You likely test-drove several vehicles before buying your last car, read every tech blog possible to see which smartphone was best for you, and even texted a few dressing-room pics of yourself to a friend before buying that cute maxi dress. As an educated, modern woman, you know researching your options and getting a few opinions can be a good thing. So, why are we so afraid to get a little help when it comes to our relationships?!
Couples therapy, relationship coaching, premarital counseling – most people would agree these are all great ways to help your relationship grow and thrive. And yet, no one is ever excited about going to see their therapist. Is this reluctance to premarital counseling due to a fear of admitting our lives aren’t “perfect?” Or do we just think it’s a waste of time? Read on to get the pros and cons of premarital counseling from therapists, counselors and family-law experts who outta know!
The Pros of Premarital Counseling
1. You Can Talk Out Problems… Before It’s Too Late
Premarital counseling is a chance for couples to dig up any potential pitfalls that could hinder their marriage from lasting a lifetime. “It causes people to consider and discuss things that will increase the likelihood of a successful marriage,” says Mark Baer, a family-law attorney.
Money issues, anger problems, jealous tendencies; premarital counseling can help you and your partner get any potential issues out in the open now so that you’re not shocked by them nine months into your marriage.
2. You Get an Outside Opinion
So, you’re about to get married and you’re pretty sure you and your mate have the best possible relationship you’ve ever come across – minus the passionately heated shouting match you had this morning over who was the last person to take out the trash. Going to premarital counseling can give you an outside perspective on your relationship, and how to make it last.
“Couples considering marriage would benefit from having a licensed marriage and family therapist’s wise and trained eye to talk to them honestly,” says Becky Whetstone, Ph.D., LMFT. “MFT’s know to look into each person’s beliefs and values concerning money, child-raising, spirituality, individuality, partnership, marriage in general, and more. If we see an emotionally immature or incompatible couple heading for a marital train wreck, we’ll tell them.”
3. It Can Strengthen Your Bond
New flash: many of us were not born with stellar communication skills. Do you ever get mad at your partner and then refrain from telling them you’re angry – let alone explaining why you’re angry? Healthy relationships are based on open and honest communication, and premarital counseling can help you learn those skills.