Pre-Marriage Counseling and Building Better Relationships
When you consider that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, it isn’t surprising that many states now require some level of pre-marriage counseling before issuing a marriage license. Additionally, many ministers also request (if not require) pre-marital counseling sessions before performing a marriage ceremony. In light of this, many engaged couples couldn’t help but wonder if pre-nuptial counseling sessions actually serve to build a better relationship. Fortunately, research has shown that premarital counseling can reduce the risk of divorce by as much as 30%. If you really mean, “Until death do us part…” then this should be an encouraging statement. One of the reasons that pre-marriage counseling has such a high success rate is because it forces couples to answer tough questions like:
- The motives heading into a marriage.
- The long-term goals and priorities in this marriage.
- The importance of loyalty and faithfulness.
- Your interactions and relationships with each other’s parents and families.
- The power to change your partner or accept how he or she is and instead negotiate.
The Importance of Honest Assessment
When a couple gets engaged, the thoughts and plans about the impending wedding can often overwhelm the reality of the marriage and what will happen after the honeymoon. If you fail to take the time to really answer the tough questions honestly and earnestly, you’re only increasing the likelihood of what folks in the retail world have termed “buyer’s remorse.” Far too many men and women enter into an engagement with this feeling that they’re head over heels in love and nothing can change their feelings for one another. The things that are annoying or unappealing are brushed away with the thought that they’ll be able to “change” their partner once they’ve exchanged vows. The reality couldn’t be further than the truth. People only change themselves they don’t change one another.
If you’re not willing to live with the fact that your partner snores, is a slob or never puts the cap on the toothpaste, you might not be willing to live with each other for very long at all. When you enter into pre-marital counseling, make a commitment to one another to answer every question honestly and without fear of repercussions. After all, if a deal-breaker is discovered, it’s better to find it before divorce is the only solution.
Pre-Marriage Counseling Critically Important for Second and Third Marriages
According to the statistics shared at www.divorcerate.org, second and third marriages are even more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. While a 41% chance of divorce (the official stat) is a daunting enough figure, second marriages have a 60% chance of ending in a divorce and third marriages are 73% likely to end in divorce. While many couples feel that they’ll have things figured out by the second or third time around, what really happens is that they carry some of the same baggage into future relationships without ever dealing with their difficult issues. While you can run from your partner, you can’t run from yourself.
By taking the time out to meet with a pre-marriage counselor, you can save yourself the cost (both financially and emotionally) of yet another failed relationship by dealing with critical issues and walking into your future, not blindly, but with your eyes wide open.
Even if your state doesn’t demand that you enroll in premarital counseling to get married, it’s a sound investment.