Nervous about first pre-marital counseling session

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
250 posts
Helper bee

Just take a deep breath. The counseler is only trying to help. Not pass or fail you on a test. You will do fine. I hope it goes well.

Post # 4
633 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@codysgirl16:  The reason that you do pre-marital stuff is because it’s not normal for everyone to talk about all these things. They are hard to talk about, but when you’re in a professional environment it’s really non-threatening. I found that ours brought us closer together and we were in a little honeymoon phase again afterwards. Relax, enjoy them, and tell yourself how awesome you are for forcing yourself to talk about these things before they come up when there are issues!

Post # 7
386 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@codysgirl16:  Hey.. we just had our first premarital session yesterday and it lasted an hour. It wasn’t horrible at all but like you, I was super nervous! I was just so awkward and nervous that I think it showed. You should just relax and know that this is to help you and the pastor is not going to judge you. 


I was so nervous yesterday and the pastor asked questions like “What is something that makes you nervous about getting married?” and “Let’s say that in 20 years, your kids are sitting in front of me right now, ready to get married too. What would you want them to say about you? What do you want them to say about their mom?” It was pretty nerve-wracking but it does make you think about the future a whole lot more. 

We were asked that before our next session, we read the book “Love Languages” which we already have read and talked about… We’ll read it more closely this time and really put it into action. 

Good luck!!


Post # 10
626 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I LOVED our pre-cana and engaged encounter, requirements of our faith the get married.

We’re good communicators so it was interesting to see and go deeper. VERY rewarding. don’t be afraid, it will help you two communicate better. Better that issues come now than after you’re married. You have time to prepare for all circumstances.

Be 100% honest in all your answers, otherwise you’re not only cheating yourself but you FI.


GL don’t be nervous. 🙂

Post # 11
3677 posts
Sugar bee

It might help to re-frame the way you think and talk about it. Look at it as marriage preparation instead of as “counseling.” Many people have the association that “counseling = you have a problem that you can’t fix by yourself,” and they kind of shrink from that label, understandably. But everyone needs to be prepared for marriage, marriage preparation is obviously a good idea, etc. Don’t worry – or joke – about the counselor having a field day with you; think of it, instead, as that person helping you to become better spouses for one another and communicate better.

Post # 12
325 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013


My FI is super private about his emotions as well, and like you – I had absolutely abysmal role-models as parents. The only thing I learned from them was to NOT be like my mum. As a result, I am also terrified that one day I will snap at him once too often, or something else that is the proverbial straw that breaks the camels’ back. I am constantly trying to measure up to some impossible standard and be the “perfect wife” while at the same time trying desperately to not become my mother. Frequently I say to him “if I ever to X, Y or Z, please let me know… dont want to be my mother”.

My parent’s problem was also that all they did was scream and yell and never solve anything, my dad punched walls, my mum accused him of child abuse and there was an extreemly messy divorce.

And the BEST BEST thing for OUR relationship – is that my FI knows all of this, and that we DID go into a lot of the “family of origin” issues in our marriage counseling.

It was INDESCRIBABLY valuable for us. It gave us some amazing communication tools and techniques, some of them are incredibly cheesy but they are exactly what are needed in certain times when just saying anything is awkward.

Just because you read what pre-marital frequently goes into does not mean that you will go into all of it, and some topics may barely be touched on. We were in theory going through a book – and we never even finished it, we would always get sidetracked with something else that was more relevant to us as a couple.

And as for discussing sensitive issues infront of other people – I would suggest both of you bring a note-pad, and if anything comes up that you want to talk about later in private – write it down so you dont forget it. We had some really really awesome conversations in the car on the way home after premarital.

Post # 14
325 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013


It was our officiant/pastor of our old church (and his wife actually – they do the premarital together). And to be perfectly honest, we had been sort of living together and sexually active before we started the premarital and had had a lot of discussions leading up to the first session that led us to decide to stop and move apart until the wedding, and also to tell them. It was a horrible conversation… they were nothing but understanding, but for me it was awkward because i didnt know them very well, and for my FI it sucked because he always tries to project a “perfect” version of himself to the world, he tries to be the ideal version of himself and has trouble when he falls short of where he thinks he should be…

Thats not exactly what you asked… but right at the beginning we told them probably the most i dunno… intimate? thing in our relationship…? or dirtiest secret? We wanted to tell them though so that we could get their advice in the most useful way for us, that they did not expect us to be in a place where we were not.

To be honest, my FI never exactly opened up per se… he answered the questions that our pastor asked him… but… he has a habit of turning anything he can into a theological conversation and generally taking things in a joking manner. There was never any point at which he spilled his guts or anything. There was however mention of have a session with us that focused on my mother issues because they could be an issue in the relationship. I know if that ever does happen, I will end up bawling my eyes out, and he will probably just sit there with me… but there was never anything that my FI really needed to spill his guts on.

We went through a book: “Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts” that busts a bunch of the myths (“everything will be perfect”, etc) surrounding marraige, and it comes with a workbook for each of us. He would answer the questions and we would discuss them. *shrugs* Asside from the first session there was never anything super personal that my FI needed to spill. We had some really good “deeper” conversations in the car on the way home, and at the second last-session our pastor told him that he basically better get his a$$ in gear and actually DO some of the wedding things I had assigned him months ago – I appreciated that XD

To be perfectly honest, if the premarital is too much work, then what about your relationship? A relationship IS work. It is almost NEVER just roses, music and angels.

You may share your fears, you may cry, he may not know what to do, your counsellor will probably give him some advice on how to connect, emphatise and comfort  you when you cry. It will be a good thing. You guys will come out stronger for it.

I feel that it is unlikely that they will flat out ask – “so, what are your deepest fears in this relationship, and please share your childhood scars”. We went through a book and went from that – we got hopelessly off-topic, but we dealt with somethings that we needed to deal with.

One thing I want to ask you – does your FI know about your past? Does he know your fears already? Have you told him and talked to him about them?

Post # 16
325 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@codysgirl16:  Better late than never 🙂 …. and I’m sorry, I really hope what I said didnt freak you out further… The most important thing is that the counsellor is there to HELP you guys. As long as both of you are willing to make an effort and are commited to your relationship you will be fine and come out stronger.

This is actually something that is (in my opinion) very important to work through.

For me, I’m often scared that some of the more difficult conversaitons we have might be too much, or I may have said something that made him really angry (he tends to go silent and think, or even worse – he pulls away from my touch when he is really irritated (at me or the convo topic), and then I freak out). This of course causes me to cry, and then he gets simultaneously frustrated and concerned because to him it was totally normal and nothing to worry about – he just needed his space. But he knows that I’m not completely secure in the relationship yet – I often am scared that something will make him leave me, that I’ll be too much, or not enough or… or something. But we get through it together. He supports me as I battle with the scars of my past.

He also sometimes acts like its the most silly thing to be in a bad mood or have a bad day – that might be a girl/guy/hormone thing… and it can be frustrating to be sighed at instead of hugged…

It sounds to me like your FI may have had [a] negative experience in the past with strong emotions. This might be something he needs to work through as well. Everyone comes into a relationship/marriage with baggage. The important thing is to deal with the baggage before it sinks the ship instead of building all sorts of pontoons and excessive float-y thingys to artifically hold the ship up that can easily be broken and um… I dont think that metaphor worked very well. Point is that its important to deal with the baggage and past before the past creates issues in the future. As our consellors described it to us, It is often that people deal (fight) with issue “A”, when issue A is only a by-product of un-resolved issues B and C which in turn are caused by issue K-L from the distant past.

Also, some guys I think just have NO idea how to deal with crying girls… Its a skill that needs to be learned. Maybe he just doesnt realize its something he needs to do.

I can speculate all I like but I’m unlikely to be correct XD

Seriously though – as long as you are both committed to each other and to your relationship and future marriage, you WILL get through this, you WILL figure out a way to work through your backgrounds and reconcile yourselves to creating a new future with the two of you and leaving your pasts behind. You CAN do this. 🙂

As the book we worked through said (something along these lines):

“The single most important thing in a marriage is the determination that it shall continue.”

Also, you are emotional, he is not emotional – you guys may have to find a compromise maybe he can just be with you and hug you while you are crying and then you can talk when the tears are out. Whatever you guys do – if it works for BOTH of you, then it works NO MATTER WHAT anyone else says. We were told of one couple who had a very happy [monogomous] marriage and lived on opposite sides of Canada – it worked for them. If however, it does not work for ONE of you (no matter how well it works for the other person) then it is not working and you guys will have to try something else.

You guys can figure it out 🙂

(and… if you are okay with it… let me know how it goes – its this afternoon right?)

Leave a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors