Post # 1
Out of curiousity, did anyone do pre-marital counseling? If so, was it helpful? Double points if it was secular counseling as I know it’s part of some religious traditions, but feel free to chime in if you did religious counseling as well that touched on more secular aspects of your relationship. Did you have specific things you wanted to talk about when you went in? Did it help you resolve things you didn’t realize were issues? The idea of getting a “relationship tune-up” before you commit to spending your lives together strikes me as a good one, but I’m curious to know people’a experiences with it.
Post # 2
I have to for religious reasons, but we expect it to be a waste of time. Curious to see what others say.
Post # 3
We did it because our officiant required it. However, he was a Unitarian Pastor, so although it was “religious” it didn’t feel like it. We had a 50 question quiz we took independently that asked questions about our thoughts on family, money, values, religion, sex, etc. Then we went through the results with the officiant.
I don’t think we got much out of the 5-6 hours of actual counseling, but it did spark some great conversations that we had by ourselves afterwards. In the end, I’m glad we did it.
Post # 4
- Wedding: April 2017 - backyard
I don’t know anyone who did secular counseling on their own unless they had specific problems they wanted to resolve. We did it because it was required by our pastor at no cost. We have excellent communication already and our counseling mainly covered communication and finances. I didn’t find it that helpful but if you have trouble talking about certain issues with each other, it might help to have a third party to help you talk through them.
Post # 5
It was required by our minister. We filled out an online questionnaire and met with the minister to discuss the results. Like most things in life you get out of it what you put into it. We went into it with an open mind and learned quite a bit about our communication styles. Even though we didn’t and don’t have relationship issues we both felt that it was worthwhile and are glad it was required.
Post # 6
The religious (officiant-led) counseling was a complete waste of time. I clearly remember bringing up things that should have been huge red flags (that I wasn’t recognizing at the time) and my ex H and the officiant laughing them off because they thought I was being funny.
Post # 7
beeleez : We went to secular pre-marital counseling. I had always felt that we communicated well, but thought it was a good idea just in case. We went through a lot of things and while there weren’t any surprises, I was glad we did it. We only did a few sessions, but I don’t think it hurts!
Post # 8
We saw a secular counselor because we wanted to. We were having some real issues regarding our families’ conflicting expectations about how our wedding ceremony should go (interfaith wedding…fun times!), and were basically at a standstill. The counselor really helped us navigate the heinousness of all that. It was totally worth it.
Post # 9
Since we were married in the Catholic Church we had to take some Pre-Cana (pre-marital) classes. We weren’t expecting much but were pleasantly surprised by how useful it was. It was a 2.5 day retreat type thing and I’d say about 90% was non-religious. It focused on how to effectively and correctly communicate, understand how our family and past shaped who we are, and tried to make sure we had discussed all the major topics one should before getting married (kids, religion, money, family, etc.). Even my H who is not religious at all found it useful. We didn’t have any unresolved issues nor did it bring up any new issues. But it did strengthen our communication skills and gave us a common language to use when inevitable issues do come up.
Honestly, I think every couple should do some sort of pre-marital counseling no matter how solid or wonderful they think their relationship is. If all else fails, it’ll do 2 things: first, it’ll confirm that you have talked about all the major and important topics. And second, it’ll give you a common point of reference and language for when things aren’t solid and perfect.
Post # 10
We haven’t done it yet but will do in December as it’s a requirement of our church. I expect it to be eye opening and I expect to disagree with a fair amount of it, because this culture is not my own and their attitudes towards women aren’t mine either.
Post # 11
we talked about doing it but never got around to it. so far I don’t regret it at all. we communicate well and openly.
Post # 12
- Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club
beeleez : my church required it as part of our pre-cana. We had to take a test and have about 10 sessions and attend a one day retreat. I thought it was a bit of overkill, but I found some aspects of it to be quite helpful. It was not just about religion (interfaith marriagae anyways) it was about home life, family, values, expectations for living together, sexuality, money, children, and so forth. It really covered all different aspects of the relationship.
Post # 13
We did it through our church and we loved it. I think it depends though on the councilor. We had a couple who was pretty much who we would be in 20 years if we were slightly more religious than we were. There were other couples who we would not have had as good of relationship with, and if it was the priest at the time, it wouldn’t have gone well at all.
I think counciling is good just because there is something you haven’t talked about, or haven’t talked about enough. Not even on an avoiding it scale, just a “it hasn’t come up.” I would take the time to screen councilors, but I think it won’t hurt what isn’t completely broken.
FYI, 3.5 years in to marriage and 8.5 years together, we have no problems, but we are planning on seeing a couple’s councilor for a tune up in 2 years. The councilors that we had pre marriage said they do that, and I think it sounds like a good idea.
Post # 14
We saw a secular counselor the year leading up to our marriage. It was a personal decision as there were key areas we wanted to address. It was very helpful in learning to balance expectations, increase intimacy and improve our communication skills.
Post # 15
Yes yes yes. It’s one of the best things you can do for your relationship.
We are not religious, so I sought out an actual couples therapist. We had a lot of communication issues to work through. Hubs came from a family that fights often. My parents never fought. If they did, we never saw it. So you can imagine how much trouble we had communicating in an argument.
We went every week for a year. My Dad died 2 months before the wedding, and having someone to help navigate us through everything was so helpful. We’ve scaled back to once a month. We’ll probably stop at the end of the year. But we told him today that we want to keep him in our back pocket. He said a lot of his patients do this, and he’ll never “close” our file. We’ve learned so much about ourselves and each other. Every couple should do it.