How Do You Know If Pre-marital Counseling Is Right For You?
People call my office and frequently say something like this: “My fiancée and I are getting married in a few months, we are very happy and everything is great. Do you think we can benefit from having a few pre-marital counseling sessions?”
I am usually stumped at this question. I don’t know what is really being asked of me. If everything is great, and there are no issues, why wonder about this? If there are things of concern that may be should be talked about, then why ask?
Part of the issue here is that this call comes in when there are old conflicts that have either gotten worse or just became more apparent now and the couple is boxed in with all the wedding plans and one of both are conflicted about the predicament. Is it better to deal with stuff and figure out what is going on or is it better “not to rock the boat” and see what happens, maybe it will all get better on the honeymoon or after the wedding when all the stress is over.
Not to be vague about this. I think every couple could benefit from some pre-marital counseling sessions even if there aren’t apparent conflicts or disagreements at this moment, just to talk about their vision for the married life, finances, kids, families, career, leisure, etc. So a few counseling sessions won’t be harmful and will always be helpful in some way.
However, if there are persistent conflicts or doubts that are getting worse with time and the wedding planning has brought out some parts of a potential spouse or his/her family, that are difficult to deal with or accept, I believe it is prudent to dive in and discuss these issues and not wait to see that they magically disappear because the wedding is perfect!
If you are wondering if pre-marital counseling can be beneficial for you, the answer is -YES. It is best not to put if off but to see what is going on between you that worries you or makes you doubt your decision to marry. (And doubt does not necessarily mean you should not marry this person).