Most of us are familiar with the concept of preventative care when it comes to our physical health. Regular check-ups with our doctors, proper nutrition, exercise, adequate sleep, and catching problems early all help to keep us healthy. But what about preventative care for relationship health? There is no bigger decision than committing yourself to a lifetime with your partner, so why not apply that same notion of preventative care to your marriage? Enter the 7 benefits of premarital counseling
The goal of premarital counseling is to give you and your partner the opportunity to have the conversations and build the skills you need to create a solid foundation for your lives together. It allows you to address issues early, before they become pervasive in your relationship making them harder to repair. “Research shows that couples who receive premarital counseling have a thirty percent lower divorce rate than couples who do not receive any” (Scott Stanley, The Marriage Project). In addition, premarital counseling can help couples establish a positive attitude about seeking help with their relationship down the road. Undoubtedly, there is a lot to be gained through this process. Here are seven of the benefits that premarital counseling has to offer:
Improved communication skills
Improved conflict management skills
Provides an opportunity to address known issues
Provides an opportunity to learn new things about yourself and your partner
Discussion of key topics:
- Sex & affection
- Family of origin
- Friends and family/in-laws
- Personality traits
- Partner habits
- Roles and responsibilities
- Children and parenting
- Leisure and quality time
Exploring marital expectations
Creating deeper meaning in the relationship & planning for the future together
Some premarital counselors utilize written questionnaires that are completed separately to determine how partners feel about each other and the relationship. These inventories can also help identify the couple’s strengths, areas for growth, and potential problems in the relationship. The results can be used to guide discussions on the topics assessed as well as aiding in setting personalized goals to help overcome challenges.
With so many benefits to offer, why do so many couples avoid premarital counseling? Often, the reason is fear. Many couples fear that talking openly about their problems could lead to even greater problems and possibly even the end of their relationship. On the contrary, while it may be scary, addressing issues early in the relationship in a safe and structured environment allows couples to work through their negative feelings before they have a chance to turn into bigger issues. Most couples therapists would agree that the earlier a couple starts therapy, the better the prognosis is for the relationship.
Premarital counseling can help you lay the groundwork for a strong and healthy relationship, increasing your likelihood for a stable and satisfying marriage. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So take the time to do some preventative care for your relationship and build a solid foundation for your marriage.
Contact us if you are ready to discuss premarital counseling.
Perspectives Therapy Services is a multi-site mental and relationship health practice with clinic locations in Brighton, Lansing, Highland, Fenton and New Hudson, Michigan. Our clinical teams include experienced, compassionate and creative therapists with backgrounds in psychology, marriage and family therapy, professional counseling, and social work. Our practice prides itself on providing extraordinary care. We offer a customized matching process to prospective clients whereby an intake specialist carefully assesses which of our providers would be the very best fit for the incoming client. We treat a wide range of concerns that impact a person's mental health including depression, anxiety, relationship problems, grief, low self-worth, life transitions, and childhood and adolescent difficulties.