Should We Get Couples’ Counseling Before Getting Married?

One of the many misconceptions about therapy is that it’s only necessary when things are going wrong in life or relationships. While seeking help during a crisis is vital, therapy can benefit most people, even if they aren’t dealing with a particularly challenging time.

While couples therapy is often seen as something people get when their relationship is on the rocks, it can help build and sustain a healthy long-term relationship or marriage. By looking at couples counseling in a more positive light, couples can learn healthy coping mechanisms as individuals and as a team, which can help foster a loving relationship, even through difficult times.

Here are some reasons couples therapy is a good idea for most couples, especially before something as big as a wedding.

What Exactly Is Premarital Counseling?

Many people have heard of marriage counseling, but pre-marital counseling isn’t as common, even though it probably should be. Couples don’t need to be legally married to benefit from working with a couple’s therapist. Anytime a couple feels they may benefit from therapy, it’s a wise idea to make an appointment.

However, premarital counseling is usually a specific type of therapy meant to assist couples in this significant life change. The therapist acts as a mediator to help the couple evaluate their relationship and make any adjustments.

Do I Only Need Premarital Counseling If My Relationship Is Struggling?

It’s common for individuals and couples to only seek out counseling when dealing with significant emotional, mental, or interpersonal concerns. However, even if your relationship is great, you could still benefit from premarital or couples counseling.

Premarital counseling, in particular, helps couples learn strategies for navigating conflict in a healthy manner.

During these therapy sessions, couples can also address previous relationship issues and find ways to heal. Premarital counseling often allows the couple to move forward on a more stable foundation.

What Does A Premarital Counseling Session Look Like?

There are various approaches for premarital counseling, but typically, the couple will establish what they want to discuss and work on. The therapist will provide a safe place to address concerns and help guide the session while providing adequate support to each individual.

Benefits Of Premarital Counseling

While the exact benefits or premarital counseling will depend on the couple, some of the primary potential advantages of working with a counselor before marriage include:

  • Learn more about your partner: Understanding more about one another makes it easier to manage conflict and show compassion.
  • Set boundaries and expectations: With the help of your counselor, both members of the couple can set better boundaries and understand each other’s expectations.
  • Handle conflict: While disagreements are inevitable for most couples, therapy can help ensure disagreements don’t escalate and are resolved with better understanding of one another.

What Issues Should You Address With The Therapist?

You should bring up any concerns or questions you have as a couple, but some of the most common issues addressed in pre-marriage counseling are:

  • Finances and how to manage them.
  • Beliefs and religion, including where they are the same and where they differ.
  • Thoughts on children and family planning.
  • Dynamics with extended family and friends.

Final Thoughts On Pre-Marriage Counseling

Couples counseling can be beneficial to many couples. If you plan to get married and want to get better tools to build a healthy relationship, working with a pre-marriage counselor is a good idea. This isn’t a sign there is something wrong but is actually a mature way to navigate entering married life.