Preparation and prevention. In aspects related to physical health, we often choose the preemptive path. For example, we exercise and eat right now to remain healthy for the long run. Preventative measures like this are normal and accepted. No one questions their effectiveness.
But what about mental and emotional health? What about the health of your primary relationship? Far too frequently, we enter into marriage riding high on waves of love, lust, and passion. Yes, of course, we must bask in the glow of these emotions. However, there is still plenty of work to be done to prepare for a lifelong commitment.
What is Premarital Counseling?
Conflicts and disagreements are normal and inevitable for any relationship. Not every couple waits until a crisis has hit before seeking help. Premarital counseling, as the name implies, is a form of couples therapy designed to prepare you for marriage. The basic idea is to openly discuss a variety of topics and concerns before they can fester into problems. For example:
- Marriage roles
- Communication styles/conflict resolution
- Expectations related to sex and intimacy
- Finances, career, money
- Leisure time
- Starting a family (or not)
- Dealing with extended family
- Core values and beliefs
Of course, the variations are endless. This is why premarital counseling can be so crucial. There is so much to anticipate, juggle, and address.
How Premarital Counseling Can Help You Prepare for a Lifelong Commitment
You’re in love and probably in lust. But what else is forming the foundation of your connection? Couples, for example, need to talk about setting short- and long-term goals. Also, there is so much to learn about each other, e.g.
- Religion and faith
- Hobbies and interests
- Political affiliations
- Social circles
- Independent social lives
- Relationship with our families
The goal is not to attempt being in synch on everything. Premarital counseling will help you discover where issues may lie. This allows you to prepare for possible differences of opinion.
This can range from how often you clean to your financial goals to conversations about having children. Your home can be your sanctuary. But this will require direct, honest communication. In addition, cooperation is essential. Love won’t pay the rent. It also won’t keep the peace without some advance work.
During the honeymoon phase, sex may feel perfect. It will always be like this and nothing has to be discussed. Enjoy the bliss but prepare for personal evolution. Intimacy is a personal concept. Each of us defines it, feels it, and expresses it in a unique manner. Before the reality of daily life set in, why not talk about what sex and intimacy mean to you? Questions to consider:
- How often do you like to have sex?
- How often do you expect to have sex?
- What do sex and intimacy mean to you?
- Are you open to non-monogamy?
Everyone’s life is filled with experiences. Some of these we may prefer to not discuss right away. Before you tie the knot, it’s important to know about things like:
- Past issues with substance abuse
- Criminal record
- Financial debt
- A history of mental illness in the family
- Physical violence (as a victim or perpetrator)
These tough questions may be best tackled in the presence of an experienced, unbiased guide.
Laying the Groundwork For How You Will Interact
Regardless of your past or what lies ahead, the key will be how you interact. This is a skill that requires steady practice. It also helps to have an expert on hand. Your premarital counselor is there to support and assist you as you prepare for a lifelong commitment. Please read more about premarital and couples counseling and let’s talk soon.
Getting Started With Relationship Counseling in Lakewood & Longmont Colorado
We invite you to call us at 720-551-4553 for a free 20-minute phone consultation. You can schedule your appointment via phone, email, or the contact page on our website. We offer both in-person and online counseling. We’re open to whichever option you feel more comfortable with. We look forward to hearing from you!