Issues to Discuss in Premarital Counseling
Robin Bryant, Ph.D. provides counseling and advice sessions to couples undertaking the exciting steps of engagement and marriage.
The thrill of dating and engagement doesn’t always prepare for the serious, practical needs of a healthy marriage. Premarital counseling is the perfect way to ensure that your marriage starts off on the right foot.
It is completely normal to have some fears and anticipations— all soon-to-be newlyweds experience these moments. Having a professional can help identify the underlying reasons for those fears and help work them out before the big day.
Every partnership is unique. We know that from working with countless couples. Here is a list of some of the most common issues discussed in our premarital counseling sessions so that when you arrive for your session, you and your fiancé(e) will have an idea of what to expect.
For all your counseling needs, whether individual or collective, you can depend on the empathetic and compassionate approach of Robin Bryant, Ph.D..
Communication and Conflict Resolution
Communication is likely going to be the single biggest determinant of the success of your marriage.
When the going gets tough, is your partner more likely to get angry and argue, or retreat into a bitter silence? How are you likely to react?
Premarital counseling will help you to foster a healthy and open communication style. You and your future spouse will have the chance to discuss various communication methods and styles. You will learn a healthy combination of silence and individual time mixed with communication and cooperation that work best for your relationship.
With an open and honest approach to communication, no marital challenge will be too great to overcome.
For most couples, the decision of whether and when to have children is one of the most important. Therefore, it is surprising that many get to the engagement or even the marriage stage without broaching the topic of children and raising a family.
If a couple isn’t on the same page about their decision and yearning to have family, the consequences can be heartbreaking. Premarital counseling gives the chance to discuss family planning, fertility, adoption, and other topics.
Many couples are open to the possibility of children— though perhaps not right away. Discussing both individual and collective aspirations – children-oriented or otherwise – is certain to lead to an easier future.
Most people think of marital finance in terms of prenuptial agreements. In reality, financial expectations and issues are far more vast than this.
When married, earnings generated by both parties are considered communal. It is crucial that you are on the same page as your spouse in regards to financial habits such as saving, investing, spending, budgeting, and other components of personal finance.
This also provides the chance to discuss income differences. Is one partner earning significantly more than another? Would either partner be willing to stay home and forgo income to care for a child?
These money-centric discussions are ideal for premarital counseling sessions.
Career and Education Goals
Married people are still individuals, with individual goals outside of married life. Where do you picture yourself going in your career— in the next five, ten, or fifteen years? Do you envision yourself going back for further schooling, or pursuing a career in a new industry?
Have your fiancé(e) answer the same questions. View marriage as the perfect opportunity to pursue both of your goals—together. Consider both the reality of the present and dreams of the future.
While a certain amount of compromise is required in any marriage, ultimately, both individuals should be the best versions of themselves they can be.
Faith and values affect every facet of a person’s life. From daily routines and weekend worship schedules to holidays, the scope of religion is vast.
While many couples are mutual in their practiced religion—or lack thereof— there are often differences. A partner who isn’t religious may struggle to understand the religious devotion and commitment to the other partner. In many religions, in order to have a faith-based marriage ceremony, conversion is required.
Whatever the case, it is important to be on the same page as your partner with respect to religious beliefs and values. Not only for yourselves but for any children you may have together in the future.
Marriage Expectations, Role Beliefs, and Values
In addition to the conventional definition, marriage has a different meaning for everyone. How do you expect marriage to differ from your pre-marriage life?
In today’s marriage culture, values are often more secularized and informal, but many conventions prevail. Make sure you go into marriage knowing what your partner expects of you as a lifelong spouse. Make sure that they know, also, what you expect of them.
Decisions such as whether and where to move, home or condo ownership, vacation homes, and rental matters are important issues that any couple should discuss before marriage.
Over the course of married life, it is likely that you and your spouse will be moving locations at least once. Is homeownership among your goals for life? Is there anywhere you would like to live, or are you interested in moving back to where you grew up at some point?
In premarital counseling, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your future collective goals for homes and living.
When people get married, two families blend into one. In-laws and extended family will be seeing more of each other, and as parents and other relatives get older, they may require more support and assistance.
Whether your entire family gets along swimmingly or whether there are feuds, consider the scope of your families merging into one. By thinking about the future, considering who gets along and who doesn’t, you’ll be certain to prepare for future conflicts before they occur.
Schedule Your Premarital Counseling Session
These issues are just some of the many that you’ll have the chance to discuss in Robin Bryant, Ph.D.’s comprehensive premarital counseling.
Contact our office today to book your first session or to learn more.