4 Benefits of Premarital Counseling

The percentages of marriages that end in divorce can be a bit depressing as you and your partner are planning for a beautiful wedding and long-life together afterward. In 2019, 40-50% of married couples in the U.S. ended in divorce, and 60% of second marriages end in divorce.

Many couples are choosing nondenominational wedding ceremonies which can allow for a more personalized touch, the ability to get married in any place, and options to integrate creative traditions, which could include religious readings or songs. Bridal magazines have great monthly planners to keep you on track in managing the details but may not include premarital counseling as part of wedding planning like some religious organizations require.

How do we make our marriage long-lasting and harmonious?

Choose to take a proactive approach, intentionally setting aside time, to learn critical skills that will be applicable through daily stressors, life transitions, and perpetual issues that may not get resolved (all relationships have these!).

Together, I will teach you how to:

1. Build love maps: the knowledge you have about your partner to include asking about:

  • Major events in your partner's life

  • Goals and dreams

  • Worries and fears

  • Favorite food, holidays, vacations, etc.

Love maps grow as you grow, many couples are fantastic at this skill set in the very beginning stages of a relationship and then things taper off. Couples with rich love maps cope better with stressful events in life. When we stop updating love maps and/or seem to take each other for granted we can be more susceptible for extramarital affairs to blossom.

2. Practice good communication skills: being able to start conversations in a gentle way, validate your partner's perspective, and share your perspective in a calm, respectful manner. Key components to great communication skills are:

  • Listening without offering advice or trying to solve your partner's problem

  • Communicating empathy

  • Giving our undivided attention

  • Communicating your feelings

3. Choosing rituals of connection: one of the most exciting parts about starting a life together is starting new traditions.

  • How will you celebrate your anniversary?

  • What will dinner time be like in your household?

  • What traditions did you enjoy in your family of origin and how would you like to implement them in your new family?

  • How do you want to celebrate the holidays?

4. Discussing problems or issues: setting up a plan and practicing skills to manage conflict effectively so that the "stress" can be removed and you can begin to problem-solve and think creatively, together.

  • Using a gentle-start up to bring up a topic for discussion

  • Learning how and when to take a break

  • Increasing your ability to make and receive repair attempts

  • Finding a compromise

As a Certified Gottman Seven Principles Leader, I have intensive training in Dr. John Gottman’s research and his 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work which provides a wonderful model for helping couples to create a firm foundation for a long-lasting and happy marriage.

© 2020 Center for Heart Intelligence LLC | an Ohio Telehealth Practice 
Meagan Prost, LPCC-S, BC-TMH
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