Many couples devote a great deal of time to planning the “perfect” wedding, but do not give as much time to preparing for the relationship after the ceremony. When two people truly understand that the relationship they have before a wedding is not necessarily the one they will have in the future, the marriage has a much better chance of lasting (and being fulfilling).
Why Does Counseling Work?
In a marriage, two people come together from very different backgrounds. People learn and copy what goes on around them – in a family setting, in school, and in society. Those same people may act and react differently simply because they are in a new setting. Though they may seem right for each other, communication often becomes more difficult as time passes. Positive feelings about the other person can change.
Specialists in the area of premarital counseling usually advise couples to expect surprises, both during the wedding planning process and, more importantly, after the ceremony. Asking questions about a relationship, and what it will become, helps couples understand early on how they interact and how they will work together in a marriage.
Who Makes This Work?
There are three crucial parts to the exploration that is premarital therapy. Of course, the process involves the two individuals who hope to spend their lives together. The third person in the picture is often a licensed therapist with certification from such organizations as the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
Choosing such a professional is not absolutely essential. But the choice of a third person for premarital counseling is very important. That individual must be someone both individuals trust.
When these three people come together and commit to making the experience a positive one, the result can be very rewarding. A third person acts as a coach in some situations, helping the couple practice new relationship skills. In addition, the premarital counselor serves to facilitate communication and helps the couple avoid conflict.
Does it work? The answer is straightforward – yes, it does.
Previous generations did not take part in premarital therapy as often as people currently do. Half of the couples married in a recent year participated in such counseling, compared to one in ten just a few years ago.
University studies show that couples that participate in a counseling program before the wedding consider the process to be very valuable. This holds true even after several years of marriage, as eight in ten couples still said such counseling helped make their marriage and relationship work.