It can be easy, during the whirlwind of a wedding engagement, to overlook some of the key preparations. Sure, the wedding has to be planned and there are other major life decisions to consider, but premarital counseling can quickly get lost in the shuffle. However, couples who wish to avoid trouble in the future will find the benefit in these important prep sessions. Here is how premarital therapy can make all the difference in your relationship before saying “I do.”
Foundation of Communication
One of the most important parts of a successful marriage is communication. Both partners need to learn the skills that will allow them to resolve conflicts in a healthy and thoughtful manner. In premarital counseling, issues can be discussed and handled appropriately. This is setting the stage for more positive resolutions in the future. A couple that can work through disagreements without being cruel or dismissive stand a much better chance at maintaining their relationship for the long-term.
Because everyone has their own beliefs, preferences, and character quirks, it can be difficult to melt two personalities together in a lasting way. That’s where premarital therapy comes in. The therapist’s office is a safe place to discuss many of the potential conflict areas that arise in marriage, such as:
- Values and belief systems
- Conflict resolution styles
- Family issues and expectations
- Having children
- Decision making
- Respective roles and responsibilities
Know Your Trouble Spots
Drawing from the conversations around the topics listed above, couples will learn what their potential conflict topics might be. By understanding the mechanisms and motivations behind a partner’s closely held beliefs, it will be easier to discuss and resolve the issue in a caring way that preserves the harmony in the marriage. It also will help partners to understand what triggers the other’s anger and how to calmly approach testy situations.
Finding the Right Fit
It’s not always easy to find the right premarital counseling therapist, but with the right mindset and criteria, it will go more smoothly. One might start by asking friends and family for recommendations, although one’s health insurance coverage may require couples see a particular professional. A member of the clergy might be a good resource for some couples, or the mental health resource center in the local health department might also offer some recommendations. Regardless, couples might expect to meet with several potential therapists before choosing the one they are most comfortable with. Here are some skills or characteristics to look for:
- Good communication skills
- Attentive listener
- Appropriate education and licensure
- Covered by insurance, if using it
- Schedule flexibility
- Manageable fees
Get Started Today
Getting ready for a wedding means more than picking the caterer and choosing a honeymoon destination. Couples have a better chance at a successful marriage if they refine their communication skills and collect the right conflict resolution tools that will help them preserve their marriage through the ups and downs.
Mazzitti and Sullivan is ready to help couples get started on the path to a long life together. Contact our premarital therapists today to set up your first session.