Premarital Counseling: Is It Worth It?

By Heather Widmer, LMHC, CAP

What comes to mind when I mention the words “premarital counseling”? To some, these words may trigger feelings of excitement to grow. For some, feelings of fear and not wanting to confront, and to others, possibly an assumption that something must be wrong with the relationship. These may happen and can be realities, but premarital counseling is not only necessary if you are unsure of marriage but also if you are looking to strengthen your future marriage.

As a certified SYMBIS facilitator, it has been a lot of fun to work with couples and see how personality types work together in their relationship. Premarital counseling is a perfect opportunity for two different individuals to not only learn more about themselves individually, but also to learn about how their uniqueness impacts the relationship in all ways. According to studies, 31% of couples who engage in premarital counseling are less likely to get divorced and 76% of married couples wish they would have had premarital counseling.

Couples seeking premarital counseling are often seeking validation that they’ve made the “right decision” in the partner they chose. Couples are guided in identifying ways their relationship thrives, as well as areas of caution. No relationship is the same, and by all means no relationship is perfect so having a safe space to openly communicate some of the current and potential difficulties is greatly beneficial. I often encounter personality types in premarital that are more conflict avoidant, so the thought of premarital counseling can be scary. People fear that their issues will be brought up and what if, worse case scenario, their partner gets mad or even calls off the wedding. Preparing yourselves as a couple to learn the tools needed to work through and confront conflict is incredibly important prior to marriage.

Most people know someone who has experienced divorce or maybe even experienced it themselves, and it is truly devastating for all involved. No person enters into a marriage hoping that someday it will end in divorce, and sometimes those who partake in premarital counseling still, unfortunately, have this outcome. Premarital counseling is not a guarantee, but you and your partner will benefit from learning to openly communicate about your relationship and learning to receive feedback regarding changes that may need to be made individually and within the relationship. 

I often quote Pastor Andy Stanley when he states “there’s no marriage issue, but two individuals with issues, who are in a marriage.” Premarital counseling is a perfect opportunity to shed light into some of the problem areas in your lives and encourage healthy change, so you and your relationship can be the healthiest possible.

If you are interested in learning more about our premarital or pre-engagement counseling packages, we would love to hear from you! You can check out our packages here, or call our office for more information.