When to Start Premarital Counseling — Talkspace

When to Start Premarital Counseling — Talkspace

How to Know When to Start Premarital Counseling

So, when should you do premarital counseling? Again, there’s no tried and true answer about when to start. Some people say to start as soon as you get engaged. Others think just a few weeks before the wedding is sufficient. Then, there are those who believe that as soon as you’re even thinking about marriage, you can begin a counseling service. Some people suggest that 3 – 6 months will be enough time if you do around two hours in each session. 

However, if you’re struggling with any of the following issues, it might be a good idea to start your premarital counseling sooner rather than later.   

You don’t communicate well

Communication is an issue in many relationships. Before you get married, it can be helpful to learn how to communicate with each other in a positive, healthy way. Communication exercises for couples are an excellent thing to practice. Premarital sessions can show you ways that your communication skills can improve, and then you can practice the skills you learn. This way, even when you have disagreements (and you will have arguments) you’ll know how to effectively communicate with each other without hurting one another.

You fight about money

It’s been said that money is one of the top things couples fight about. Setting expectations for how you’ll treat money in your marriage — before you get married — is smart. You can discuss all the things that married couples typically fight about. Think: bank accounts, splitting bills, who will work (and how much), financial goals for the future, how you’ll save, and more. Instead of worrying how to talk to your partner about money, you can have a therapist help you bridge that conversation. Premarital counseling is a safe space that keeps emotions in check while you have these tough conversations.

You fight over your families

That old saying when you marry, you marry the family too is true. If you or your partner have family issues, on either side, premarital counseling sessions can give you a roadmap for how to navigate something that — let’s face it — you’ll be dealing with for the rest of your married lives. Families aren’t going anywhere, so you need a plan to deal with them.

You have trust issues

Trust can be tricky because it’s a fragile thing that we work hard to earn. Once it’s broken, it can be incredibly hard to rebuild. However, learning how to communicate and focusing on things like trust-building activities can be essential when trying to solve trust issues in your relationship. You can also focus on identifying patterns in your relationship that may be contributing to a lack of trust.

You have cultural and/or religious differences

It can be difficult to overcome religious or cultural differences. It doesn’t have to be impossible, though. Premarital counseling sessions can focus on how to respect and understand each other’s beliefs and practices when it comes to religion or cultural identities. Typically, these issues will require significantly more premarital therapy than some others might. 

You have anxiety about getting married

Many people worry about getting married. Maybe they have a hard time believing in marriage, deal with commitment issues, or perhaps they didn’t grow up with parents who modeled a healthy marriage. There can be a host of reasons why you might have anxiety about marriage. Premarital counseling can help change your perspective.

You (or your partner) have anger issues

If you know that you have anger issues, or if your partner has difficulty dealing with his or her anger, premarital counseling can help both of you understand how to handle conflict in the healthiest way possible. Discovering how to deal with anger can be useful in all areas of life, not just in married life.

You have different opinions about children

Not sure you want to have children? Do you want children but your partner doesn’t? Can’t agree on how many children to have? Marital counseling shows you how to navigate these tough conversations in a safe space, where a couples therapist can mediate the process so you can find a resolution. 

Going into marriage before you agree on important issues like children, money, families, communication, or anything else can lead to a difficult road. Premarital counseling can cover any issues you need to work through with a variety of couples therapy techniques, giving your marriage the best chance to thrive. 

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