In the Olden, Golden Days our grandparents chose their mates, got married, and stayed married--most of the time. Some had weddings, some just went to the JP (Justice of the Peace) and went to work on building a home and family. Okay, if I were going to be totally truthful, many times it was a shot-gun wedding, where the bride was “knocked-up” and her dad held a gun to the grooms head to make sure he went through with it. And no one bothered to do the math, but of course, everybody knew what the real deal was. All that aside, the only counseling most of them had was the sermon preached about what husbands and wives should do and must do that until death.
Not so today. Today’s premarital consults can range from an hour sit-down with the Pastor to a six-week course, which might also be hosted by the Church. Some couples, however, may see a “real” professional for this process—one whose schooling and experiences are specific to the job. If this sounds like shade or a slight on the latter “counselors” it is. My message here is simple: “Go to a professional who is trained in the area of marriage and family counseling, preferably before you get hitched. Now, for the rest of this writing, I’m going to share with you _____ merits of premarital counseling.
Your professional counselor/therapist/psychologist will help you…
#1 Examine your reasons for marrying each other
#2 Assess possible struggles you will have based on differing values
#3 Openly discuss differing familial, personal, or cultural values that
you may have overlooked or may not have known or understood
#4 Discuss assets (of all kind, not necessarily $) of you bring to the
#5 Talk about money—how you each view it and use it
#6 Reveal personality traits and how to leverage what you each
contribute to your family
#7 Help you assess how you each resolve conflict
#8 Ask questions about things that you may not have bothered to
discuss or even consider.
#9 Visit expectations to determine their merits: Sex, fidelity, children,
#10 You establish a mission or purpose for your union as a guide.
With each item above your counselor will facilitate the discussion, guiding you two as you think carefully past the pomp and circumstance of wedding planning and performance. It’s been my experience that most people marry thinking about forever, however, we know that today 50-plus percent of us don’t stay married, with or without premarital counseling or therapy. So, the above ten-merits are simply to help you think past the romance and excitement of new love and wedding pageantry and consider the business and work of matrimony. It is work and it is a business. Thorough premarital counseling can help you better prepare for life on the other side of the honeymoon.