What is Premarital Counseling?

One of life's greatest gifts is finding that special someone, getting engaged, and preparing for your happily ever after. It's easy for couples to lose themselves in the excitement of a wedding without preparing themselves for the effort and commitment a marriage needs to last. That is where premarital counseling can help.

What is Premarital Counseling?

Premarital counseling is a type of couple's therapy designed to help you and your partner prepare for marriage. Premarital counseling helps you and your partner learn the skills needed to navigate the pitfalls that emerge once the honeymoon is over.

Why You May Consider Premarital Counseling

Couples consider premarital counseling for many different reasons.

Often, couples take this opportunity to discuss and work through any issues that already exist in the relationship or those which could arise once you tie the knot. The healthiest relationships are established at the beginning before the resentment builds, and premarital counseling facilitates a more focused, meaningful connection.

Whether your parents are still together or not - chances are that there's something from your family of origin that you don't want to see in your own marriage. This could be communication patterns, how finances were handled, or how responsibilities were divided. The good news is that you have the power to break that cycle! The earlier you start, the easier it is.

Prevention is better than a cure, and this rings true for the health of your relationship.

What are the Benefits of Premarital Counseling?

There are numerous benefits to premarital counseling. Couples will learn to communicate better, discover more about themselves and their partner, plan the future, address any issues before they become a problem, and more.

Studies have shown that couples who undergo premarital counseling are 30% less likely to divorce, as they are more equipped with the skills needed to cope with challenges as they arise.

Living a healthy lifestyle includes cultivating and sustaining healthy relationships. Research reveals a strong link between the quality of our relationships and our overall happiness, longevity, and good health.

When to Start Premarital Counseling

If you and your partner are engaged or considering entering into a committed relationship, you should make it a priority to look into premarital counseling. It is also ideal for those couples on the path to marriage looking to cultivate a healthier relationship before getting engaged.

How Long is Premarital Counseling?

Traditional premarital counseling often means attending weekly or bi-weekly sessions spread over several months. Today, many different programs are available that cater to almost every need, format, and schedule.

Some online options are as little as 4 hours long, while other courses can continue as long as you need them.

Delivery of Premarital Counseling

Online premarital counseling

Many providers offer online premarital counseling. This makes it easy to integrate into your everyday life as sessions or courses are not location-dependent and are more flexible with schedules.

OURS is a modern premarital counseling experience that is delivered online and was developed as a way for millennial couples to invest in themselves and their relationships on their terms, providing the tools to build a meaningful life together. It's engaging, fun, sex-positive, and based on interventions similar to what you'd see in a traditional couples therapy office.

One-on-one premarital counseling

One-on-one premarital counseling involves you and your partner seeing a therapist in person, visiting weekly or biweekly to discuss how to tackle relationship issues.

Group courses, meetings

In this format, you and your partner join other couples for a group therapy session.

Group retreats

You and your partner will travel to a destination to participate in activities and group therapy sessions with other couples. These often span the course of a weekend and are a one-time program.

Courses

Course-led premarital counseling is where you are provided with materials such as worksheets and discussion topics to complete at your own pace with your partner. These workbooks offer insightful content to change your mindset around your relationship.

Hybrid

A hybrid option gives couples a little of both a guided course and a one-on-one experience.

OURS is an example of this.

Types of Premarital Counseling

Religious premarital counseling

Developed and offered by churches and religious institutions, it combines experience, wisdom, and theology.

Secular premarital counseling

Non-religious and based on a combination of couples therapy techniques and academic research. May leverage methods like EFT, psychodynamics, or the Gottman Method.

Maybe you consider yourself more spiritual than religious. Or perhaps you attended mandatory premarital counseling so you can host your ceremony in a religious institution and found that it was outdated. OURS is a secular program that is based on couples therapy models used by licensed marriage and family therapists across the globe.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

This system incorporates elements of experiential therapy, attachment therapy, and systemic therapy.

Psychodynamic Couples Therapy

Rather than focusing on behavior, psychodynamic couples therapy focuses on mental and emotional processes.

Gottman Method

Identifies essential foundations of relationships and works to improve communication and intimacy.

Premarital Counseling Topics

Below is a list of topics that often come up in premarital counseling sessions:

  • Values, attitudes, and beliefs
  • Communication
  • Roles in marriage
  • Affection and sex
  • Finances
  • Family relationships
  • Desire to have children
  • How well you know each other
  • Expectations of yourself and your spouse
  • Decision-making
  • Problem-solving and future conflicts
  • Dealing with anger

Questions To Ask Your Premarital Counselor

Here are some good questions to ask when choosing a practitioner:

  • What is the time commitment to the program?
  • How is the program delivered?
  • What tactics and methods can we expect within the therapy sessions?
  • How will you set us up for success in the future after we are complete?

Conclusion

Every relationship has weak spots, and equipping yourself with the skills to resolve conflicts, communicate better, and stay connected will improve the quality of your relationship and life.

Premarital counseling with OURS will help you start your journey right to survive and thrive into your happily ever after. Plus, if you love the progress you're making and don't want it to end, you don't have to go! At OURS, there are options for customized, continued support. Whether you're looking to dig deeper into a particular topic that you covered in the modules or maintain an ongoing relational wellness membership - they’ve got you covered.