I remember hearing a story once of a couple who went to one scheduled premarital counseling session before their marriage. When the session turned to the topic of intimacy, the counselor just chuckled and said “Oh, you’ll figure that out!” and moved onto the next topic.
Many of us enter into marriage with a “we’ll just figure it out” mentality. Marriage can’t be that hard, right?
What’s Your Priority?
A bride and groom spend many hours preparing every last detail for the wedding day. What if even a fraction of the time was spent preparing for the marriage? It’s common for couples to say, “We just don’t have the time and/or money for premarital counseling”. It’s important to remember that a wedding lasts for a day, while a marriage (should) last for a lifetime. Make sure you are investing in the right thing!
A Solid Foundation
I like to think of premarital counseling as putting a foundation underneath your marriage. This foundation is just like the foundation of a house. It exists to keep the structure strong, keeps it from sinking, and keeps harmful things out. If you start your marriage off with cracks in your foundation, you’re going to have an uphill battle to repair it.
When you’re planning a wedding, it may be difficult to know what issues you may face as a married couple. Having a therapist can help you be proactive. A therapist can bring up topics that need to be discussed. These can range from finances, intimacy, views on roles in the marriage, expectations, communication styles, how to fight fair, addressing family of origin issues, planning for a family, and much, much more.
Putting Out Fires
If you and your future spouse find yourselves already disagreeing on aspects of your relationship, premarital counseling can help to address these problems. The most common issues that come up in premarital counseling are communication and prioritizing. If you struggle to talk to one another now as an unmarried couple, imagine how much more difficult it may become. How will you make hard decisions if you don’t/can’t communicate?
Happily Ever After?
We would all love to think that even after putting a solid foundation under our marriage with premarital counseling, that we will experience bliss. However, marriage is a constant work in progress. Life stresses can come along that we may not foresee, and little cracks may start to appear in the foundation. With the tools you learn in premarital counseling, you may be able to repair these cracks before they become a giant sinkhole. No marriage is perfect, but premarital counseling can help you to put safeguards in place and start your marriage on solid ground. Isn’t it worth the investment?
Written by Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
*Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Journey to Joy Counseling. Christy enjoys doing marriage/couples counseling, individual counseling, premarital counseling. She also provides family counseling, teen and adolescent counseling.
Journey to Joy Counseling serves the Indianapolis area, including Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.