What is Premarital Counseling: Should You Go For It?
“Marriage is love. It’s commitment, it’s joy, it’s understanding, it’s patience, it’s anger, it’s reconciliation, it’s everything. It is like oatmeal- it sustains you”- Captain Raymond Holt
If you have found the right person, someone you can love and cherish, we wish you all the luck in the world.
Marriage is one of the most beautiful aspects of our life. So, before you take the next step, there are many factors you should consider to know if you and your partner are ready for it.
Premarital counseling is a type of couples therapy that helps you and your partner mentally prepare for the next step in your relationship. Its main objective is to help couples know what each of them expects from the marriage. When you and your partner discuss several important aspects, you learn a lot about each other. It will help you gain a better insight into what married life holds for you two.
Marriages are built on the foundation of love and respect, but a happy and successful marriage needs more than that. When you talk about marriage in therapy sessions, you will know how your perceptions differ from each other. These differences are not something you should worry about. It simply means that you will have to be patient and understanding with each other. Pre-marriage counseling doesn’t essentially mean planning your entire future, it just gives you a better understanding of your relationship. It also helps you identify areas of potential conflict and formulate solutions to avoid them. It improves the present stage of your relationship as well as prepares you for the future.
The Myth About Premarital Counseling
People often think that couples counseling are facing some problems in their relationship. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Couples counseling provides you and your partner with a safe space to get to know each other better and prepare for your journey together.
Couples often seek therapy only as the last resort to save their relationship. Seeking help after damage is done is not the best idea when you can prevent your relationship from reaching that state. Premarital counseling will allow you to understand each other’s needs and expectations better. Couples who go for counseling believe that it is best to enter into the marital status with full honesty and openness to avoid big arguments later.
Also, counselling is as helpful as you want it to be. Fights and arguments are almost inevitable in any relationship, but premarital counseling can teach you strategies to overcome them and strengthen your bond.
What Does It Help With?
Discussions in premarital counseling revolve around several important topics regarding your future together. Some of these are-
Finances-managing money can be a very stressful and challenging task for newlyweds. Deciding how to manage your finances in advance can help things go smoothly in the future.
Roles and responsibilities- deciding how the roles and responsibilities will be shared
Family relationships- therapy will give you a chance to express your feelings about your own family or any concerns you may have about your partner’s family.
Living arrangements- deciding what your living arrangements will be, where you both want to live, etc.
Sex and intimacy- knowing each other’s preferences, likes and dislikes, and discussing sex is one important aspect before getting married
Time management- you can plan how you will spend time together and engage in activities that you both like without giving rise to conflict.
Children and parenting styles- discussing things if you both want children or not and when to have children. It helps you know whether you are on the same page about parenting techniques and how you want to raise kids.
Anger management- dealing with anger and negative emotions is extremely crucial for relationships. When you enter into a committed relationship, it is important to know how your partner deals with anger and stress and how it can affect you.
Why Should You Go For It?
Entering into a marriage can be a life-altering decision for both of you. You should only go ahead with it when you think you are ready. Some ways in which premarital counseling will help you are-
Improve communication- expressing yourself in the presence of a professional will help you adopt a more rational and solution-oriented communication style. It will teach you how to talk through conflicts without arguing.
Understand each other better- openly expressing your feelings, expectations, values, beliefs, and fears will help you know and understand each other better.
Set realistic expectations- your partner and the counselor can guide you on what to expect from the future. Learning about your partner’s expectations will allow you to meet them in the middle so that both are happy and content.
Have uncomfortable discussions- sometimes, discussions about the future can become very uncomfortable which does not allow you to reach a solution. But these conversations are very important for the relationship. Good counseling will teach you how to have these emotional discussions constructively.
Focusing on positives- like people, every relationship has strong and weak points as well. It is important to focus on the positive in your relationship and see the good in your partner. It will teach you ways to appreciate each other and your bond.
Learn decision-making strategies- important decisions in married life (like finances, children, lifestyle, etc) can be stressful and challenging. Therapy focuses on strategies to help you make the process easier.
Unlearn unhealthy behaviors- therapy helps identify dysfunctional behaviors, negative coping mechanisms, etc that can be a huge threat to your relationship. It also allows you to eliminate them and learn better techniques.
Identify potential conflicts before they become a problem- even the strongest relationships cannot avoid conflicts. But you can learn problem-solving and conflict-resolution skills before these conflicts start to weaken your bond.
Become more sure than ever- eliminate any fears you might have related to marriage. Having marriage anxiety is common and understandable; counseling will help you give clarity about your relationship and you will be more sure than ever.
The benefits of premarital counselling are manifold. It will help you identify each other’s strengths, set realistic expectations for marriage and each other, and help you get a blueprint of your future together. Moreover, it will improve your communication and you will learn to express your needs to your partner and understand theirs in a better way. These benefits are not limited till before marriage. The strategies and techniques you learn here will help you even years after you enter into wedlock.
Getting married is an important decision. Do not let anyone or anything push you into it. Talk to your partner about your fears and if you both agree to go for it, premarital counseling can turn out to be a huge blessing for your relationship. Trust yourself, your partner, and the connection you two share. And believe in professional therapist sessions.
We hope married life holds the greatest joys, love, and laughter for you!
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