Premarital Counseling – Does It Work?

From the latter part of the 20th century, the institution of marriage has seen a gradual decline. Studies have shown that the divorce rate has tripled since 1970. 20% of all marriages end in divorce. Another 20% of couples living under the same roof are emotionally separated from each other.

“Marrying is easy,” says Flack, “Staying married is harder. Staying married for a lifetime should be considered an art.”

There are many reasons why marriage has devalued. Some consider it an ‘oppressive institution’. It is much more convenient to live with a partner, without chains. The concept of sustainability is anathema to young people. Switching partners is much more fun.

But for those who still believe that marriage is the foundation of the family and society, premarital counseling is an important step in ensuring the stability, security, and durability of the union. A lot of money, time and energy goes into planning a wedding. But no serious time is spent preparing for the lifelong vocation of marriage. The more thought and preparation that goes into planning one’s future, the greater the chance of growing old together.

Marriage Consultant:

The marriage counselor is a trained professional. He is sometimes a minister who is theologically sound and safe in his own marriage and family relationships. The counselor allows the couple to explore different areas of the relationship. He makes them introspect to their fitness, maturity, and willingness to commit to each other. Is this attraction true love or just lust or a magnificent obsession?

The counselor listens carefully to both parties and helps them discuss their expectations, differences, communication difficulties, and other problems that may arise after marriage. The counselor brings these issues to light and helps them decide if they would be suitable partners or if their attitudes are so divergent that marriage would be a disaster. Counseling would help them realize that they never knew each other well enough.

Scope of Premarital Counseling:

• Forces to introspect. Are you ready to face responsibility and mature enough to deal with your partner’s otherness?

• Why get married? Ask yourself why you want to get married. Is it because your friends are all married? Or do you want to escape parental controls? Or do you just long for your own home and family? Perhaps the man is looking for a cook and the woman is looking for a breadwinner.

• Values: do you have similar values ​​or do they clash? If so, the marriage becomes a tug-of-war.

• Character: manners are important. Is the person you’re planning to marry about possessive, controlling, suspicious, or the clinging type?

Self-centeredness is also harmful to marriage. Is he/she addicted to drugs, alcohol or other substances?

• Determine the qualities you look for in a partner. Behavioral traits, relationships, health, aspirations, goals, career plans all need to be considered.

• Cleaning relationships: Take a good look at the family. Is it a stable family? How are women treated? Do you have to live in a joint family? In-laws can often be toxic and cause problems for the couple.

• Husband’s Occupation: Absent husbands, working wives, high-tech jobs, salaries, are some of the issues to be discussed.

See also  Automotive companies - Top manufacturers and their models

• Understand your roles. Who is responsible for what, inside and outside the home?

• Culture and religion: If of different religions, decisions have to be made about expressions of faith. What faith will the children follow?

• Children: family size, contraception, abortion, family planning, infertility, adoptions.

• Finance: who controls the wallet? Insurance, debts, illnesses, how are they handled? People of high financial status may be reluctant to share their wealth with their partner. Movie stars are notorious for their prenuptial agreements. But in most families, keeping money separate – the “yours” and “my” mentality will lead to tension.

• Dowry: In Eastern and Asian countries, the issue of dowry intimidation is a major stumbling block. Women are tortured or even killed if the dowry is not met. Many desperate women commit suicide.

• Importance of sex in marriage: prudish? Oversexed? It takes time to develop a mature and satisfying sexual relationship. This cannot happen overnight. Time is needed for adjustments. Both must be aware of the variability of desire.

• Past Relationships: Both need to be emotionally free from their past relationships. Marriage of the ghosts of past relationships will arouse suspicion and deter bonding.

Result of premarital counseling:

The couple gets a clear idea of ​​whether or not they agree on important matters. “Can two walk together unless they agree?” Are there too many incompatibilities and irreconcilable differences? If so, it is better not to get married. The counselor outlines the pitfalls of entering into such a marriage. If the counselor is a minister, he has the right to refuse them a church wedding.

If the differences are small, they should have a mutually agreed plan for resolving future disputes. Consciousness makes it easier in such times.

In 1992, when a hurricane hit South Florida, all buildings were razed to the ground except for one house that stood upright. TV crew asked the owner how he managed this. He said he built his house to the Florida Building Code that could withstand any hurricane. It was clear the others hadn’t followed the code.

Couples must follow the Marriage Building Code if they want to weather the storms of life. One counselor called pre-marital counseling a “vaccination against a sick marriage.” Another called it a “wedding boot camp”. Professional guidance is provided over a period of five to eight sessions, ensuring that all issues are resolved. Each is reminded that the responsibility of sticking together belongs equally to both.

As the book of Proverbs says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel.”