Before you tie the knot, be sure to carve out time to prepare for marriage through premarital counseling. The majority of Americans highly value a successful marriage. Carroll and Doherty (2003) found that 93% of Americans listed “having a happy marriage” as one of their most meaningful purposes in life. While wedding plans can occupy a lot of a recently engaged couple’s time, energy and finances, premarital counseling is undoubtedly one of the best areas to focus on. Austin couples understand that they are getting married after all, not becoming professional event planners. They understand the value of premarital counseling and premarital therapy.
While the motivations behind wanting to engage in a happy and satisfying marriage are undoubtedly diverse, researchers have found that there are many associated benefits to a happy marriage, including emotional and physical health and longevity. Premarital counseling is about building a relationship that’s fits for the long haul. Marriage is unpredictable and requires more than love and good intentions. Research shows that couples who complete premarital counseling are 30% less likely to divorce or separate than couples who have not spent time preparing for marriage. Even the happiest couples hit bumps along the way and have relational conflict. It’s critical to know how to handle the natural ebb and flow of a relationship.
Great premarital counseling and therapy helps you discover how you as a couple make decisions and handle conflict. It can provide guidance on questions that will need to be negotiated including emotional connection, insight to yourself, insight to your partner, insight to your relationship, understanding needs, economics, emotions, power, boundaries, sexuality, life cycle, whether or not to have a child, approaches to child-rearing, chores and leisure activities, your careers and work/life balance. You are merging two cultures and learning how to understand those difference in order to create a new culture for your relationship that will help in solidifying a bonding relationship.
One of the biggest mistakes we see couples make when considering premarital counseling is waiting too long to begin. Don’t put off premarital counseling until weeks before the wedding or after you’ve made significant investments in the wedding process. As soon as you’re engaged, seek out premarital counseling and allow more than enough time to complete the process. Generally, 6-12 months before the wedding date as a minimum is ideal. Despite how weighty premarital counseling can sound or feel, it’s often one of the most joyful experiences a couple can have together on the road to marriage. By exploring individual and shared desires for the future, couples see their intimacy grow.