If you are preparing to be married, consider premarital counseling: it’s the best investment in your relationship you’ll ever make.
You don’t have to be religious to try it. Even though some couples come to premarital counseling because their priest, minister, or rabbi has made it a requirement before marriage, many relationship education programs are not explicitly connected to any faith and welcome people from all backgrounds.
Here are 4 good reasons to choose premarital counseling:
- It’s the best insurance policy for your relationship
Recent statistics show that nearly 45% of first marriages end in divorce. Yet couples who participate in premarital counseling or relationship education are 31% less likely to get divorced, according to a 2006 study in the Journal of Family Psychology. These couples also have higher levels of satisfaction and commitment in marriage and lower levels of conflict.
- You will know what to expect down the road
Do you feel like your relationship is a perfect fairytale right now, and your partner your ideal soulmate? Enjoy it because it probably won’t last! Intimate relationships typically start out in this romantic phase, but then inevitably move on to the power struggle phase, in which challenging conflicts can become opportunities for positive growth — if we are prepared and willing to do the work.
- You will feel prepared to handle the bumpy parts
Most of us aren’t born knowing how to be perfect partners, and being in an intimate, committed relationship is the hardest thing any of us will likely ever do. The power struggle phase requires new tools and greater consciousness. How do your defensive behaviors affect your partner? How do you communicate your frustrations safely? Learn effective ways to create connection and empathy before you get stuck.
- You will have a roadmap and a clear destination
Premarital education will help you create a long-term vision for your relationship, building on its strengths. Not only will you dialogue about important issues like money, sex, and the in-laws, but you will be able to identify the intentional habits that will nurture the passion and joy in your marriage for the long haul.
Your future children will thank you for this investment.
If you’re looking for an excellent and fun premarital workshop in the Washington DC area, consider Start Right, Stay Connected, a one-day educational seminar designed for couples preparing to be married, newly married, or committing to a long-term relationship. Married for 22 years, facilitators Caroline and Jason Bernhardt-Lanier love creating space for couples to thrive.