(Closed) Premarital counseling

posted 10 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
Member
44 posts
Newbee

I highly highly recommend it. The minister who is marrying us (my FMIL and FFIL’s minister) insists upon it. I was totally dreading it and thought it would be a huge huge waste of time. I can’t even tell you have many thoughtful discussions it has provoked between me and FI. I am not Catholic, but have many Catholic friends who rave about pre-cana as well (have no idea how to spell that, sorry if it is totally wrong). If you have the opportunity, I would totally do some sort of pre-marital counseling. If you feel like neither of you are getting anything out of it, you can always quit! It is not that we have purposefully avoided talking about what the minister suggests, honestly, they are just things that I have never even thought to discuss. I think it is a great way though to start your marriage and to help you get together a game plan of how the two of you are going to handle your marriage and how to prevent problems that become a burden on marriages.

Post # 4
Member
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

I think it’s a great idea, because none of your vendors and very few, if any, of your family and friends are going to sit you down and bring up the relationship and those hard questions.

That said, we never did. We did go through all the important (and even not so important) talks before getting engaged though, and we felt strongly about making sure it was a "start as you intend to finish" relationship and held ourselves to some personal rules when it came to co-existing: never go to bed angry, validate feelings, never yell, ask "are we okay" when you’re not sure, express feelings, be considerate etc.

Post # 5
Member
25 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2007

i really recommend it! our pastor that married us required us to go through it with him before he would marry us. both of us were dreading it, but it ended up being a great experiences. we thought that we had discussed everything possible in the 4 years we were together, but our pastor brought up issues that we never thought of! highly recommend it

Post # 6
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2008

We are actually required to do counseling with our pastor as well…this might be a stupid question, but what are some of the topics you discuss?

Post # 7
Member
4 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: December 1969

We as well are required to do pre-marriage counseling, since we’re both Catholic, so it’s called Pre-Cana.

We just went two weekends ago.  This is how it went:  We had a leader couple, who had been married for a pretty long time, and 3 other couples other than ourselves.  We had workbooks about various things: finances, communication, children, etc.  We would each go into a separate area and fill out our thoughts in the workbook, then meet with our significant other and discuss them and then come together as a group and discuss some more.  The best part of the counseling was the communication part, mostly because that’s where most of our problems lie.

Next, we have to do a FOCUS test, which consists of about 200 questions. Each one of us takes the test, then we meet with the priest marrying us and go over the questions and talk with him.  We haven’t done that part yet, but we do have a little over 7 months left!

 

Post # 8
Member
27 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2008

My local church here in Maryland and our home churches in Mississippi REQUIRE it, or you can’t get married at the church.

My church here in Maryland has a 12-session class that you AND your soon-to-be-spouse MUST attend or do make-up sessions or you can’t get married at the church.

I am a HUGE advocate for pre-marital counseling….

Post # 9
Member
638 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2007

Highly recommend it!

I’ve heard some couples say thinks like "we’ve been living together for 3 years – we could give the counseling" – Not True.  There’s always something new to learn about each other and it’s a great things for you as a couple to go through before the wedding 🙂

Post # 10
Member
99 posts
Worker bee

My pastor also requires it! We actually start this sunday!

I asked what kind of things it would involve too. For us it’s a 9 wk course that will focus on different things you might deal with in Marriage. They said that for example one week we would talk about money as a group. Then we would split off and have "mentors" to help us with our own money managing skills as a couple.

We already had to take an "assesment" test with pretty standard questions. Nothing too painfull to answer! Ha!

I’m excited but for a bit nervous too!

Post # 11
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I highly recommend doing pre-martial counselling.  Our church requires it.  We are going though a independant counsellor,  she does premarriage counselling for anyone,  whether you’re getting married in a church or not.   Because we couldn’t make it to any of her weekend courses, we choose to do the course by correspondance followed by 2 x 1hour sessions with her to go over what we’ve talked about.   I find it really interesting. We got a manual that has a bunch of articles/reading material  and as we go along there are questions/discussions.  One worksheet that I found was interesting was there were a list of items like shampoo, socks, an oil change, hair cut etc… and both of us had to separtely write down how much we would spend on each item and then you compare where you differ in financial priorities.   I would spend up to $75 for a good haircut… more for highlights… :), where as my FI would spend no more than $20.   Not like that brings up a battle or anything,  but its a good time to discuss things and get on the same page or at least confirm your understanding about your differences.

Post # 12
Member
22 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: February 2008

Add me to the recommending it list! My fiance and I talk about everything and anything, but it’s still nice to go over it again with someone with some wisdom 😉 Also, I’m sure some of the stories we tell in the pre-counselings will be used in the service.

 

ALSO! If you live in Oklahoma, your marriage license is only $5 instead of $50. Sure it’s only $45, but it’s better than nothing! 

Post # 13
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

I guess I’ll speak up as someone frustrated with marriage counseling requirements. While we went to the same college (shortly after we got engaged, actually), my fiance and I did couples counseling about money issues and our conflict styles, etc.

So now we have to do marriage counseling to get married in his home church. Problem? We’re getting married in his hometown, where I’ve never lived, he doesn’t live there now since he’s going to college 2 hours away, and I started grad school this past fall and thus live 8 hours away from the fiance, 10 from the wedding location. 

I make the drive once or twice a month, which his parents already consider extravagant, and mostly because I want to see him and my own family (this is also the first time I’ve lived more than a two hour drive away from them, either). So now I’m planning extra trips and time off from my assistantship to take a personality survey and discuss primarily things that we already have sought outside help in dealing with. It’s frustrating. I’m in favor of counseling, I’m just not a big fan of forced repetitive counseling.

Add to that the fact that I’m not really religious and therefore much more comfortable discussing things with a psychologist, the fact that our counseling has to be with the minister starts me off as uncomfortable already.

Post # 14
Member
13 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2008

I’ve only benefitted from premarital counseling.  I think it’s insightful to talk with married couples who have been married a LONG time.  I also think it’s insightful to talk with psychologists or clergy.  

OR, if you want a good "DIY"–check out a book. If you’re considering church-related counseling,  Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott (no, they’re not WeddingBees, despite the flora-and-fauna-name) have a fantastic book called Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions You Should Ask Before and After You Marry.  It’s a short read, has been really insightful and relevant to basically everything my fiance and I go through, and comes with workbooks that are more individual-based (one for men, one for women).  It does come from a Christian perspective, but that’s not their primary focus.

Post # 15
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

we’re pretty sure our church will require it – we meet with the pastor next week to find out for sure. even if they didn’t/don’t, it’s something we both would want to do anyways… we talk about a lot of stuff, and i think we communicate really well, but it’s always good to get an outside perspective, ya know? and as a psychology major, i know it can only do good. 😉

Post # 16
Member
383 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

the church requires it – but even if it didnt, we were going to do it anyway…

im an only child – so you know what that means – im used to always getting my way… he’s the oldest so he’s used to getting his own way – over the last 2 years, we’ve really learned how to adjust to each other and the "baggage" we both have (leftover "triggers", leftover stuff from past relationships and our past in general)

i think hashing stuff out is important and you can only benefit and learn how to adjust better once the stank of newlywedded bliss has worn off, stuff like "how to be fair when arguing" or money matters, even childrearing styles… even the issue of wanting children if that’s the case…

i would strongly encourage it, even if you’re not getting married in a church that requires it.

when it comes to "heated debates" ok ok arguing, i’ve learned that it’s not about being right it’s about being heard and hearing someone out also – ive gotten a lot better at this – even tho you know im right all the time 😉 hahahahha  no im not right all the time, but now im more open to his solutions or meshing our solutions for what works for us

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