Do YOU need premarital counseling?
If a couple truly wants their marriage to succeed, there is no end to the list of ways they might work to improve their relationship... from the very beginning all the way throughout their marriage. However, I have found that there are many couples who believe that counseling (or mentorship programs) are only for couples who just don't have a very stable relationship or who are struggling with something in particular. So what about couples who cohabitate for years before marriage? Are they candidates for premarital counseling, even though they are likely to believe they are exempt from needing this kind of training? I'm not sure what your experiences have been, but many couples I know who have lived together first are rather offended at the idea that premarital counseling would be suggested for *them*. They give you this look like, "Um - please! Can't you see we've already made it work, and all we're doing now is putting another ring on our finger?"
Ahhh! Quite the contrary! Marriage is much more than the addition of a couple of rings, and while some won't admit it (or don't believe it), marriage is a spiritual union that doesn't exist with cohabitation. Things do change, including the psychological awareness that what was once two independent units is now one unified unit. There are many things that happen in one's heart and mind in this marital state, capable of both beauty and bliss as well as disillusionment and destruction. While there are obvious benefits for couples to receive not only premarital counseling, but marital counseling and mentorship in various forms over the years, there seem to be many folks who avoid it... because they "don't need it". They're happy. They're fine. They always will be. Right?... WRONG!!!? To what degree do you believe the issue of pride interferes with a person's (or couples') willingness to seek relational counseling? Do you think premarital counseling programs can push past this hurdle and in fact, attract couples to the premarital counseling process? I certainly hope so, especially as a marriage counselor myself. However, I want to encourage you, whether you are already living with your partner or planning to marry soon that you look into pre-marital counseling. It will only do wonders for your future together, and why say no to that??? ?