Pre counseling is becoming more recognized as a valuable, if not essential, part of one’s engagement. Couples are finally waking up to the increased rate of unhappy marriages and divorce.They now see the all-too-real risks of having a bad marriage when they don’t have proper marriage education.
People are wising up to the fact that marriage is more complicated once you’re actually married. (This even applies to couples who start out living together, which is not ideal, but common.)
Marriage officiates of every faith now insist on pre marriage counseling before they marry a couple; wise indeed!
Premarital counseling is more crucial for a good marriage than selecting the right soulmate!
Although your desire for premarital education is very positive, be careful. Not all premarital counseling courses are good for you. Like any promoted “remedies” (remember the diet pills that led to heart failure?), some cause more harm than good.
Some promoted courses have proven ineffective because of the emphasis on religion rather than family. Due to this, some people think courses don’t make a significant difference. But a marriage course based on science can only be helpful. You will learn how the other gender thinks and feels. You will learn to connect on a deeper level, gain insight into proper communication, and attain other priceless skills.
There are three types of premarital counseling to watch out for that will cause more trouble than good.
1) Western psychology-based “counseling”
This approach may be the most destructive of all the pre marriage counseling, or marriage “help,” I come across. Granted, a few extraordinary doctors are helpful despite their parochial certifications. But for the most part, psychologists have a bad reputation with their own marriages and a terrible success rate for couples they’ve “helped.” If you encounter one in your search, ask them about their marriage. Make sure they have children, too.
2) Meeting a counselor as a couple
Couples counseling usually consists of a single or a few meetings. The counselor will talk about what marriage is like and offers tips. Sometimes you may also get a compatibility profile, which is nearly useless.
It doesn’t matter who the counselor is, what training they’ve had, or whether they are a church leader or psychologist. The dynamics of this kind of premarital education interferes with the need for both individuals to learn about marriage scientifically.
If it seems too “feel-good” or shallow, it probably is. You need complete explanations, from lovemaking to fighting, so you can have more of the former and none of the latter.
3) Faith-driven pre marriage education
Do not take this as an offense about faith. (We are 100% supportive of all faiths and religions.) A marriage is meant to be spiritual. But when the emphasis of religious requirements is placed ahead of making your marriage a sacred space, you will not know what to do when challenges arise. The statistics from the Catholic Church’s programs claim these approaches do not work. I think it is because their emphasis is about staying in the church and raising faith-driven children.
So, what does that leave you? Pre marriage counseling is an educational process, not therapy. You need to learn as much about marriage as you can before you get married.
What is real love?
Do you know the purpose of marriage?
What should you expect from your soulmate, from yourself?
How do you connect and communicate?
How do you ensure success?
Marriage is intended to be the happiest place on earth (sorry, Walt). Learn how to be married. You will not have to work at your marriage, as some believe, but you will have to work on your self-development.
You will not feel a more rewarding experience in life than those of a successful marriage. Is it worth it to get marriage training? Of course it is. But do so wisely! The three types of premarital counseling offer up a fair warning that you should do our research on therapists.