What does the Mayo Clinic and the Catholic Church have in common? They both recommend pre-marriage counseling before you get married. If you’re not religious, keep reading because this applies to you, too.
Even Psychology Today says pre-marriage counseling is beneficial:
“Studies reveal that premarital counseling is an effective tool to use as you begin your married life. Researchers have discovered that it is a helpful way to improve your communication and conflict management skills while increasing your overall relationship quality and satisfaction. Couples who engage in premarital counseling have a more realistic view of marriage and a deeper level of commitment to each other. These couples reported having an easier adjustment to married life than those who didn’t participate in premarital counseling.”
Pre-marriage counseling covers ten areas
The Mayo Clinic identified ten key areas where pre-marriage counseling is worth its weight in gold:
√ Beliefs and values
√ Roles in marriage
√ Affection and sex
√ Desire to have children
√ Family relationships
√ Dealing with anger
√ Time spent together
Beware financial stress
In particular, financial stress can rip a marriage to shreds. It’s the second leading cause of divorce according to marriage.com. Although finances aren’t sexy, you can turn them into your marriage’s ally by anticipating and avoiding problems through pre-marriage counseling.
Every single marriage is unique, but common issues define marital hot spots. One is the way you’re able to resolve conflict. Every couple fights at some point. If your fighting devolves into a ‘you against your spouse’ scenario, you’ve got a problem. On the other hand, if you view each other as being on the same team, conflict is more easily resolved.
How do you do that? By learning to communicate collaboratively, not adversarially. And those are teachable skills available through competent pre-marriage counseling.
The Catholic Church requires couples to take pre-marriage counseling through courses called Pre-Cana. Since many of these couples are of an inter-faith variety, the courses help to draw couples together by addressing subjects that can be sources of conflict down the road, including:
√ Conflict resolution skills
Check with your local diocese for details.
Prevent disagreement before it happens
For non religious couples, pre-marriage counseling can enrich relationships by teaching you things about your future spouse you didn’t know. According to clinical sexologist, Dawn Michael Ph. D:
“It is important to see how they respond in a situation where they are feeling threatened or not understood so that we can learn from it and try to prevent some of the disagreement before it happens and minimize the more heated arguments that lasts for hours, days or weeks.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, look for licensed therapists known as marriage and family therapists for your pre-marriage counseling. They typically have postgraduate degrees. Many are credentialed through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and their website can help you find the right counselor for you.
Your Alabama marriage is worth preserving. Pre-marriage counseling makes your journey easier by getting you launched in a healthier, happier pathway. Congratulations and good luck!
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