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Understanding Premarital Counseling and Six Issues to Help You Prevent Big Problems Down the Road

Posted by Daniel A. Feerst on

With half of all marriages ending in divorce (remember when it was a third?), pre-marital counseling is not such a 

marriage counseling and premarital counseling how it works

bad idea. It takes a brave couple to explore key issues that can affect the long-term outcome of their relationship. Learning to address these issues head-on could make the difference between whether a couple celebrates their 50th wedding anniversary or ends up in divorce court.

The most effective premarital counseling includes an honest evaluation of compatibility around six issues that can throw a marriage overboard. They include: 1) communication; 2) religious orientation and beliefs; 3) in-law relationships; 4) affection and sexuality needs; 5) money management; and 6) children and child-rearing philosophies. Exploring these issues can help couples pinpoint trouble spots in their relationship.

If you are an employee assistance professional, be sure to perform a brief assessment on these six areas of trouble that many couples wrestle over. To reach out, you may want to have employees explore the video program on marriage counseling and how it works. You can upload to your internal EAP server that discusses marital counseling in general. It is a highly motivational piece, and your employees will not forget the lessons it teaches. 

Premarital counseling can be risky. Sometimes love isn’t enough. Statistically, 40 percent of couples who participate in premarital counseling don't tie the knot. Premarital counseling demands honesty, and more many couples that honesty has not been forthcoming.

Premarital counseling gives permission for these couple to break up, in effect. Learning the hard truths about compatibility can help the couple work on their relationship outside of marriage or get a better idea of what traits are important in a potential mate. 

For couples who do marry after premarital counseling, they often find that working with a counselor helps them build a strong foundation for the future. The fear conflict less, and they are more likely to seek help sooner before problems become mountains.

A marital or couples counselor can point out different styles of communication, for example, and give both future partners some strategies about how to communicate more effectively with each other. Marriage is hard work. If you have been married 30 years or more, you know what this means. It means sometimes regretting being married and sometimes wondering how the heck you could even imagine such a thing. Receiving some tools to help make the union successful is a win-win for both partners.

The vast majority of people don’t believe for a minute while they are walking down the aisle that their marriage won’t last forever. Participating in premarital counseling can help you create that future you’ve dreamed of. Be sure to regularly send this message to your employee population and you will see many other problems besides couples issues, especially financial problems and substance abuse issues. The EAP can help you find a specialist in couples work or pre-marital counseling.

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