I am all for premarital counseling! When my hubby and I were engaged, our Officiant and his wife did our premarital counseling. We still refer to some of the lessons that we learned during our sessions! Read on to find out what to expect from your sessions and ways that it will benefit your marriage. After all, you aren’t engaged to have a wedding. You’re engaged to start a marriage.
Your premarital counseling sessions must be performed by a licensed counselor or minister. Most states provide a discount on your marriage license if you can prove that you completed a premarital counseling course (savings? Yes please!). Even if you’re nervous or hesitant to peel back some layers in a counseling session, remember that you get some savings on your license. Plus, it’s not as scary as you think!!
You will discuss a lot of topics, so be ready to answer questions. Or if you’re like me and process things a little slower, be ready to ponder some of the topics discussed. Then, you can have a meaningful conversation with your fiancé later. You’ll discuss finances, children, careers, expectations, conflict management, values, intimacy, religion, household responsibilities, social life, family involvement, and a variety of other topics. For us, these things were very good to talk about in a safe setting with a professional. Yes, we had grazed over some of the topics, but actually having to talk through them, what I thought, what he thought, and how we see our lives together really hit home.
We did something in our counseling that we didn’t even realize until the end. Matt and I were sitting together on a couch. When we started our sessions, we weren’t touching and had some space between us. By the end of our sessions, we were cuddled up next to each other and often times holding hands. It was sweet to see how talking through serious topics and having some deep conversations didn’t scare us, but actually brought us closer together.
We received some excellent advice during our premarital counseling. We still talk about how we need to set aside time for us (now that we’re parents, it’s easy to be “transactional” and not as “relational”). When we argue, we understand that we both “fight” differently. I need time to process and calm down, but he’s ready to solve the problem right then and there. It’s a balancing act. Having our foundation from our counseling really helped to set us on the right path for a happy marriage. Is it a perfect marriage? I think that’s impossible. But we are both so happy and find ourselves loving each other deeper every year that has passed.
Obviously, I’m pro premarital counseling! If you’re nervous or have some reservations, I’m happy to share more of my experience!