A Premarital Certificate Should Be Required For Marriage Licenses


Imagine if you knew what you were getting into before it even happened.

We need licenses to drive, operate a small business, practice in many professions, and even to own a gun. However, some roles require a license but no required training, for example: funeral attendants, travel agents, and florists. Oh, and to the point, wives and husbands.

Marriage is the MOST significant decision we make in our lives. It not only affects the married couple, but also their extended families, and children's children for generations.

I have only had a few clients who came in for pre-marital counseling, usually it's after the fact when they have been hit by that inevitable tornado. By ignoring the warning signs of increasingly heavy winds, they are not aware, and therefore do not prepare for the tornado that will scatter their wedding album and family portraits to the four corners of their lives.

Why does this keep happening? How many of these couples even considered how much their lives will change once the honeymoon is over? The good news is that the tornado can be predicted and even averted.

In real estate, it is said the crucial factor for a profitable sale is Location! Location! Location! For couples, the significant component is COMMUNICATION! COMMUNICATION! COMMUNICATION!

Usually, all we know about marriage is what we observed within our own families. Our parents or guardians were our primary models for the husband and the wife roles. Imagine the scenario once the couple gets comfortable in their communal nest. One of them comes from a loving family with healthy boundaries, unconditional love, support and respect. The other's family communicated through anger, punishment, substance abuse, verbal and/or physical abuse and absenteeism, and money was the currency of control.

How does the couple integrate their contradictory family role models? Do they mutually commit to premarital counseling or do they forward their past onto the next generation?

I live and practice in Georgia and just recently found out that couples who go through six hours of premarital counseling get a reduction in the cost of their marriage license.

So, does it help to be certified rather than certifiable?