for as long as possible. So I re-invented marriage help. But I didn’t really re-invent it, because nobody really had what I thought was gravity-reliable scientific systems. I created a system that was based on achieving the highest benefits of marriage and working around the common traps that make us act like idiots.
I asked a question; “why do people get married?” Not why do we choose a particular person. But why get married at all? It took me a week to get over the fact that I never asked myself that question before I got married myself. But once I got past that rude awakening, that I never thought to ask it, I began to ask and challenge, ask and challenge, and also ask others.
The answer is really deep! And, by the way, not one person answered it (there is one actually correct answer) until years into my marriage help practice (I asked every single person if they knew – its the same answer for all of us), when one person finally knew.
Everyone wants to be loved…that’s it. And it is important to know, because it sets the stage for your entire married life! The trouble is the word love is not only the most misunderstood word in the world, but hardly anyone knows the way HOW to be loved. And this is what began my creation of all, what I like to call, marriage science.
My point is that, and statistics bear it out, all the gobbledygook marriage help, and premarital counseling that is popular is by and large useless…sorry. But it is. So why should people waste their time? Look how many people pass through the Catholic church’s attempts at premarital education? I am not picking on them, but they have the same divorce stats as everyone else!
So why should you bother with ours? Because ours is not useless. Because our is not just useful, it is vital.
I don’t want to bore you with contrasts, but it does illustrate my point. In today’s world of premarital counseling the trend is towards compatibility. Sounds good? Well, of course you are already compatible in many ways, or you would never have had a third date. But in which ways are you compatible? Because this is really simple. If one of you is pro-day care while the other is set on stay at home parenting being absolutely necessary, you better have a talk about it. There are other things that are really important to each of you. Those need to be agreed on. But over time you become pretty much of one mind, or accepting of the other’s perspective, anyway, so the movies you like and the sports teams are just not important. This trend of compatibility study may “feel good”, but it does NOT teach you anything. And that is what you need.
In order to know what married life will be like you have to learn to be co-captains of your marital ship of life. Married life, at the end of the day, is what you make it! Let us teach you how to make it the very best. You want to be happy, and we want you to be happy. We are already off to a good start!