Post # 1
We’re doing it with a private therapist starting this week. 4 sessions. What should I expect?
We have absolutely no problems in our relationship – we’ve never gotten in a fight, resolve disagreements amicably, etc. But I wanted to do this because my parents don’t have what strikes me as a particiluarly healthy marriage (at least not one I would want), and I’m worried I won’t be very good at this marriage thing.
So anyway, what should I expect? For some reason it makes me nervous, like it will unearth problems that we never knew we had. But we’re totally aligned on financial goals and habits, children, religion, etc. So I’m probably worrying for no reason.
Post # 3
@Moraz: You are worrying for no reason!
I think that what we got out of it was that it is not always a fairytale and do we have the tools to deal with that?
I didnt find the whole experience negative and I never felt like the leader was rooting around to stir up problems (which was what I was nervous about!)
I think that you should try to go in without expectation! I know that is hard, but the first session will not be intense at all and the therapist should tell you what to expect and you will get a feel for it right away.
I think, personally, that even though a couple feels like everything is going along swell and you are on the same page, pre-marriage councellig is a GREAT idea because people change and you should learn to change together and for the better.
I think it is so smart to go and I hope that you two really enjoy it!
Post # 4
You’re worrying for no reason. However, I also think it’s nieve to think that you will be aligned forever with your ideals. You could have a rough pregnancy and it may be your husband who dosn’t want more children, etc.
They are there to make sure you have covered all bases, even if you feel like you have.
You also acknowlege that you don’t have a healthy model for marriage. That is something important to discuss as you will need to build skills that you weren’t given.
Post # 5
We are doing pre-canna, which is counciling, but without the licensed therpist. One of our spounsor couple members was a social worker, though, so she has some experience.
I will say this; I absolutly love it. We are having our last session tomorrow night. I am very excited for our session, but I’m very sad that it will be our last session. My FI and I communicate very well, and agree on a lot (in fact, we had one of the better scores they have seen) but it is nice being able to say things to eachother with someone else in the room who is on neither side. We had a lot of eye opener momets. I even had momets where I suddenly realized how I really felt on an issue. You might have talked about stuff ten times, but when there is someone to ask that extra question that neither of you thought about, there can be an epiphany moment.
So, yes, you will uncover some things that you didn’t know about. It’s kind of how it should work. At the same time, you will get some much perspective about these things that it really won’t mater. You will also get a lot of confirmation that you really are on the same page with things, and that really will give you a lot of confidence in your relationship.
Post # 6
@Moraz: We have discussed most of the major stuff prior to going on and we never really fight either. It was more a way to learn skills on how to talk if you do get into a disagreement, as well as ways to cope with issues you don’t see eye to eye on (ours is whether we have kids, which is a biggg one so we spent one session on how we can each deal with the idea of not having them, for reference he wants them I don’t). It was good, I don’t know if it was totally worth the money spent for us, but we only paid for 3 sessions and did 3 and a half. The last one was short, because we couldn’t figure out anything else to discuss so she didn’t charge us.
Post # 7
@Moraz: It was not my favorite thing to do, but I’m glad we did it. We didn’t have relationship problems either, we don’t fight, everything was great, but I do think it is valuable. We learned a lot about communication, for instance how to not nag (which a lot of women do unintentionally) and how to bring up problems or issues. We also learned about making shared meanings and traditions of our own. Another valuable thing was we learned that 70% of problems are unresolveable, and how to be supportive without always trying to fix things.
Don’t be nervous, but be willing for a lot of introspection, which is not always fun. I recommend it for everyone though!
Post # 8
@Moraz: michiru4ever posted this great list in an older thread. (I saved it for an interrogation.. I mean.. discussion.. with my own SO. hehe..) but you two could have a pre-pre-marriage counseling session, just to practice summarizing your ideas, and see if you have any problem areas you can smooth out on your own before you have to do it in front of another person. Good luck!
1. Kids: Do you want kids? Do they want kids? How many? Natural or adoption? What if you end up not being able to have kids naturally? How much money and time will you spend on the quest to have a child if it’s problematic?
2. Money: Are you savers or spenders? Will you combine finances or have separate and a joint? Who pays for what? Will both of you work? How much money will you spend and how much will you save? Is there a spending limit before that person needs permission to buy something you want but don’t need? Who will be in charge of overseeing and balancing finances?
3. Home: Do you want to rent/lease/own? Apartment/Condo/Townhome/House? What’s your dream living arrangement? Where do you want to live for the next 5 years? Do you like to move and see new places or do you want to live in your hometown until you’re old?
4. Retirement: If you haven’t started saving yet you really need to start. What do you plan to do with your life once you’re retired? Do you want to travel around the world or move to Florida and golf? Do you want to move in with family to help raise the grandkids, or be alone together?
5. In-Laws: How much time will you spend with each family group? How will you handle holidays? Who travels to whom? What will you do if both sets of family want you to be in two places at the same time?
6. Religion: Is religion/spirituality important to you? Does one of you like to attend community events like church but the other doesn’t? Do you need your SO to believe in the same things that you do, or vice versa? If you have kids, how will you raise them religiously? How will you celebrate religious holidays?
7. Sex. How often do you like to have sex? Your SO? Is twice a week enough for one but the other wants at least 5 times? Are you willing to be adventurous and try new things? How do you feel about pornography and/or masturbation? If one or both of you is a virgin until marriage then you can’t really answer these things now, but it’s good to think about it at least.
8. Medical: In the event that you can’t speak for yourself how do you want to be treated at a hospital? If you’re in a coma, what do you want to happen? Do you want to be kept alive at all costs? Or is there a poit where you’d want nature to take over? Who gets durable power of attorney until you’re married? Same for your SO. What are their wishes?
Post # 9
Our church requires us to have two session with the preist prior to our wedding to go over what a healthy, happy marriage entail to make sure we are on the same page and all of that before we go to the altar. Nervous and excited for it at the same time.
I think you are smart for wanting to go, it can be a real bonding experience talking about things you wouldnt otherwise talk about. You get to find out new information about one another 🙂
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Op, I’d also advise getting the “five love languages” book- was really insightful, in knowing what’s most important in our relationship.
Post # 11
Can I ask how much it costs? Has anyone done secular counseling – where do you go?
Post # 12
@cjah: We went to a private therapist. Sometimes your insurance may cover it, but due to extenuating circumstances, that wasn’t an option for us. I believe it was $125 for the first session then $115 after that. I think we went 5 or 6 times.
A lot of places offer it for not much though, for instance the state of Texas has a program that is pretty inexpensive. We wanted it to be personal and private though.
Post # 13
@cjah: Oh and google “couples therapy” or “premarital counseling” in your area. If you are in Atlanta as your profile says I’m sure there are plenty.
Post # 14
I’ve not been to pre-marital tberapy but I have been married to the same man for over 26 years. Therapy isn’t big in the UK.
Keep talking and hugging and tell each other that you love each other every single day.