Most young people are not too concerned with dating or forming a relationship. However, the underlying fears start to manifest themselves once the couple is eager to take their relationship to the next level by thinking of marriage. A permanent relationship where the couple gets to share a home, earn their keep and handle various responsibilities together is certainly not easy and couples who have known each other for a long time often fail to keep their marriage intact once they realize that life can become serious after committing to each other. It is therefore, a good idea to seek some advice from experienced adults before marriage. The older family members used to perform this duty once upon a time but that onus has shifted to the professional now too.
There have been instances where premarital counseling has helped the couple to forge a stronger bond thus making their married life a stable and happy one.
Who Can Counsel?
Premarital counseling is usually done by licensed therapists who are experienced enough to handle family and marital problems. Many of the professionals are recognized by the ‘American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.’ However, certain spiritual and religious leaders or institutions also offer pre marital counsel before performing the marriage ceremony.
What Is Discussed?
While the goal of premarital counseling is to improve the relationship between the couple after marriage, they are encouraged to share their thoughts and anxieties on a wide range of topics with the counselor. The most important aspects that the counsel raises and discusses includes the following, however.
- Communication between the couple.
- Financial status.
- Family relationships and responsibilities.
- Affection for each other and sexual relationship.
- Decision making.
- Spending quality time together.
- Children and responsibilities that come with being parents.
- Expectations from the spouse.
- Anger Management.
The counselor often requires as many as 7 meetings that involve meeting both the individuals separately as well as together. The couple is also asked to answer a few set questions and their strengths and weaknesses are gauged by the counselor. The couple is also made aware of their problem areas and is advised to find a solution by discussing it with each other in a proactive manner. A specific tool known as the ‘Couples Resource Map’ is often put to use as well with each person creating a map that highlights the various resources that can help them to manage their marital problems, if they are unable to sort it out themselves.