When couples are preparing to tie the knot, premarital counseling is an important step to ensure a successful marriage. It's a great opportunity for couples to discuss their individual and combined goals and aspirations, family planning, and financial expectations. It's also a chance to talk about sex, children, careers, and other topics that can be difficult to bring up. In this article, we'll explore the top three things that couples should discuss during premarital counseling and why. One of the most important topics to discuss is finances.
It's no longer your money or hers, but “our money”. Talking about money in premarital therapy can help open doors in terms of how you communicate financially with your partner. Avoid things like: “I hate it when you do this or that,” warns Tammy Nelson, Ph. D.
And remember that there is nothing normal. You should focus on what works for each of you, not on what other people think your marriage should be. Another important topic is children. It's crucial to make sure both partners are on the same page when it comes to having children. Do you both want to have children? If so, how many? And how soon? “Talking about the topic of having children in your premarital therapy can help you determine how children will affect their careers, their lifestyle, their recreational activities, their privacy, their social interests, their money and their plans for the future,” says Derichs.
You might want to wait a few years before starting your family, but it's important to make sure your partner is okay with it. The third topic couples should discuss is careers. Doing all that 9 to 5 may come naturally to you and your partner right now, but it's a good idea to think about how your careers might affect your marriage in the future. Their careers can affect many areas of life, Sherman says. If only one person is the breadwinner of the family or is working, then this should be discussed to ensure that there is no power dynamic at play.
For example, will the other person ask you for money? And if they stay at home, will they feel so valued in their marriage for their contribution? And if both people work, will both careers have the same precedent with free time, promotions and travel? You have to work everything out so that both of you feel supported. Premarital counseling is a great way for couples to get on the same page before they get married. It's an opportunity for them to talk about their individual and combined goals and aspirations, family planning or family blending, and financial expectations. It's also a chance for them to talk about sex in premarital therapy and how they will interact with their own parents. Couples should also discuss their expectations for work and career and how they spend money and manage finances.
Doing all this can help couples start off on the right foot and maintain the health of their relationship throughout.