• Julianna Navarro

3 Signs You Need Premarital Counseling

Most engaged couples contemplate whether they need premarital counseling before they get married. Some common thoughts may sound like: “Is the added cost worth it?” “Will it really benefit our relationship?” “We are so happy and in love, I don’t know if we need it.” Premarital couples usually are very much in love, happy and ready to make that commitment to spend the rest of their lives together. Unfortunately, the 50% divorce rate can attest to the fact that love is not the determining factor of a successful marriage. While happiness, like all feelings, ebbs and flows with the natural changes of life – it is not a constant and thus not a solid determining factor for relationship success. Research shows that a lasting marriage is made up of several different factors, including love, but certainly not based on this alone. It’s important that everyone get the opportunity to explore other areas of their relationship that make up the ingredients of a successful marriage.

So, what are the signs that our relationship could benefit from counseling?

1. You feel guarded or closed off from your partner in certain areas of your life.

Vulnerability is a tough challenge we all must face in our life. Successful marriages require a certain level of vulnerability from each person to make it work. Essentially, you can’t expect to stay connected to someone without truly connecting. This means developing a safe space with your partner where you can comfortably share your thoughts and feelings, as well as holding a safe space for them to share theirs. Premarital counseling will help you learn how to be open with your partner and resolve any blocks to this communication that may be present. In counseling we teach couples to go several levels deeper in their communication than they originally came in expressing. This skill alone will help the couple stay connected through inevitable changes and understand each other better. If there is something you’ve had a tough time expressing to your partner and need a safe space and guidance to express it, then couple’s sessions would be beneficial for your relationship.

2. You have repetitive arguments with no resolution

If you feel stuck having the same argument over and over again with no resolution, then couples counseling may be helpful to undoing the problem at hand. We teach specific ways to communicate, that bridge the gap between what your partner is saying and the information you are hearing. It’s all too easy to become defensive when trying to resolve an issue in your relationship, and if this sounds like you, just know that there is another way. We teach couples to use a softer language, that allows you to see things from a different perspective and proves effective in resolving the concern. Basically, if you are doing the same thing and expecting different results, that will never come. It may be time to try something different, something clinically proven to be effective, and in a safe space that we can create with you.

3. You are feeling high anxiety or having doubts before the wedding.

We hear about “cold feet” all the time. It’s sort of a natural feeling before taking that big step to get married. However, when that feeling is persistent, paired with reasonable doubts, and affecting your daily life, it may be time to talk with someone. This doesn’t mean the therapist will sway you one way or another. It is a common misconception that therapists give advice. We are there to help you reflect on your thoughts and feelings, while helping you gain insight into your own intuition, which will ultimately becoming your own guiding light to solving your concerns. In addition, we bring the knowledge and clarity of relationship dynamics that can be reassuring and validating for you to understand during your counseling process.

Whatever the reason for seeking premarital counseling, we are there to support you, while creating a safe space for you to reflect and ultimately improve your daily life with your partner.