Premarital counseling is an investment in building a loving, lasting, healthy relationship.
Premarital counseling is an opportunity for you and your partner to discuss your values in key areas of your relationship while you are both excited and in love, before problems present themselves. Like anything else you might plan for, premarital counseling is an opportunity to discuss and plan for things you will encounter in the future. By working through things ahead of time, you can save yourself unpleasant arguments, hurt feelings, and disconnection in your relationship.
Premarital counseling is also an opportunity for you both to explore your relationship needs, preferred communication styles and explore the way you both interact and work together. You are in love and can’t possibly imagine what might could go wrong, however you are both two unique individuals. We can’t expect anyone to know what we’re thinking, what we need, no matter how many sentences they can finish for us! The reality is that you and your partner have different perspectives, no matter how similar you feel to one another, and learning how to understand and communicate from those different perspectives is a huge skill that can save your marriage. You may not even realize now how deep your differences go (remember – differences are not a bad thing!). Your culture, upbringing, and personal style can differ from valuing the importance of eating veggies with every meal, where you spend your money, to how you teach your child a work ethic.
Relationship counseling has an extensive history of research into what works and doesn’t work in marriage. Researchers can even predict divorce based on a few behaviors. Through premarital counseling you and your partner will explore your common behavior patterns and ways of connecting and communicating with one another. Premarital counseling will teach you skills to build a strong, healthy, loving marital foundation.
Relationships are dynamic and change over time. The honeymoon phase bonds us together and keeps us excited about our partner. Later, the excitement may wane, but the love deepens into a long-term romantic love. Relationships settle into patterns, some healthy, some not so healthy. The relationship you have is the one you actively create with your partner over time. Creating a loving, lasting, healthy relationship takes commitment, trust, and the willingness to look at yourself and not just your partner. When both of you are willing to do this you can create the relationship you want for the long haul.
One of the best benefits to premarital counseling is that it can strengthen the bond you have with one another. Learning how to communicate with one another in an effective way, understanding your own and your partner’s needs and how to meet them, and simply talking together about the big things can reinforce and strengthen the connection you have.
Premarital Counseling Questions
Through premarital counseling at Eddins Counseling Group in Houston, Texas, you mayconsider many questions that explore the values each of you has regarding topics such as parenting, discipline and religion. Though it may not seem important now, or easy to say, “I’m sure that will be easy for us,” it’s much better to talk through these things now. Once you’re actually faced with value dilemmas as a couple, your relationship may be stressed due to finances or other reasons or you may be shocked to find out that you don’t agree. Premarital counseling isn’t about stirring the pot, but rather thinking through things and becoming aware of the little things you might not have even realized you care about. Having these conversations now in an open, loving way paves the road for a healthy, long-term relationship. Premarital counseling questions for exploration might include:
- Your love for your partner. What drew you together? What are your relationship strengths?
- Your goals and expectations. Through premarital counseling you will discuss a shared vision for your future together. You’ll also want to discuss and explore your day to day expectations of your partner, particularly through life changes such as having children. What gender role expectations do you have and how have your family’s gender roles impacted your beliefs and expectations?
- Relationships with family members. No matter what, the bond between you as a couple is the most important. Other than that, you may want to explore relationships with family members, boundaries, how you spend your time together, how you will spend holidays together.
- How you approach problems and what you need in times of stress. You will have stress. However, everyone handles things differently and it can be useful to know what both your needs are and your partner’s.
- Life and family building. You can discuss expectations ranging from where you’d like to settle down, career plans, and whether you’d like to build a family and what that might look like.
- How will you handle finances. It’s important to understand both how you and your partner manage money, what your priorities and goals are as well as how you plan on managing it together. Consider joint accounts, retirement, budgeting, savings, debts, and major purchases you value such as where to live, children’s education, parental support, etc.
- Spirituality. What are your religious preferences, traditions, values.Do you plan to take the kids to church? Which one? Every Sunday? Not at all?
- Discipline. What consequences will you provide your children? How will you handle conflict, disagreements, and misbehavior?
- Intimacy and connection. What makes you feel loved? What does your partner do that makes you feel connected? What would you like your intimacy with one another to be like?
- Conflict resolution. How do you approach problems and important decisions to be made? How will you resolve conflict? What is your experience with conflict? In premarital counseling, you can also explore conflict resolution styles based on each of your unique personality types and learn effective strategies for working together when disagreements present themselves.
Even though these are tough questions, the answers are important. They’re important not only because they give you another glimpse into your compatibility, but because they will affect the lives of your future children. If you are on opposite sides of the fence in a lot of ways when it comes to parenting, your future family life will be strengthened and enhanced by premarital counseling.
Personality Assessment for Premarital Counseling
You may also consider completing in-depth personality assessments that can help you understand both your own personality and that of your partner. You’ll be able to identify areas of commonality and appreciate the differences. You’ll learn specific ways your partner prefers to be communicated with and what she/he needs in conflict. This can ve invaluable information in building a foundation of understanding and supportive communication with one another. Talk to your premarital counselor to find out more.
How to Get Started with Premarital Counseling
If you and your partner are ready to explore premarital counseling in Houston, Texas, call us at 832-209-2222 or schedule an appointment online.