Research suggests that premarital counselling can improve your chances of making your marriage last by about 30% (source) and with divorce rates as high as they are, this is certainly something to consider. While it is more normal for couples who are religious or seeking a religious ceremony to be offered premarital counselling, every couple can be helped to pick up on the potential problems in the relationship before they become serious pitfalls.
When you enter into a relationship with someone, each person brings their own values, opinions and expectations, and once you get past that initial phase of loving everything about each other, those differences will start to surface, and that is where counselling can help you to move to the next step.
So what kind of topics do you typically discuss in premarital counselling? Some areas include:
- Why are we getting married? What are our life goals together?
- How much do we know about important areas of each others history?
- How will we form an extended family and blend both families of origin together?
- How are we going to handle everyday concerns like housework and leisure time?
- How will we handle finances and budgeting?
- Do we want children, when and how many? What is our parenting philosophy?
- How will we build a mutually satisfying sex life? What if one of us wants sex and the other person doesn’t?
- How will we handle conflict, and are we willing to work on our communication skills?
- How do we both feel about extra-marital affairs or sex outside of the relationship? Where are our boundaries as a couple?
If you are in a relationship and think any of these topics could potentially be difficult, counselling can help you to move forward. I offer a free 20-minute consultation so we can explore how I might be able to help you.