Post # 1
Hello. I’m getting married at the end of the month and just this morning my fiance and I finally managed to see someone for pre-marital counseling for the first time. His aunt is marrying us, so we weren’t going to get any counseling from the officiant, and I was unsure who to turn to, since we’re not religious and weren’t looking to invest a lot of extra money. We ended up seeing a marriage and family therapist at the local YMCA, where we’re members, and we’ll probably be able to see her a total of three times before the wedding.
Anyway, what have other people’s experiences been with pre-marital counseling? Good, bad, indifferent? I know you are supposed to do it, but has it really been concretely helpful? My fiance and I have been together for 7 years and living together for 4, so in some ways we’re not like the typical starry-eyed engaged couple who may be in for a rude awakening to the realities of marriage after the big day. I know that being married will definitely be different than just dating, but we have been through a lot and worked hard on our relationship over the years. We know where our areas of conflict are and we’ve talked about stuff like having children, opinions on divorce, life goals, etc.
I’m not saying that it won’t be helpful for us, I just don’t know what to think about it yet. The counselor said that in the next few sessions we will focus on our areas of conflict and try to find ways to talk about them, or something…our major areas of conflict are differing philosophies about money and family involvement (family of origin i mean…dealing with our parents). This sounds like it could be good, but I guess I’m afraid that it will make us feel like we’ve got too many issues. I don’t want to start out our marriage feeling like we’re troubled. The counselor mostly does marriage counseling so I think that’s where she’s coming from. I mean, I know we’ve got some issues, but we love each other a lot, and also, doesn’t everyone have some fundamental things they disagree on?
Well, sorry this is so long. I’m just sort of wondering what will come out of this. Does anyone have experience with short-term premarital counseling? Is this a good idea, or asking for trouble?
Post # 3
I don’t think it’s to point out the issues you have, just give you tools on how to deal with issues if/when they show up later or tips to avoid issues in the first place. Sounds like a good idea to me!
Post # 4
Yes, that’s what I’m hoping. I don’t know if it’s possible to avoid issues entirely, but definitely tools to help deal with potential conflict would be helpful. We don’t fight very often but I could definitely use some practice in how to fight better, for when we do. I just don’t know if it’s possible to get that type of stuff out of only 3 meetings with the counselor, but i’m hoping it is! Thanks for your reply.
I know everyone talks about how great pre-marital counseling is, I guess I’d just like to know what concrete things people really get out of it, you know?
Post # 5
We went to one counselling session before we got married, took one look at all the questions they asked, including how many times a week we were intimate, and never went back. We went to one counselling session after we got married because I HATE the area where we live now. The counselor basically said if my DH really loved me he’d walk away from the mortgage to make me happy. DH said he loved me enough not to do that because we needed a place to live and that would ruin our credit. We never went back.
Personally I’ve never found counselling to be very helpful at all. I’m not sure it that means we need ALOT of help or we’e doing prett well 🙂 !
Post # 6
Wow, I can’t believe they asked you that! Our counselor just asked us about our family backgrounds, how we met, what we loved about the other person, etc. Somehow we got around to talking about the two things that tend to cause fights between us. After that then she talked to us about how money is the #1 source of marital strife, because it was on our list of fight topics. I knew that already, but it kind of freaked me out to have a professional talk to us about how the money issue will only get worse after marriage so we have to address it now (3 weeks before the wedding!).
She gave us a 165-question questionnaire to fill out, but none of the questions had anything to do with sex. The woman seemed nice and like it might be helpful, I am just not sure.
I don’t think it sounds like you guys need a lot of help, it sounds like you’re doing well! That and you’ve found some freaky therapists.
Post # 7
@chocolatemalt: Worse yet, the first one was my MINISTER. And we had about 200 questions, but seriously 10 of the first 20 were about sex. What really burned my biscuits was that I contacted someone who went there with her long term boyfriend and their questions were different than ours! Seriously I think when we told the old guy we met on the internet he gave us some kind of special questions. . . We ended up getting married in a different church.