Do You Want To Get The Most Out Of Your Marriage?
Are you and your partner about to tie the knot and want to get a jump-start on a healthy marriage? Are you experiencing stress or apprehension about making this commitment and seek premarital guidance to instill greater confidence or allay any fears? Perhaps you have experienced some friction or disconnection in the relationship and you want to be certain that it doesn’t carry over into the rest of your lives together. Or, maybe you have concerns about differences in personal values, sexual compatibility, parenting styles, household roles, spirituality, finances or familial expectations and you wish to resolve this with your partner before it becomes an issue.
Are you worried that the demands of marriage will fundamentally alter who you are or prevent you from enjoying your former lifestyle? Do you wonder how to best navigate relationships with in-laws on both sides? Perhaps a divorce – a loved one’s or your own – has left you questioning marriage as a model of happiness and you want to have more faith in the institution before venturing there. Or, maybe you worry about the social health of your or your partner’s children from a previous marriage and want to ensure a smooth transition into co-parenting for the future. Are you exhilarated by the thought of marrying the one you love, but want to talk through your concerns and expectations so you can lay the groundwork for a healthy, connected and joyous future?
Why Seek Premarital Counseling?
In a study published by the Journal of Family Psychology, couples who engage in pre-marriage counseling are 31 percent less likely to seek divorce than their counterparts who go at it alone. That is a significantly statistical difference, especially considering that nearly half of all first marriages end in divorce.
Just like anything worth having, marriage takes work. But, by no fault of our own, most of us have never been taught how to build and maintain a strong, healthy relationship. In fact, most of what we know about human interaction we’ve learned indirectly, through observing the examples we see every day. Our parents’ relationships and other couples’ marriages – including the fictional narratives we see in art and entertainment – all provide examples of how marriage works, but seldom are those examples reliable ones. Our parents’ relationships’ can often be flawed, other couples’ marriages are full of nuances we don’t see and popular culture typically paints an unrealistic representation of what it takes to be happy and successful in a healthy union. The truth is, we could all use a little help building and maintaining a solid foundation for relationships. Fortunately, engaging in pre-marriage relationship counseling with a compassionate and skilled therapist can show you and your partner how to develop and maintain realistic and enduring happiness within your marriage.
Premarital Counseling Can Improve Your Marriage Before It Begins
Individual counseling, couples counseling and premarital guidance can provide deep insight for what you and your partner need to create a healthy marriage, dispelling old fashioned stereotypes and the myth of a “perfect marriage.” As we work together, you can develop the tools required to set healthy personal boundaries, practice productive conflict resolution strategies and establish desired equality in your new roles as spouses.
In our sessions, I strive to help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your relationship, as well as address their potential for positively or negatively impacting your relationship. You can expect to discuss your respective goals, determine whether your and your partner’s expectations are aligned and figure out how to reconcile those differences or build upon those similarities. I’ll teach you how to experience healthy conflict, drawing upon the ideology of literary giant, Leo Tolstoy, who wrote, “What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.”
Together we will develop strategies for discussing and dealing with conflicts and personal differences. I can teach you how to communicate more effectively, become emotionally attuned and recognize the needs and motivations of your partner. I can also prepare you and your partner for the social and familial evolution of your lives while emphasizing the importance of living for yourself and not becoming dependent upon one another for your own happiness.
I always approach my client(s) with the knowledge that each person, each couple and each situation is completely unique. Therefore, my premarital guidance will always be tailored to your individual concerns. At times, I’ll meet with you as a couple, and at other times, individually. This allows each person to candidly express his or her thoughts in a safe, confidential environment so that no one feels targeted or afraid to reveal honest concerns.
Together, through pre-marriage counseling, you both can learn how to be better partners, accessible spouses and independent people in a lasting union. Marriage requires work and dedication to understanding your partner. Together, with my guidance, I can show you how to build a strong foundation for your marriage that can immediately improve your relationship and ensure an enduring partnership of happiness and security.
I’m considering pre-marriage counseling, but I still have a few concerns…
I’m afraid of what could potentially come up during sessions.
While it’s true that some unexpected things could be revealed in our discussions, those issues would likely manifest at a later time anyway. It’s always better to discover and address these concerns sooner rather than later, before they become entrenched or problematic. Our safe and confidential sessions are the perfect place to explore, confront and resolve any previously unknown issues. Once you get everything out in the open, you’ll have fewer surprises to worry about later.
Does seeking relationship counseling mean that something is already broken?
Not at all. In fact, it can actually be evidence that you and your partner are already on the right track. However, if there are lingering doubts or questions, engaging in a safe and open dialogue is the most effective way to explore and address those concerns. Premarital counseling is about learning strategies for preemptively dealing with obstacles and challenges that may arise in the future. It’s a good, healthy, educational way of managing a marriage before it even begins.
Is this going to be a long process?
There is no set time limit for educating each other about the needs, desires or expectations of your partnership. However, most couples gain what they need to feel secure and confident in their decision in approximately six sessions. And, given the monumental implications that marriage can have, the time required to attend six short sessions pales in comparison to a lifetime of confusion and second-guessing. Investing the time to better your marriage before it begins can only benefit, you, your partner and your children indefinitely.
Investing In Your Future Is As Easy As Making A Phone Call
Through premarital counseling, you and your partner can achieve a higher level of awareness and enduring happiness in your relationship. Please feel free to call or email me to set up a free 15-30 minute consultation. I look forward to helping you embark upon this very special, lifelong journey.