Counseling before the wedding ceremony helps couples get the right start in their marriages. The process allows couples to solidify their shared goals and dreams, develop a shared understanding, and explore issues that will affect their lives. Couples therapy provides the opportunity to have conversations that too many couples do not have prior to walking down the aisle.
Prepare for a Healthy Relationship
Through premarital counseling, couples learn the components of healthy long term relationships and have the opportunity to discuss issues that are unique to their relationship. When you talk about issues in advance, you will learn how to build healthy habits for discussing issues that can be used in your marriage, as new concerns arise in the course of your life together.
In counseling, you will discuss each partner’s needs and expectations from marriage. Expectations can be influenced by each partner’s own individual desires or based on their experiences with their own families. Counseling is tailored to the needs and personalities of each couple, but common topics can range from sex to plans for starting a family. Working with each other and your therapist, you will gain greater awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship.
Finances are a big topic that should be addressed prior to marriage. Every couple should have conversations about their views surrounding money and discuss how money will be handled. Your counselor can help you consider issues such as how purchasing decisions will be made and setting up a household budget. When there is a plan and budget in place, discussions about money will be easier to navigate and you will have the tools to handle any disagreements or misunderstandings that may arise.
In-laws and family traditions can be another tricky topic for newly married couples to navigate. When there have been no plans or discussions, misunderstandings and hurt feelings can result. Each family has unique ways of handling holidays, vacations, and other traditions. Consider and discuss how they can combine each spouse’s traditions and experiences to create their own traditions.
Unfortunately, even when you are prepared, have conversations in advance, and understand your partner’s needs, conflicts will eventually arise. Working with the marriage therapist, engaged couples learn and practice conflict resolution and develop the skills and tools needed to successfully navigate conflicts, while remaining confident in the strength of the relationship.
As a relationship counselor in Austin, John Howard will discuss where your relationship is strong and areas that you may want to work on and help you improve communication skills to avoid future problems. Lastly, coming to couple’s therapy earlier helps couples see marriage therapists as a resource and will feel comfortable coming again in the future when they need extra support during difficult or stressful periods of life.