Marriage counselors are not just in the business of helping already-married couples. They also help couples prepare for their future together through premarital counseling.
Choosing a partner is one of life’s great milestones. It’s thrilling and romantic. It’s also serious business. When the excitement of the wedding is over, this is the person you’ll wake up to day after day. This is the person you’ll make some of life’s most important decisions with. How well do you really know what your partner thinks about things like children, parenting, money management or religion? Have you really taken a deep dive into their view of marriage?
Understanding each other’s beliefs and expectations can help you to build your marriage on a solid foundation and find common ground on those issues upon which you may disagree. Premarital counseling allows partners to explore their beliefs and values about the milestones and challenges that they will face as a married couple.
Expect that you will each do a lot of self-exploration and a lot of listening. So what can you expect when you and your partner go to premarital counseling? Your therapist may have you complete a values inventory or may ask questions that prompt you and your partner to think about your values and ideas about marriage.
You’ll talk about marriage roles. You’ll talk about children and child-rearing. You’ll talk about money. You’ll talk about religion or spirituality. You’ll talk about sex and intimacy. You’ll talk about talking to each other and how you’ll address and solve problems.
Your therapist will help you and your partner to express your views and understand each other. Almost certainly, there will be areas that you have differing views on. That’s okay. Your therapist will help you to consider solutions that respect each other’s feelings and needs.
The more you and your partner know about each other’s values and expectations, the more likely you are to transition smoothly from individuals to married couple to family. A marriage counselor can help you prepare for this journey in a healthy and loving way.