Congratulations! If you have discovered this page, it is most likely because you are planning a wedding, or hoping to do so soon. This is a very exciting time in a person’s life. Maybe the date is set, the dress has been bought, the responses received, and someone has cold feet. Alternatively, perhaps you and your partner are looking to explore whether this relationship should be headed for marriage. In premarital counseling, we can help both partners in the relationship decide if marriage is best.
Before agreeing to perform a marriage ceremony, some pastors, priests, or other officiate requires that the couple conduct premarital counseling. This is very common and is done to ensure that both partners are giving this decision the sincerity and contemplation that it deserves. In some states, those wishing to get married under the age of 18 must conduct premarital counseling by law.
Marriage is a joyous and blessed union, but it is also not without challenges and sacrifices. Taking the time to discuss these possible challenges in advance is a smart option for any couple, whatever their age, socioeconomic status, or life situation.
Premarital Counseling: Sometimes Voluntary, Always Beneficial
If you are already in the stages of planning a wedding, you know how stressful of a time this can be for couples. There are so many decisions to be made, budgets to think of, and family members to deal with patiently. This is a festive time, but it can also create conflict and tension in the relationship. Even the happiest and most stable couples can become filled with anxiety during the most intense phases of planning a wedding. This may be the first time that you are required to have a lot of interaction with your in-laws, and perhaps you are scared or worried about what you see. This is common and natural at times, and can often be addressed easily in premarital counseling.
If premarital counseling is not absolutely required for you and your partner by the officiate of your wedding, you are still making an excellent choice by considering taking the time to discuss different variables in your relationship. Establishing a long-term connection is not easy and we have all heard the horrible statistics regarding lasting marriages. We have heard that nearly half of all marriages will dissolve. This is extremely sad and we would like to help you to avoid becoming one of those statistics. Thriveworks Knoxville therapists and counselors can help you and your loved one establish important communication skills and coping mechanisms for when life throws you one of those unexpected bumps in the road. Your marriage will undoubtedly face hardships, challenges, stress, and pain. Be prepared for this as best possible.
When Should Thriveworks Knoxville Premarital Counseling Begin?
As we have previously discussed, sometimes premarital counseling is required, and sometimes it is optional. This usually implies that the big question has already been asked and a couple is engaged to be married. However, some couples seek “pre-engagement” counseling in order to determine whether that next step of wedding planning should even be considered. If you or your partner is uncertain of the next step in your relationship, seeking counseling is a wonderful way to explore these feelings and help your relationship move forward. Being “non-committal” seems to almost be an epidemic today. Premarital counseling can help you discover what the blocks to commitment may be, and what personal issues and fears a partner is bringing to the relationship.
There are many things that are easier to talk about with a neutral third party present in the room. Perhaps you have concerns about your relationship that you are scared to bring up to your loved one. It can be reassuring and calming to have a mediator in the room to help work through the thoughts and feelings that can develop from being completely open and honest with one another.
Many couples are unprepared for the number of compromises and decisions that will have to be made in a marriage. There are many issues to discuss, whether a couple is in their 1st or 30th year of marriage. A Thriveworks Knoxville Premarital counselor will help you and your partner discuss many of these in advance, such as:
- Common interests and leisure activities
- Role expectations
- Communication styles
- Religion and worship attendance
- Household duties and expectations
- Budget and finance
- Children and parenting styles
- Public or private education
- Sexuality and intimacy
- Needs for space and privacy
- Where the family unit will reside
- Finances and debt
- Occupations and careers
- Holiday expectations and travel
- Relationships with extended family and in-laws
Simply because you follow through with premarital counseling does not indicate that you absolutely have to actually get married. In fact, sometimes couples undergo premarital therapy, and then find it best that they do not pursue marriage, or that a marital relationship might be a fit for them in the future, but certainly not now. The choice will be up to you and your partner, after you have explored your relationship in a deep and meaningful way.
Do not be worried that entering into premarital counseling with your partner has “sealed the deal” and you are required to actually get married now. Premarital counseling will help both you and your partner decide if marriage is the right choice. Perhaps a delay is necessary, or possibly dissolution of the relationship is the right choice. Hopefully this is not the case and wedding bells will be ringing soon, but a trained, educated, experienced counselor will help you make the best choice about your future with your loved one.
Premarital Counseling: Important for the Relationship, Important for the Individual
Many studies have shows that premarital counseling is beneficial for the relationship and can help minimize fears and separation anxiety. However, we also believe that counseling in general is helpful for the individuals in the relationship. Being in an open and honest environment where communication is encouraged and expected can help foster growth and emotional health for both members of the relationship.
As with most types of therapy and counseling, some of the benefits include:
- Confidence and assertiveness
- Avoiding dependency and co-dependency
- Having realistic expectations of others
- Developing coping skills
Being a part of premarital therapy or any other type of counseling does not imply that you have a “problem” that needs fixing. Instead, it shows that you are taking the time to be prepared for future challenges and that you are invested in making your relationship succeed.
Why Choose Thriveworks Knoxville Premarital Counseling?
Through premarital counseling, couples will discover how to create vital skills to help their relationship survive the inevitable challenges it will face. Making an informed decision about the therapist or counselor that will help you on this journey of preparation is very important and should not be taken lightly.
Thriveworks counselors and therapists are experts in their field. They are respected leaders in their community and have been published in leading publications, such as the Chicago Tribune, Prevention, Psychiatric Times, Atlanta Journal Constitution, and the Journal of Mental Health Counseling. We are ready to put our expertise to work for your relationship.