Premarital Counseling: Why You Should Consider It And Types Of Counseling
One of the first things my husband and I did after our engagement was contact my pastor and ask for him to counsel us in the months leading up to the wedding. Since some recently engaged friends of ours at the same church were also under his teaching before their wedding, we knew that he offered this type of counseling and even had a curriculum for us to work through. We met once a week with him, on Sunday afternoons, to go over our “homework” from the curriculum and talk about practical advice for our marriage. Looking back on this time, it was one of the best decisions we made while planning our wedding! Not only has it affected our marriage, but it really helped us communicate during the stress of wedding planning and set our expectations going into marriage.
If you’ve never been to any kind of counseling, this may sound like a strange idea. Why would you go to counseling as a couple before you even get married? Isn’t counseling just for people with serious relationship issues?
Absolutely not! Marriage counseling applies if you are recently engaged, about to get married, or if you’ve been married for years. You will discover a deeper way to love your spouse and find ways to communicate during the difficult times.
So, what kinds of premarital counseling are available and best for your relationship?
From Your Pastor
If you are part of a religious community, you should go to the leader of that community whether it is your pastor, priest, reverend, or rabbi and ask to go through their premarital counseling. Hopefully, they have a prepared schedule or curriculum to go through with you and your fiancé that helps you grow together and in your faith! If they are not able or prepared, they could refer you to someone or someplace that they feel confident in.
From Your Therapist
Premarital counseling is quickly becoming one of the most common forms of therapy! Therapists are not afraid to get very personal with you and give you practical advice. While this is a great option for many couples, one downside of therapy is that most therapists are very individual focused. Their primary focus is on the individual’s happiness and needs, not necessarily on the couple as a whole.
This is a great way to get some practical advice while also seeing your therapist or counselor! Ask close friends for tips that have helped them in their relationships. Talk to your parents and grandparents and see what nuggets of wisdom they share about their years of marriage. This can just be passing in conversation, or you can even organize an advice book at your bridal shower or reception so all of your married friends and family can contribute their pearls of wisdom to you.
There are so many books to read together before your wedding day! I’ve listed a few of my favorites below, but feel free to do your research or ask friends for their favorite marriage books!
- The 5 Love Languages
- A Christ-Centered Wedding
- Ready To Wed
- The Love Dare
- Love & Respect
- You & Me Forever
- The Power of a Praying Husband/Wife
Let us know how you intend to prepare for your marriage!