Love is tricky. It’s messy, it’s stressful, and it can be one of the most beautiful experiences in life. Especially when you’ve found someone you think you would like to spend the rest of your life with! Of course, this level of commitment comes with a host of questions and high emotions.
Is this the right choice? What’s next? What if we aren’t prepared enough? Or if we fall out of love?
Maybe these questions plague you after you have the date, the venue, the colors, and seating arrangements set. Or, maybe they come up everytime that one family member asks when you’re getting proposed to. Even though you’re committed and fully in love, you don’t quite know how to answer. On the other hand, maybe the date is set, but after living the finance life, you’re having doubts.
All those and everything in between are perfect reasons to see a counselor for premarital counseling. You’ve put your heart and soul into this relationship, Thriveworks Dover is here to help make sure it is set up to last.
What is Premarital Counseling?
If we asked random people what they think premarital counseling is for, we would get a wide range of answers. “It’s for people struggling with their relationship.” “It’s where you go when you know you want to get married.” Or even, “It’s not worth the time.”
Yes, yes, and no! Dover Thriveworks Premarital Counseling is kept broad so we can address any concerns related to marriage. If we had to narrow it down though, Premarital Counseling works on four core areas:
- Developing communication skills.
- Identifying potential conflict areas.
- Learning how to confront and handle problems.
- Making decisions about the future.
Research says that couples who participated in premarital counseling before or shortly after marriage are 30% more likely to stay happily married. When 50% of couples end up filing for divorce, 30% is a huge advantage!
Dover Thriveworks firmly believes that premarital counseling does not mean something is wrong with your relationship. There may be problems but working through them is one of the biggest positive impacts premarital counseling has. Seeing a professional is more of an indication of the time and effort you both are willing to put into this relationship. There will be bumps and hardships in every relationship. The key is being prepared to handle them.
What actually goes on in Premarital Counseling? Dover Thriveworks will always put your goals, questions, and concerns first in a counseling session. Some common topics that come up include:
- Common Interests and Activities
- Role Expectations
- Religion and/or Church
- Marriage Expectations
- Budget and Finance
- Children and Parenting
- The Need for Space
- Feelings of non-commitment and identifying where they stem from
- Current concerns you have about the relationship and how to overcome them
- Should we go through with marriage?
Many couples find the possibility that premarital counseling could end their marriage plans frightening. But in the end, facing these questions now will save a lot of heartache later on. Now, these couples are strengthening their relationship to prepare for the future commitment. Some have decided to end their romantic relationship all together and are happier and healthier because of it.
Dover Thriveworks understands this is huge deal, and we will treat it as such. Even just coming to premarital counseling to get all the jitters and concerns out can be extremely beneficial. It is what we are here for. This relationship means a lot to you, so it should be as strong as it can when it enters that happily-ever-after stage.
What does Premarital Counseling look like?
That depends on what your situation and goals are! Dover Thriveworks individualizes each session. Sometimes we see each member separately before sitting down together. For others we jump into it right away.
Your relationship is a giant patchwork of everything unique about you and your partner. This new journey in marriage will add another stitch to your relationship. This is exciting! And needs a unique plan. Our Dover counselors are excited to help you create it.
Overall, we will probably talk about your goals, concerns, what’s worked in the past, what could prevent future problems, and possible safety plans should those problems come up.
Hearing your partner’s concerns or even negative thoughts about the relationship isn’t easy, just how it’s not easy to talk about them yourself! Dover Thriveworks will work hard to preserve and strengthen the relationship, not tear it down. We will be here for you every step of the way and will fight for the beautiful future you have imagined together.