Marriage

5 Reasons You Should Do Pre-Marital Counselling

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I’m confessing a lot of things on this blog lately, so here I go again: until a few years ago, I never understood why pre-marital counselling could be beneficial. Of course, I assumed that 99% of pre-marital counselling was being done by a celibate man, so you can see why I may not have seen how beneficial pre-marital counselling could be to a relationship. The extent of our pre-marital counselling from our officiant was being asked about how we met, how long we’ve been together and a little bit about our relationship. In the end, the “counselling” if you can call it that was more of a chat between friends instead of a counsellor/counselled relationship. Now that we’ve been married two years I can see how beneficial pre-marital counselling can be.

Here are my top 3 reasons you should do pre-marital counselling:

1. Third Party Wisdom
Oftentimes, it’s nice to talk to someone who has no judgement but also doesn’t have a horse in the race, so to speak. A great marriage counsellor that has been married can provide you with experience that can only come from being married and living with another person.

2. Stop and listen to each other.
Counselling has the benefit of not being able to interrupt each other, learning to effectively listen and then respond instead of just responding in the heat of the moment without actively listening.

3. Learn about each other.
One of the keys to staying happily married is to never stop learning about each other, counselling gives you the chance to ask questions and listen to their answers that might not come up in every day life.

4. Quashing fears about marriage.
Not everyone has wonderful marriage role models, if you come from a divorced home you may have fears about marriage. Pre-marital counseling can help give you piece of mind that marriages can and do work, they just take work.

5. Learning to set realistic expectations.
Unrealistic or unmet expectations are at the root of most disagreements, learning what’s realistic to expect from someone who’s a bit “ahead” of you in the relationship department is a great way to set realistic expectations throughout your relationship.

Pre-marital counselling will help equip you with the tools you need to build trust for one another and the techniques to support one another throughout all the stages of your marriage.

So tell me, did you do pre-marital counselling? What did it cover? If you didn’t do pre-marital counselling, do you regret it? 


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12 thoughts on “5 Reasons You Should Do Pre-Marital Counselling

  1. Elyse, I agree with all your points but find it funny that you didn’t get premarital counseling before, but now see the value… and I got the counseling before, but now wonder if it was time better spent in other ways!

    Third party wisdom, quashing marriage-related fears, and setting healthy expectations are all wonderful, but for some people those are things you can easily invest in at home.

    The one thing I’d have to say looking back is that during my busy engagement, the counseling did help us to create time that we may have passed otherwise. That’s worth something.

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    1. I think with effective and honest communication of course you can quash any marriage-related fears but sometimes it’s nice knowing you have a buffer. It’s great you can at least some one positive to your counselling.

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  2. Dan and I actually had pre-engagement counseling! And we used an online service instead of an actual counselor.

    My in-laws used to help with the premarital counseling at their Catholic Church. I think they taught a special Sunday School class for engaged couples. That definitely sounds more useful than speaking with a celibate man!

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    1. I’m sure that the Catholic church probably now uses married couples for their premarital counselling but it still didn’t jive well with me since they would be using rules and regulations from celibate men, still. I love that you used an online service, I don’t know if I would have even though about that. Good on you, Brita!

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  3. Totally agree that most “counseling” in a religious setting isn’t that useful, even if you are religious. That’s why we went to a licensed therapist instead.

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    1. That’s great you went to a licensed therapist, I didn’t even know therapists would do pre-marital counselling when were getting married. I always assumed it was only after we were married.

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  4. We didn’t do premarital counseling and I don’t think it’s affected us much in the long run. We were together for 4 years before K popped the question and I felt like we’d done A LOT of talking about the future in that time. Plus the year and a half we were engaged. When my brother and his wife met and were engaged in less than a year I wondered if they might benefit from it, but I’m not sure if that’s something they did or not!

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    1. It’s true, if you’ve been together long enough, I’m not sure there’d be much benefit, maybe a good alternative would be meeting with an older couple or something to just have some older wisdom.

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  5. We had a very poor experience with the actual premarital counseling, BUT the conversations we had that stemmed from the counseling questions were so worth it and really helped us learn more about each other.

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  6. We didn’t do official premarital counseling but we met with an awesome older couple before we were married to talk through things and it helped us set up a great foundation for marriage! ❤

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