(Closed) Has anyone gone to counseling before they even got engaged? (+ advice needed)

posted 10 years ago in Emotional
Post # 17
3048 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

I think you would benefit from counseling. Because you’re Jewish I would just go to a counselor that focuses on marriage counseling. Go to a Social Worker (me!) or Pscychologist or something. They’ll know exactly what to do. Especially if you have things you say you want to work on. I think it would be a great opportunity for objective person to look into your relationship and help you smooth things over. Don’t worry, most counselors won’t let you leave feeling like you’re out of control (if they’re good and/or experienced). You can find counselors anywhere! πŸ™‚

Post # 18
7367 posts
Busy Beekeeper

this sounds incredibly responsible. Go for it.

Post # 19
177 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I know several couples who have attended therapy while dating. There is nothing wrong with it, or you, or your relationship- its a great way to make things stronger. Ask around for recommendations of therapists who see couples. Don’t see someone who sees one of you individually (most people won’t do this- its bad practice, but there are always some…). Discuss which gendered therapist you’d prefer as a couple, in case one of you has a strong preference.

Go for it πŸ™‚

Post # 20
1554 posts
Bumble bee

Counseling is an excellent way for you two to work on what is bothering you with an unbiased person. That way your mom or his mom isn’t giving advice based on one side of a story and the fact that you are their child. (Include friends, siblings, grandparents, teachers.) I think you two would only benefit from it. Maybe he doesn’t really know how much “I love you” means to you and how much you want to hear it. Being able to bring it out in the open in a nuetral environment will be great. 

BF and I see separate therapists, but we deal with the same issues, so we would see the same guy, at the the same time, to try to help us. Not exactly the same, I know.

Best of luck!

Post # 21
903 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I think counseling could be a really good thing. Any relationship — even the best one — takes work and counseling is one way of working on things to improve your relationship. I would see it as a sign of commitment to your partner because you care enough to work on things. So go for it!

Post # 23
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I think your SO’s response to the therapy suggestion will tell you a lot about your future together. If he dismisses it out of hand, then there’s your answer about his willingness to work on communication issues.

I don’t believe you have to be “broken” to go to couples therapy, but I am also a firm believer in not wasting your time on relationships that are so much work to maintain. If the workload isn’t shared by both of you, then you have a very hard road ahead indeed.

Post # 24
600 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2006

PREPARE/ENRICH is also a good assessment & counseling plan.  I’m trained in it as part of my masters in counseling and it was originally Christian based, but there are customized versions for it that are other-faith based or non-faith based.  My SO & I took it since I get a free assessment for being trained in it and it was sooo helpful.  You can go to http://www.prepare-enrich.com and click on couples and then find a facilitator.  Some will be based in a church, but they should be totally a-ok with a non-Christian couple, or else they should have never become a facilitator.

And I totally agree with 

View original reply
@Phantom about it telling a lot about your SO.  Good luck! You can PM me if you have any questions since I might have a more in depth perspective from having experience & training with counseling couples. 

Post # 25
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I WISH my Fiance would agree to go to premarital counseling.  We get along famously right now, but I know there’ll be difficulties in the future, there always are.  Plus, we’ve got communication issues, like you guys.  We just communicate in completely different ways: I do and he doesn’t. πŸ˜€ He’s dead set against it though, due to some bad experience when he was like, 13.  He just says “I can’t be counseled.” Really, dude? Sigh.

If your man is willing, I say go for it.  It can’t possibly hurt, it can only help. πŸ™‚  I also think relationships should never be exhausting, as you described yours.  They’re work, sure, but they shouldn’t be that much work, especially before you’re even married.  Remember that. 

Post # 26
893 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

We started counseling before we got engaged and it was one of the best things we ever did for the relationship. We are still going!

Fiance doesn’t seem like the type that would go and enjoy it, but he does and we both have been able to work out some personal issues in addition to some concerns regarding the relationship.

It can’t hurt to try! It has been really rewarding, beneficial, and eye-opening for us. We started going 1x a week and have since backed off a bit since our issues have been discussed and steps have been put into place to improve the relationship. Now we go around 1x a month.

We have another session tomorrow πŸ™‚

Post # 27
572 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

We did about 6 months worth before the wedding.  It was something we wanted to do in the first place but then his mother popped up causing trouble so she was a big topic.

We had to go in again before our 1 year anniversary, again, thank you Mother-In-Law.  For us, DH doesn’t get what I say but coming from our counselor, he hears it differently and a light bulb goes off. 

People are freaking out that Katy Perry and Russell Brandt are in counseling 4 months into their marriage and acting like they are doomed.  I say big deal.  Counseling is like changing the oil in your car, you can use it as a check up and if you put that much into a CAR, shouldn’t you put more into your marriage?

Edit: I just saw ‘before you were engaged’.  Ha, yes we went for 1 session 6 months in.  DH (then BF) freaked out because we had differences in religion, at least that is what I remember.  I’m sure I was stupid so that didn’t help the situation.  The couneslor told us to give it time, we are new to this and finding things out about each other.  It’s normal. 


Post # 28
5282 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

My husband actually went to counseling before we were engaged – but it was a different situation b/c he was gone on business for 3 months in China and when he got back he was feeling dizzy and tired for weeks. So when he went to see his doctor, his doctor told him he had anxiety and put him on anxiety meds.

I was uncomfortable b/c his doctor isn’t a psychiatrist and I’m not comfortable with just popping pills w/o a true diagnosis. So I asked that my husband have a few counseling sessions before he just started popping this medication. He agreed and went to counseling for about 2 months.

Even though it wasn’t couples counseling and I never met the therapist; this guy was awesome! My husband would talk about our relationship and the advice he gave us was amazing. I was shocked that even w/o me being there they therapist could see things from my side and helped my husband realize certain things.

So although the intial reason to go to counseling wasn’t relationship driven, inevitably he talked about our relationship with his therapist and came home and told me what they spoke about. It really helped develop our relationship and we still implement his advice in how we handle disagreements πŸ™‚

Post # 29
510 posts
Busy bee

We have been going to counseling for about 4 months now (engaged since december 2009, getting married in april)… I would definitely reccommend it.  Try to get past the stigma and realize you are giving your relationship the best possible shot at being successful as you enter into marriage.  At least you can both say you tried

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