Counseling Before Marriage: Will This Become the New Law?

Learn how counseling can help you cope with relationship struggles and prepare for "happily ever after" together.

Address any Concerns You Might Have

Money. Counseling sessions can be pricey and you might not be able to shift your budget to make room for this investment. Ask your wedding coordinator or officiant to help point you toward free or low-cost counseling resources like a community clinic or teaching hospital. In addition, you can check out the American Psychological Association or the National Association of Social Workers to find affordable counselors located within your area. 

Time. Classes will take a chunk out of your schedule so if you both put in long hours at work and your weekends are packed with activities, it can be a challenge to make and keep appointments or be fully present and engaged when you're in them. In spite of this, it still might be worth your time to do it.

Fear of unearthing additional problems. It can be unnerving to begin the process of premarital counseling because you and/or your groom might worry that examining your relationship under a microscope can lead to more stress and issues. In fact, although this can be hurtful in the short term, it can be very helpful in the long run.

Being humbled. It's neither easy nor fun to learn that you have less-than-stellar communication skills or find out that your groom isn't happy with your sex life. Even something as simple as hearing that he'd like more decompression time when he gets home from work can make you feel scolded, so you need to be prepared for some tough truths. It's important for you and your future spouse to remove your egos from the equation and allow yourselves to be open to constructive criticism, with the knowledge that in the process, you'll become a better husband and wife.

Remember this: As challenging as premarital counseling can be, it's all for the best and you're putting in the effort that's required to make your marriage work.

Photo by: Paul Von Reiter on Grey Likes Weddings via

How to Make the Most Out of Your Sessions

Accept that it’s going to be challenging at times. It's a mistake to think that marriage counseling is just a scheduling session for when you'll have kids, or buy a house, or move to an island when you retire.

Remember that the goal is not to "win." Both partners need to keep an open mind and be willing to change things that aren't working.

Keep your sessions completely private. Don't chat with bridesmaids, your mother, or anyone else about the things you've discussed, and don't even think about posting anything on Facebook that could embarrass your partner. Trust is essential to improving upon any relationship and 100% discretion is necessary.

Express gratitude to your partner. Tell your future spouse that you're thankful they're willing to attend counseling with you and for the great work you're doing together.

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