Premarital Counseling: Is This Therapy Right For You?

*This is a sponsored post from Regain but all opinions are my own*

“Isn’t premarital counseling just something churches make you do?”

This is the question I used to ask when people asked me if Josh and I had premarital therapy.

I was wrong. Anyone can choose premarital counseling and I think it’s a really smart idea! There are so many things that can change when you choose one person for the rest of your life.

Marriage is so sacred and such a beautiful statement that you trust and love that person forever. In Victorian times, it was about ownership, financial exchanges, having a roof over your head, and procreation. Now, it is about choice and standing up in front of everyone you love to say that you want to partner in love for the rest of your life.

But that doesn’t mean that marriage is all flowers and rainbows. There are things you should think through together. Therapy can help with that. It doesn’t mean you have problems already- it is all about fixing issues before they start.

Will you know how to ask each other for help in a healthy way? Marriage changes the way you think about each other. Or it did for me! When I’m in a relationship, there is always a part of me that knows I can just leave. But marriage ups the ante. It creates the mindset, however reluctant, that now you should stay and work it out- fight for a better future together. And I mean fight, sometimes. If you don’t know how to communicate effectively, sometimes things can escalate so quickly in the worst way- and often by accident. You didn’t know the way you worded it would set them off like that and cause angry words to be exchanged.

Every once in awhile, Josh will word something in a way that sets me off because it sounds like something an ex would say. That is my own baggage. Premarital counseling with a therapist could have cleared the air on some of that and helped me to communicate my needs better.

And what about the bigger issues? How many of us have a checklist in our heads of all the big issues we need to (or should) discuss before we tie the knot?

I know so many couples that don’t discuss bigger issues: finances, children, housing, where they want to live, or whether they want to travel, for example.

Finances and how to handle them can be a big one. Many couples I have known hid their debt from their partner before they married. Now that they’ve tied the knot, both of them have to figure out how to handle it- it becomes a problem for both of them. These subjects seem too daunting and taboo to figure out on your own. I think having a mediator would make it feel safer to speak about, without arguments or judgements.

Josh and I finally figured out our money, but it took a bit because mine were such a tangled mess. Together, we worked out how to pay down our debt, how much we were willing to save and what we were saving for. On top of that, we talked to financial advisors and read books. It took a long time and some of it was hair-pulling conversations. I think if you were helped in premarital counseling, it would definitely be a shortcut!

Where do you want to live- city or country? Do you both really want kids? Are you interested in travel first?

There are so many things a premarital counselor could go through with you, as a couple, just to make sure you’re on the same page with everything. Going through a wedding you aren’t right for is surely more expensive than a bit of therapy. If you want to check out some experts on the subject, check out Regain and get connected with a therapist that suits both of you. They can make sure you get to your happily ever after.

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