Post # 1
We’re being married by a non-denominational officiant in a non-religious ceremony. Neither my Fiance nor I are particularly religious (we were both raised Catholic but are not practicing Catholics any more, and certainly not getting married in the Catholic church). Our officiant and her husband (both educated and certified counselors) offer couples/pre-marital counseling. I feel like it might be a good idea, not because we have problems, but I feel as though professionals may be able to help us build the tools to have a strong marriage (we could probably use some conflict resolution counseling).
My question is: did you recieve pre-martial counseling from a non-religious entity? I don’t want to delve into counseling that is centered around a couples spirituality, because that is just not us. I don’t want to be counseled on how to draw tools for a happy marriage from god or marriage because that is not our life or our beliefs. What your counseling helpful? Are there counseling options that aren’t religious affiliated (sometimes it seems that every counselor, or author–such as “The 5 Love Languages”–is based on some sort of faith or religious and that just doesn’t always apply…
Post # 3
Yes! I would whole heartedly reccoment counceling. Darling Husband and I didnt have issues but we did the pre marital stuff anyways and it was great. You lear a lot about each other we talked about everything just talked it out and through those sessions we became even more close!! I would definately do it if you can!! 🙂 Good luck!!
Post # 4
i’m not the most religious person but my husband comes from a pertty devout catholic family so having anything outside of a catholic mass was out of the question. since i was married in the catholic church it was required to do pre-marital meetings with the deacon and his wife and i always said (whether religious or not) that i would HIGHLY recommend some sort of pre-marital counseling. it was a really interesting experience, i learned a lot about my husband, myself, us a couple and i think it really brought us closer together. Its nice to be able to sit down and discuss things with a mediator. They even brought up several topics we didnt think to talk about – it was a great excersize because i always found ourselves going home and talking about it more. so i would say go for it!
i dont have much advice on the non-religious counseling since it wasn’t the route we took but look into it! its totally worth it.
Post # 5
We went through Pre-Cana ourselves but found that the majority of it wasn’t really faith based. It was more learning how to communicate and how to deal with difficult situations. I loved it. I don’t see how any counseling would be a bad thing.
Post # 6
I agree that counseling is a good thing. I had my officiant, who is performing my non-religious ceremony, do our premarital counseling and so far it has been great. My Fiance and I have learned a lot about each other and have been able to discuss any questions or concerns we have in a safe place.
Post # 7
We had 8 weeks (1hr wkly sessions) of pre-marital counseling with out Pastor and In My Humble Opinion EVEYRONE should HAVE to go through pre-marital counseling before getting married. I felt like this before we had ours though and then going through it just validated that even more.
Definitely do something structured! We used the book Preparing for Marriage, and even if you’re not religious you can use the 1st 2 worksheets!
- Personal History – b/c knowing HOW your spouse became who they are is IMPORTANT in know HOW they communicate & preceive things and
- Great Expectations – Who does what, when, children, finances, holidays, careers, education, sex, and everything else that goes into a marriage….. go in eyes wide open as to what the other expects!
I would DEFINITLEY do it!
Post # 8
Definitely worth it!
Some men won’t even touch the “idea” of counseling , so it will be a great heads up with what you going to have to deal with , should you ever hit a point in your future where you think you may need counseling.
Regardless, being able to get to know the big ticket items and where you each stand with them with a mediator is great. I have never known anyone to regret it!
Post # 9
It’s recommended (possibly more like an unwritten rule?) in our church to get counseling when a couple is thinking about marriage. Although we knew most things about each other anyways, it was still very helpful and brought up a lot of interesting points that we hadn’t considered before.
I’d recommend it. You may not think you need it now, but it can help you prepare for things that may come about in the future.
Post # 10
Ours was through our clergy, but really not religious at all. Mr.ND loved our first session (we have one long session left instead of two regular sessions, since it takes us significant travel to get to our pastor). It gives you a chance to just assess the strengths of your relationship and identifies ares where you can grow and discuss positive changes you can make that could reduce stress in the relationship later.
It gave us a wonderful chance to get more comfortable with the person that will be officiating our ceremony. I feel like our ceremony will feel more personal because our pastor will know us better and be able to relate to us more. I definitely recommend it!
Post # 11
It is so worth it & I highly recommend it. It gave us the chance to openly talk about issues that we never even thought about. We also had eight 1hr sessions by our minister. Definitely worth it!
Post # 12
I would highly recommend pre-marital counseling because you end up talking about a lot of things that don’t normally come up (like financial stuff, conflict resolution, etc). Although we’re meeting with our pastor for counseling we have also met several times with a family counselor for more of the conflict resolution stuff (I’m very conflict adverse so trying to work on that). I’ll bet any family & marriage counselor would be able to do pre-marital counseling. I would say go for it!
Post # 13
For us, it helped us verbalize issues to a non-involved party who could offer advice to both my husband and I. I got to speak on issues that would normally get shut down by him. He couldn’t ignore those issues in that environment. It gave us some tools we still use in our marriage today on those issues.
I’ve known some couples that could have benefitted from it before they got married. They didn’t flesh out those issues beforehand and had some problems early in their marriage.
I think that pre-marital counseling is good if you go into with the right mindset and take it seriously. I’d seek counseling if our problems escalated to that point because it was helpful the first time around.
Post # 14
@MrsDrRose612: I highly, highly, highly recommend pre-marriage counseling. I understand that you and your fiance are not looking for a faith-based resource or program, because that is not something that is consistent with your current beliefs. However, I would encourage you to not necessarily discard all faith-based resources just because they are faith-based.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I want to note that I am a person of strong faith, and I am married to a pastor, but I believe that ALL truth is God’s truth, even if the person articulating that truth does not share my belief system. I have been able to learn and benefit from many sources of information that are not necessarily based on spiritual foundations — as long as they are based on truth. The reverse may hold true for you — that you could benefit from information that may be faith-based but that could apply to everyone. Just a thought.
I wish you and your fiance a wonderful life together!
Post # 15
We did pre cana…which isn’t counseling but offers tools for successful marraiage and opened us up to talking about issues that couples usually get divorced over.. The leaders of teh groupe suggest premarital counseling if there are larger issues/reservatioins that we ‘hope’ will resolve after marriage, because they assure us those problems won’t just go away and it’s better to resolve them during engagement….and things like that would be hmm..let’s say fiancial disagreements, alcoholism, pornography, jelousy, disruptive anger problems to name a few….these things can and should be resolved or a plan set into place before walking down the isle. Obviosly no relationship is perfect and you can’t fix everything..and you will be working on your marriage until death do you part….but it makes things much easier to look at the larger issues now.
Post # 16
Hmm. I suppose some people find it valuable. Granted there is a lot of great advice, but honestly FH and I aren’t benefitting from it much. We have a great relationship and all the fights we’ve ever had surround someone from the outside trying to break us apart.
It’s good stuff but I’d be 50/50 if I had to do it again.