Post # 1
I want to do pre-marital counseling, partly because there’s some questions that are unanswered re:kids and all that, but there are three problems:
1. FI doesn’t want to do counseling because he thinks it’s unnecessary and he’s hated shrinks since he had to see one in middle school. I saw a counselor last year and I don’t have that problem; it seems people who do have problems were either really young or didn’t really need to see counselors.
2. I’ve been researching pre-marital counseling online, and where I live it seems that any pre-marital counseling available is religious. I’m an atheist, and the religious idea of marriage is quite different from the secular idea of marriage. FI just simply isn’t religious.
3. Counseling is expensive and neither FI nor I have a way to pay for it. I guess it’s free if you go to church, but see #2. I have not attended any church service in about 5 years, and don’t particularly want to start just so I can get free counseling. I feel like I’d just be using someone rather than taking an option that’s always been there, kwim?
So Bees, what do I do?
Post # 3
@kittyfinn: Commenting to follow. One of FI’s religious friends is going to do our ceremony for free (we’re just paying for his gas for the ride here) but his one condition is that we do pre-marital counseling. I dont go to church though, and FI hasnt been to his in forever.
Post # 4
i don’t know about other churches, but the pre-marital counseling we did thru our church, was not free. it was $50 a couple for a one day session. if you did weekly sessions or a weekend retreat it was more expensive.
we had to go thru 2 sets of pre-marital counseling/classes- one for the church and one for the military base where my husband is stationed. and they were both basically the same thing. the only difference was that we started the church class with a prayer. other than that, it wasn’t religious at all.
i’m not trying to turn anyone into a church-going christian or anything, i swear, lol. i’m just throwing this out there because i think some people assume that when you go to pre-marital counseling thru a church, you spend the whole day praying and talking to a priest, and that’s not how it works (at least in my experience). real married couples speak about the ups and downs of their marriages, how they got thru the tough times, we had workbooks (which we still have and read thru occasionally), etc.
do you know anyone who went thru pre-marital counseling thru a church? maybe they can refer you to someone (or a couple) who would be willing to meet with you guys away from the whole religious/church setting? this way you’ll be getting couseling from someone who has experience (but isn’t necessarily a professional counselor), but you won’t have to pay an arm and a leg for it.
i hope this helps!
Post # 5
Fiance is vehemently against any and all religion, and I’m a pagan. So we’re obviously not going the church route. We’re actually going in to see a financial advisor since we’re renting together now but are currently saving for a house and want some direction on our 401s, etc.
Also, I’m not sure that the religious idea of marriage is all that different than the secular idea. I mean, we’re exchanging vows, rings in front of our friends and family. But that’s not the point.
I happen to like http://www.lovethegrows.com/2012/11/questions-you-should-ask-before-marriage.html. I’d give him a copy and let him look at it, tell him you want to talk about certain sections (don’t try to go through 100 at once) and schedule a time to sit down and talk about it. Get a bottle of wine, some snacks and discuss. There’s no wrong answers, and knowing what areas you need to work on will help you get some direction on the type of counselor you need.