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The Importance of Premarital Counselling

Marriage is a very big commitment. While on the surface it may seem very simple and straightforward, there is more to a marriage. Many couples enter this lifelong commitment without knowing what they are getting into.

Premarital counselling can make a big difference to a marriage. It can help couples start off their relationship with clear expectations, understanding and mutual respect.

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What is Premarital Counselling?

Premarital counselling is a form of therapy that helps a couple prepare for the life they are about to start together. It helps them identify areas they need to work on and areas that might have issues in the future and also helps them build a strong foundation to make important decisions regarding finances, children, identifying roles, etc.

In premarital counselling, the counsellor will address various issues and help the couple understand not just each other’s views or perspectives on it but will shed light on their own views as well. Such counselling reveals a lot about oneself and each other.

What is the Importance of Premarital Counselling?

Premarital counselling touches on various topics – all of which are important for starting a life and family together with a new person you met a while ago.

Premarital counselling is important in the following ways:

  • Improves Communication

Each of us has a communication style. When you don’t understand your partner’s communication style, it can lead to numerous misunderstandings that can strain the relationship. A counsellor will help the couple understand the art of and need for clear communication.

  • Changes Mentality

Everyone has an understanding of and expectation from a marriage. A counsellor can help you see the reality and prepare you for what can actually happen. It can also help them change their mentality in various areas, to adjust and accommodate each other.

  • Prepares for Commitments

Marriage is a long-term commitment and one cannot take it lightly. Premarital counselling helps individuals understand how commitment is required from them to make the relationship work. This includes commitments towards each other, regarding children, finances, life goals, family needs, etc.

  • Understand Each Other

Every relationship goes through a honeymoon phase where both partners accommodate each other’s needs and compromise on many fronts. When it is an arranged marriage, many couples hardly get time to get to know one another properly, outside the formal setting. Premarital counselling helps partners understand one another in a safe setting.

  • Address Tricky Topics

Questions and discussions during counselling can help the partners understand each other’s stand on various issues that may be difficult to discuss otherwise. With a third party taking charge of the discussion, it facilitates a better understanding of one another without any prejudice or arguments.

  • Rule Out Health Issues

Many premarital counsellors will ask for health reports from both partners to rule out health complications. Sometimes the results of these tests can be surprising to the person themselves. These tests can help partners make an informed decision about one another’s health issues.

Premarital Counselling Benefits

Premarital counselling can offer you the following benefits:

  1. You and your partner can start your married life with a better understanding of each other. Neither of you assumes much about each other. This reduces disappointments in a relationship.
  2. You become aware of health issues if any – in yourself or your partner. Whether you choose to go ahead with the marriage or not despite the health concerns is a personal choice, but the counselling brings such issues to light.
  3. Uncomfortable topics can be discussed openly in front of or with the initiative of a counsellor. This helps the couple handle the issue when it arises, with calm and confidence in each other.
  4. You can make important decisions regarding family, kids, finances, etc. without any hesitation as you know your partner’s preferences or priorities.
  5. Encourages partners to respect one another for their views and opinions, without judging harshly.
  6. It makes them a team before the marriage and helps them face issues as a team.
  7. It helps you address your own issues. It can be commitment issues, the way you respond to questions, your defensiveness or childhood traumas. The counsellor can teach you healthy ways to cope with issues from the past that can affect your marriage.
  8. Both partners can identify areas they may have conflicts of interest or opinions. Knowing where issues can come up can help couples handle them more calmly and maturely.
  9. A counsellor will share wisdom from their learnings and experience. These sessions can help you absorb some of this wisdom, which can have a big impact on your own life.
  10. Many of us assume we know everything about ourselves but certain situations and discussions can bring out a new side in ourselves. Premarital counselling can help you identify and understand such new sides of yourself.

How to Get the Best Premarital Counselling

When you and your partner decide to go for premarital counselling, you need to consider the following, to get the best benefits:

  1. Premarital counselling cost – Yes, such counselling can be expensive. Find a counsellor who fits into the budget or choose the number of sessions according to the costs.
  2. Comfort with Counsellor – Both partners need to be comfortable talking and discussing with the counsellor. If you or your partner are not comfortable, it is okay to look for a different counsellor.
  3. Session Timings – Identify session timings that work for both partners. It is essential for both partners to attend all sessions with an open and composed mind free of any negativity or compulsion.
  4. Time it Right – Having these sessions too close to the wedding may not be very beneficial as the partners will not have time to process all the details and learnings.
  5. Go with an Open Mind – Both partners should attend these sessions with an open mind to get the best out of them. If your partner is unwilling to go, talk to them and communicate why you feel these sessions are necessary.

The Need for Premarital Counselling

Do you need premarital counselling? Many couples start their married life without such counselling. While many of these couples go on to find their own pace and ways to handle situations, some approach a counsellor when issues start getting serious.

Premarital counselling does not guarantee a happy married life without any issues or need for counselling in the future. It helps both partners start their new life together with a better understanding, of themselves and one another. With such counselling, couples can build healthy relationships and stronger marital bonds.

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