In today’s modern society, a lot of focus is placed on education. Getting good qualifications to get a job, getting a drivers license to drive a car etc. However, many people forget or do not consider preparing for or being educated about the very important and sacred life long commitment of marriage. Having a happy and functional marriage and family life is a crucial part of success in life and love. To successfully make a marriage work, partners need to be educated on their specific roles in the marriage as partners and eventually as parents of the home. If a marriage fails, it can cause a terrible impact on the the partners individually and critically, the children. This is something everyone should prevent.
Most people develop understandings on the ways of marriage and married life by looking to the actions, habits and customs of their parents and close relatives. Unaddressed and unhealthy issues that are inherited / picked up are often not addressed before entering into marriage which leads to a cycle of dysfunctional marriages throughout the generations.
Being prepared for marriage can be one of the surest ways of creating a healthy, functional and long lasting marriage and family.
What is premarital counseling?
Most couples don’t anticipate the changes on a personal and practical level that marriages impart. Individuals are accustomed to managing their own finances, eating what / where / when they want, living n a neat or messy way. Once married, everything changes as the two individuals lives amalgamate and many of these decisions along with countless others must be made together.
Decisions made between the two partners aren’t the only issues affecting newly married couples. All of a sudden there are two families of origin that enter the relationship, with cultural, religious, and familial values and customs coming together, often causing pressure on the expectations of the relationship which can often strain the attempts the couple has in creating their own set of shared values and beliefs.
Premarital counseling emphasizes preparation and education for new marriages on topics and factors that most individuals haven’t even considered let alone know how to handle. Pre Marital Counselling is a form of mentoring that gives couples the tools they need to function as a tight-knit team, and to manage the inevitable challenges of married life with the practical interventions that we have introduced to them.
Premarital counseling addresses the following:
- Communication skills
- How to compromise
- Religious / Spiritual values
- Cultural differences
- Financial values, goals, and planning
- Marital roles
- Socialization needs
- Anger management
- Family planning
How does premarital counseling work?
After meeting at Life Counsel, the couple will fill out a questionnaire that asks a few questions concerning key marital issues.
Each partner answers the questions on their own and the results are summarized by Gerrie. Couples are often surprised by the the answers of their partners. This creates an opportunity for discussion and gives Gerrie the opportunity to offer possible interventions that the couple can use if certain problems arise.
Sex is an often disputed area and is often difficult for people to talk about openly. Sharing your thoughts about sex honestly with your partner can be difficult but if not addressed and discussed can lead to significant differences and eventually discord.
One of the main goals of pre marital counselling is “early problem detection”. It allows for couples to talk opening and be frank with each other in a way that they usually wouldn’t outside of the counselling session. It helps couples set goals for their future marriage and prioritize their objectives. It is a great starting point to developing positive and honest communication channels between partners – especially concerning highly sensitive topics.
On average pre marital counselling lasts between 4 to 8 sessions. If more concerning issues arise that need special attention this will allow Gerrie to recommend a more extensive therapy if deemed necessary.