3 Benefits of Premarital Counseling
Thinking about getting married? During this exciting, transitional time in relationships, it may not seem like the default reaction to bring up marriage counseling. However, studies show that couples who participate in premarital counseling have significantly higher rates of marital satisfaction and lower rates of divorce than those who opt out of premarital counseling. While choosing whether or not to complete premarital counseling is an individual choice that each couple must make on their own, we are big fans of couples counseling here at Genesis Counseling in South Tampa. Today we’ll discuss three benefits of premarital counseling that may help couples in their decision process.
When it comes to the commitment of marriage, everyone has their own expectations and desires for what their marriage experience will be like. Ideally, you and your future spouse share many of the same ideals. However, there are times when couples underestimate the strain that can be placed on relationships when small “non-deal-breaker” issues become louder than expected amidst the minutia of doing everyday life with someone. Other times, circumstances arrive that are simply beyond what you planned for. In moments like those, having expectations in place about how you’ll support one another or how you’ll work together as a team can be extremely helpful to default to rather than having to figure it out in a stressful moment.
Other examples of expectation management in a relationship might be:
- Discussing how to prioritize work, personal time, and time as a couple
- Considering household tasks and how they should be handled
- Financial contributions and spending of shared income
- Timeline for family planning
- Holiday time spent among family vs. friends, etc.
Each couple will have their own unique set of expectations to discuss, establish, and work through. Couples counseling may also bring new subjects to light to work through. Having a third party, like a therapist, there to help mediate, support, and encourage can make navigating these discussions easier and more productive.
Even the best communicators will always have room to improve due to the fact that our communication styles can forever change and evolve. Premarital counseling is a great time to identify and communicate healthy boundaries in a safe space as well as a time to practice healthier communication with the chance for immediate feedback from your partner and therapist. Learning how to communicate effectively before your marriage is a foundational component that will carry you through some of the most difficult and beautiful moments to come in your future. Moving through unexpected scenarios is much easier when you feel heard by your partner and your partner feels heard by you. Conflicting communication styles can make or break your ability to support one another so it’s truly imperative that you put time and effort into this skill.
Working on communication skills in premarital counseling can help you improve your existing communication as well as provide the opportunity to learn new, more effective communication for circumstances to come. This communication is not limited to verbal communication. You may also learn about body language and other forms of nonverbal communication and the roles they play in fortifying a relationship. Again, having a professional third party offer their outside perspective and expertise can be highly beneficial in preparing couples for the experience of marriage.
Resolving Past Relationship Trauma
Try as we may to work on our own trauma, one thing that is specific to relationship trauma is that it cannot be entirely healed in isolation. In order to reframe and rewire as it pertains to past relationship outcomes, we generally have to experience or conduct these changes while in the practice of relationship with another person. Ideally, doing so within the container of a relationship with your future spouse would be a safe place to build healthier interactions. However, both the beauty and struggle of loving another person is that we all show up with our own unique experiences and traumas. While it is inevitable that we will trigger our partner, there is a chance that you and your partner may have had different levels of opportunity to navigate past trauma. This can mean that despite your best efforts to move on in a “healed” manner, your partner’s past experiences might trigger old wounds or vice versa.
Moving through past trauma, trauma triggers, and responses to trauma before entering a marriage is a big part of showing up for yourself which, in turn, influences the way you are able to show up for your partner. Premarital counseling provides couples with an opportunity to work together as a team while healing individually, better preparing them for life together down the line.
Curious as to whether or not premarital counseling might be right for you and your partner? Contact us today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment. At Genesis Counseling in South Tampa, we are invested in the success of our clients and we look forward to supporting you as you move forward into this very exciting time in your relationship!