Q: Dear Love Jays,
Do you guys think it’s a smart idea to go to some form of couples counseling prior to committing to marriage?
A: Dear Pre-Marriage Counseling,
Marriage is a very exciting and serious commitment for any relationship and should not be taken lightly. While we pride ourselves on knowing almost everything about our partner, we may not be aware of some thoughts, feeling or behaviors that may cause conflict down the road. When we decide to marry someone, we plan on staying with them until “death does you part” (though in America, I’m not too sure those words hold any value), so it would probably be beneficial to attend couples training or counseling prior to marriage.
I haven’t had any personal experiences with these training classes or sessions, but my married and soon to be married friends who have participated in such training have thoroughly enjoyed it. In all honesty, what’s the worst that can happen? You have made the decision to wed this individual, so there shouldn’t be too many surprises…I hope.
If you go in hopes of determining if your significant other is Mr. or Mrs. right, then you have misunderstood some key elements along the way. I’m sure there are many couples who did not seek counseling or training prior to marriage and are living great lives. If you decide to attend, great. If not, great, too!
A: Dear Seeking Counsel,
Marriage is a huge commitment and the biggest leap a couple can make. It is literally called “The Plunge”. Like any other large decision it is always best to do anything you can to ensure you are looking at all aspects of the decision you are making.
Someone who specializes in marriage counseling knows exactly what questions you should be asking each other and what you can truly expect out of marriage. This is not to say they know exactly how your marriage is going to pan out, that part is up to you, but they can give you tips on how to manage things within the new territory of marriage.
Some may argue that they do not need a third-party butting into their relationship. To those people I would say to try not to think of them as “another person”, but to instead think about them as a helping hand. At the end of the day the goal is to equip the couple with useful tools that lead to success, not to test the relationship.
I think marriage counseling is an excellent idea. Good Luck!
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