8 things your premarital therapist wants you to know
1. Going to therapy doesn’t mean your relationship is broken. “It’s not a good sign if we need to go to counseling before we get married!” I hear this phrase a lot in popular culture, and it’s just dead wrong. Premarital counseling is preventative, just like bi-annual dental cleanings and a yearly physical with your primary care physician.
2. We’re not going to talk you out of getting married. Your therapist may highlight potential problem areas and encourage you to explore them fully prior to getting married, but will never force you to call off your wedding. Your goals in therapy are important to us, and we’re here to help you cultivate a strong, loving marriage.
3. Nothing you say will embarrass us or make us think less of you. Problems with sex? We’ve heard it before! Cheated? We’ve worked with couples who have a history of infidelity. Our job is to be non-judgmental and supportive, and we will never ridicule you.
4. Feeling regret doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision. Many partners feel regret from time to time, especially when you keep running into the same issue over and over again. Regret is not necessarily a bright red STOP sign; it’s simply a signal to pay closer attention to yourself and your relationship.
5. There will be times when commitment to the relationship is the only thing keeping you together. Sometimes, the easy feeling of early love isn’t there, and your marriage vows are the only thing keeping you in the relationship. Trust that this is normal and it will get better.
6. It’s okay to go to bed angry. If its difficult to reach a resolution or each attempt at reconciliation leads to more arguing, it’s okay to go to bed. The problem will still be there in the morning, but it might be easier to face after a good night’s sleep.
7. It’s not possible to prepare for every problem. In some ways, premarital counseling is a wilderness survival kit. You have the tools to solve most problems, but you have no idea what you’re going to face on the trail. You might face a bear, or maybe just scrape your knee. Have some faith that after premarital counseling you’re as ready as you can possibly be for the leap into marriage.
8. You can always come back. After premarital counseling is over, you might feel strong and secure in your relationship. But, life is stressful and that feeling can change. It’s normal to come back to counseling for a check-in session, or even a couple of months of regular therapy.
Premarital counseling can help couples identify potential problem areas, build skills, and learn how to support one another when life gets hard. Come see us to get your marriage off to a great start!
Lindsey Hoskins & Associates provides premarital counseling and wedding officiant services in Bethesda, MD. Call or email us today to set up an appointment or a complimentary consultation!