Getting married is one of the biggest events in life. A huge amount of effort goes into planning the big day, from picking wedding invitations, photographer, venue, menu, right through to the honeymoon and all the expense that involves. You may already feel swamped by the sheer amount of things to do and prepare, yet the most important thing still remains the quality of your relationship.
As part of the preparation to start your new life together, have you considered a plan for your relationship? This is a plan to ensure real connection and intimacy between you within your marriage. A plan that will help to prepare you both for a future together that lasts.
Most of us know how to start a relationship but very few of us have been taught how to create and maintain that relationship over time. Generally we are muddling along doing the best we can, taking guidance from what we’ve seen other people do, from our parents, from society and from popular culture. But these are not necessarily good role models, and we may actually lack the knowledge or skills essential to ensure the relationship will deepen and grow stronger.
According to Australian Institute of Family Studies, the rate of divorce has steadily increased. Recent figures indicate one in three marriages would end up in divorce. Figures like these cannot be ignored. Divorce is a painful reality and all too often divorce begins with unhealthy patterns of relationship, unreal or differing expectations, or a lack of communication know-how. None of which is destined to ruin a relationship as long as these kind of problems are tackled early, before they become entrenched. Pre-marriage counselling can help develop and reinforce healthy ways to communicate about both feelings and practical issues, and prevent destructive ways of relating from ever becoming the norm.
Before marriage is also the time to look at the ‘important stuff’, the fundamental practical issues of what’s important, what you both value and what you want your marriage to look like. It’s a chance to set out a clear road-map for the marriage. A chance to make plans together for the long-term and invest in a secure marital future that is based on what you both really want.
How Pre-Marriage Counselling Helps Your Marriage
Opening up and becoming vulnerable to each other in a counselling setting before marriage may sound strange or even unnecessary. Yet it can powerfully deepen your emotional connection and ability to relate and be truly intimate with each other. Pre-marriage counselling helps you learn about core relationship skills, like conflict resolution. You can learn to better understand the way your partner communicates, gain insight into yourself and each other, and develop your ability to be considerate and perceptive of your partner. You can also identify areas that are potentially controversial.
What you will notice about our pre-marriage counselling, is that it’s not ‘one-size fits all’. We work with your needs, your problems and your relationship dynamics as they really are. Some of the issues with which pre-marital counselling can help are:
- starting out on a right foot by placing the ability to communicate as priority
- working through any misunderstandings about what you both want for your future lives together
- becoming clear about your roles in the relationship
- working through issues to do with sex and intimacy before they become a problem
- learning how to communicate effectively, honestly and with love, particularly when talking about difficult issues
- dealing with any unresolved fears about getting married and spending your future together
You can also get clear about the basics: how do you feel about children and what is your time frame for having them? How do you want those children to be brought up and what values do you consider important in a home? What are your needs and concerns around money and a work-life balance? What are your feelings about in-laws and how much a part of your lives do you want them to be?
You may also find it useful to look at the difficult issues, such as what you would do if your relationship hit a rocky patch. Would you consider professional help? How do you feel about divorce and is it something that has ever happened in your family? And finally, you can talk about what you cherish and value about your partner and all that your relationship means to you.
Marriages which get off to a good start and a deep mutual understanding, where you are both truly on the same wavelength, are far more likely to last. That’s why we believe pre-marriage counselling is not a luxury but of real importance. When you come to see one of our counsellors you will not simply be talking to someone with many years of training but also someone with deep personal insight, gained from experience, into what truly makes a marriage work.
We really do know how people can stay together and thrive in a happy, lasting relationship. Please get in touch for pre-marriage counselling. Develop a marriage blueprint that will enable you to stay happy together for the long-term.