Anyone not do premarital counseling and have a good marriage?

posted 2 weeks ago in Emotional
Post # 2
8520 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Mlim :  we didn’t do any premarital counseling and we’ve been happily married for over 5 years. I don’t regret it at all. We discussed children, finances, etc all the big stuff on our own and didn’t feel the need to hash it out again with someone else. If you haven’t had those big conversations though it might be worth it. 

Post # 3
1059 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I would say as long as you both have a plan for your life together and have actually discussed it all and have no outstanding issues you don’t have to do it. 

– Are you in agreement about kids? What religion to raise them if any? 

– Where you see yourselves living and retiring some day?

– Are you on the same page with finances and what are your financial goals for the next 10 years? 

– The big one – What do you each think the role of being a wife or husband entails? Both of you should say what you feel the responsibilities and roles of a husband and a wife is and make sure they match up. Expectations are very important. 

If you have talked through these and many more than you dont need counseling to walk you through thinking about all these choices that will come up during your marriage that people divorce over. 

In our case my husband and I are simply very very compatable. We were raised by families that had the same values and kindness and goals. We understand each other and our families very well because of this, and as a couple we want a lot of the same things we grew up with in our nuclear family. We agree on the role of husband and wife, we know how we split responsibilities, we are both naturally supportive people and our entire relatioship has just felt so easy and effortless. We have still never yelled at each other because if we have disagreements we talk about them, we weren’t raised to yell. We are also both older at 34/35 and so have from the start had a very clear idea of what we wanted and deserved out of a relationship. Relationships and their success is 10% love and 90% compatibility. 

Post # 4
9646 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Uhhhh we never did anything like that. Been together since 2005 and married since 2012…

Of course it’s possible.

Post # 5
411 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

We opted not to do pre-marital counseling, primarily because we both — especially my husband — had disappointing/traumatic experiences with couples counseling in previous relationships. I felt like those past experiences would make us both a little guarded and make the process less productive. No need to go through that and waste money if there isn’t actually a problem. And with the gazillion other wedding-related things to do, it would have been very difficult to make time for counseling sessions anyway. 

We both have mental health issues which we each respectively addressed through individual counseling long before we even met. (I still see my therapist once a month currently.) As a result, I feel that we’re very good at communicating respectfully and expressing ourselves, because those are things we already learned in dealing with our own issues. 

We’ve only been married about 8 months, so I can’t really speak to the long-term success of our method, but our marriage has been great so far! If an issue does arise that we can’t seem to fix ourselves, at that point we will both be willing to try marriage counseling, but so far that hasn’t happened. 

If you’ve already been together 8 years and have managed to solve your problems in a healthy way so far, then I don’t think you will get much out of counseling that you haven’t already figured out yourselves. It sounds like you’re already doing fine, so why fix what isn’t broken? 

Post # 6
4540 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We didn’t do any formal premarital counseling and we are happy 7 years into our marriage. (We were together 9 before we got engaged).

I did find this online: and tortured my (very patient) husband by making him go through them with me (we did one or two sections a week). 

I think as long has you’ve had real converserations about some key topics (children, religion, money, division of labor, etc.), you’re probably okay. 

Post # 7
3014 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Mlim :  we had to do it in order to marry in our church (church of England) it was interesting but I don’t think we learned much new about each other. 

the church do a little book called growing together. Something like that could be good to read together. It mostly asked questions that it’s a good idea for couples to ask each other before marriage.

one thing I did enjoy what going through the marriage service and picking out the bits that spoke to us most and explaining to each other why. 

Post # 8
1411 posts
Bumble bee

We never did premarital counselling, didn’t want to, never felt we needed it. We loved each other, were compatible, shared the same goals and values, and knew we would forge a good life together – that was enough.  We’ve been together for 15 years, married for 10 years.  We solve life’s problems together and are always each other’s biggest supporters and we’re happy. So yes, you can indeed have a good marriage without premarital counselling – it is not a pre-requisite for a good marriage.

Post # 9
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

We didn’t do it, and things are going well, although have only been married for a year. 

I did do it with my ex-fi. I valued it because, even though we’d been together for 6 years, it did flag up a couple of things we’d avoided talking about (nr 1 being in-laws, which we went on to break up over).

I think that the trouble with pre-marital counselling is that a lot of people do it as a formality and not to seriously try and uncover anything that could cause problems in marriage down the road.

Post # 10
2568 posts
Sugar bee

Lol, the post title makes it sound like it’s rare for people to not have counseling and be happy. I think the vast majority of couples do not do counseling. Some are happy, others are not. (And of course, many who go to counseling still end up in unhappy marriages, perhaps especially if they are in counseling because of deep-seated issues and decide to go through with marriage anyway. Counseling is not a cure all.) 

My husband and I did not do counseling. We’re also not religious so we would have had to seek out and pay for premarital/couples counseling. We haven’t been married all that long (under 2 years) but so far so good. I think counseling is a great idea for working through existing issues and making sure you’re on the same page about fundamentals like kids, finances, etc, but you can have those convos and work through issues on your own as long as you have established healthy means of communication already.

We did read several “things you should discuss before marriage” articles and we made sure we had gone over the big things. There weren’t relationship problems that we felt we needed to address before marriage, but tbh we probably wouldn’t have gotten engaged if there had been. 

Post # 11
848 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Even if you don’t do premarital counseling, there’s a lot of workbooks out there that can help you cover the main issues (I don’t have any specific recs because we only use Christian-based marriage books).

We did free premarital counseling through our church but if that hadn’t been an option we would’ve done that. 

Post # 12
848 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2018 - UK

We never even considered pre-marital counselling, and it’s all good so far! I actually only know one couple who did it, and that’s because it was required by the church.

Post # 13
3460 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I’ve never known anyone to do that, outside of being required to by the church. We’ve been happily married for 4 years now. 

Post # 15
8520 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Mlim :  I think counseling is really good if you haven’t gotten into the details of your shared values. We’re in an interfaith marriage and so that forced us to get into details (particularly re. child rearing) more than if we had married within our religions which was helpful. For example I know couples that had the high level agreement of “yes we both want kids” and then differed on issues of baptism, circumcision, discipline, general parenting styles etc. Some of those things can be deal breakers and people don’t even think to talk about it because they make assumptions. We each had a couple of deal breakers and they turned out to be ones the other could live with – but it was good to know that ahead of time. 


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