Will you have children? If so, how many? Will both of you work or just one? Where will you live? How much personal time will you give each other? Some of these questions may seem like they can wait until later, and many couples don’t discuss these things until after the wedding. It’s good to thoroughly discuss your expectations as early as possible before you’re actually married so you can prepare for what lies ahead. By talking about these things early on, you avoid the problem of misunderstandings and misconceptions later on.
It’s wonderful to be in love and you feel like you’re on top of the world after your engagement. But it’s highly unlikely that you and your future spouse are completely compatible in every aspect of your personalities, habits, viewpoints, and goals. Premarital counseling helps you identify the areas where you may be incompatible. Once you bring these issues to light, you can discuss them deeper. and determine if there are any deal breakers.
Good communication is essential to a successful marriage. During premarital counseling, you’ll learn a little more about one another’s communication styles and discuss methods for effective communication.
Communication and conflict resolution go hand in hand. When problems arise, and they will, how will you work together to solve them? How will you deal with each other when you have a heated argument? Premarital counseling will teach you ways to successfully resolve conflicts and help you set ground rules that you both agree to before any problems arise.
It is important to understand each other’s intimacy expectations and comfort levels. It may be an awkward conversation to have with a premarital counselor, but again, setting expectations is key. Even if you have had sex before marriage, it’s important to discuss your expectations during marriage.
Another major area to discuss is your long-term goals. What are your career prospects and how will this affect your marriage? When do you want to retire? How do you envision your lifestyle together? What are your most important goals? By discussing these questions prior to marriage, you can avoid finding out that your goals are not aligned at all.
Knowing the answers to all these questions will make you feel more confident about your decision to marry. Studies show that couples who participate in premarital counseling have a 30% better chance of staying married.