Are you planning your wedding? This is a busy time in couples’ lives. Some couples wonder if premarital counseling would be valuable while others have been informed by clergy that this is required.
Most couples setting a wedding date are relatively confident that they know each other – what they love, and what gets on their nerves. You may have heard people say: “Everything changed after we got married.” Wondering, is this possible?
When couples are in love, naturally they adore each other, and focus on what makes their relationship special. Sometimes while planning your wedding, differences become more apparent, or communication breaks down. In the past, the two of you made decisions and worked things out. Planning for the wedding now may involve input from family and friends, complicating your decision making.
Many couples find that premarital counseling is an invaluable resource, in helping them work out details and concerns while preparing for their wedding. Partners often see for the first time some parts of each other’s personality which was not apparent before. Instead of questioning each other or the relationship, premarital counseling can address the ways you respond to stress. Together, we can review, and I will help you learn more effective ways of communicating.
In the first premarital counseling session, you will tell the story of your relationship, highlighting the many positives supporting your decision to get married. Between the first and second session, you will complete the Prepare/Enrich Assessment that is customized for your circumstances, and phase of life:
- First marriages, not living together
- Subsequent marriages for one or both partners
- Co-Habitating couples
- Couples with children
- Empty Nester couples
You may choose to continue in short-term counseling to work on identified Growth Areas, or to address current stresses involved in planning your wedding. Many couples elect to postpone scheduling follow up sessions until after their wedding to have more time and energy available for the work on their relationship.
About the Prepare/Enrich Premarital Assessment
Prepare/Enrich was developed over 30 years ago by David Olson, PhD, professor emeritus in Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota. The program is based on extensive research in the dimensions and dynamics of couples’ relationships, and has been used with more than three million couples, preparing them for enriched marital relationships.
I have been a certified Prepare/Enrich counselor since 2005, and I have enjoyed working with premarital and newlywed couples.