(Closed) Pre-Marital Counseling?

posted 8 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: What is your experience with premarital counseling?
    We plan to go through premarital counseling. It's important. : (35 votes)
    48 %
    We are going through premarital counseling, and we like it. : (26 votes)
    36 %
    We are having or have had a bad experience with premarital counseling. : (0 votes)
    Premarital counseling? What's that? : (12 votes)
    16 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    1573 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    I don’t know that it’s counseling but we do have 3 meets scheduled with our priest.  I am sure it will include some sort of asking questions and we have open discussions.

    Maybe you could find a counselor that isn’t faith based so your Fiance feels more comfortable.  Find a marriage counselor that will meet with you a few times before getting married.

    Post # 4
    Member
    2408 posts
    Buzzing bee

    we’ll be doing 2 different sessions. one with our pastor and one with a marriage and family therapist. you can go to the mft if you didn’t want to go through a pastor.

    i really want to go to pre-martial couseling, just to make sure we know what each other’s expectations are for marriage and talk about things beforehand. my guy agreed so long as we also had a second session with someone outside our church to make sure we were getting a well-rounded vision for marriage.

    Post # 5
    Member
    455 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    We’re agnostic so no priest stuff for us.

    If you live near a University that has an MFT education program they are usually looking four couples to practice on.  Free and they have only a few clients so they get to know you pretty well.

    Post # 6
    Member
    3344 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    We had two sessions with a marriage therapist. We are very shy and had a hard time with this.  We got a lot more out of the Engaged Encounter weekend.

    Post # 7
    Member
    131 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2009 - Battery Gardens

    We did both pastoral counseling and a one-day all day workshop which was not faith based. I think it was a good balance. Is there a similar option in your community? 

    Post # 8
    Member
    244 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Another good thing about premarital counseling, in our state (TN), your marriage license costs $60 less! We are doing counseling through our church and are enjoying the experience. I’m not sure if we would have sought out counseling if it had not been required by the church.  One alternative that my cousin did was to buy some kind of a “getting ready to get married” book and they read it together.

    Post # 9
    Member
    761 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2011

    We are not doing counseling and only would have if the church we were getting married in required it. My Maid/Matron of Honor is getting married in August and doing counseling with her Fiance and she always tells me the questions they ask though and so my Fiance have been doing those and it has been fun. Also then we have other people’s responses to compare too which I think is good because it makes the conversation have more depth.

    Post # 10
    Member
    272 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    We were required to do one short premarital counseling session with my pastor in order to marry in the church but I think we would have done something regardless. For our session we went over a family trees to get us thinking about our relationship models. FI’s family has had a lot of divorces so it was refreshing to hear him talk about how that affected him and how he wants to be different. We also talked about family health histories just so we were both aware. There was a short “test” that we both took independtly prior to meeting the pastor and he compared our results for us. Essentially the test was about your family of origin: how it functioned, how tight everyone was, different rules, etc. and then how you wanted your future family to be. It was definitely reassuring to see on paper that we both wanted the similar things in our future family (even though we had talked about it before). We also learned that we both want to be tight-knit family but I come from a family that is a little more reserved with emotions while FI’s family is a little smothering in emotions. The pastor pointed out that I may perceive Fiance as being distant or not working towards the same goal because he takes time independantly but in actuality we both want the same time of bonds.

    Post # 11
    Member
    78 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    We are also agnostic and in Seattle at least, there are NO non-religious pre-marital counseling classes, I searched high and low and even posted about it.  I felt really strongly that we should do something, so we wound up going to a weekend-long class at the Gottman Institute.  The Gottmans have done many years of marital and family counseling and are fairly well respected, they’re on NPR a lot, etc.  They are famous for being able to predict if a couple is going to divorce with a success rate of like 93%.  We really enjoyed the weekend class, although it wasn’t strictly pre-marital I think the conflict resolution skills we learned and the “four horsemen of the apocalypse” relationship warning signs were maybe more helpful than regular pre-marital counseling?  I don’t know, that’s what I felt.  Anyway, they make a DVD of the weekend session that you can get off their website and their books are also helpful, I would recommend it. 

    I’ve also heard that Engaged Encounter, although created by Catholics, isn’t very religious, although on the other hand you do have to go through Mass at the end, so I don’t know about that.  PAIRS is another one that is secular that you can find online, if they have something in your area it might be something to consider.

    Post # 13
    Member
    53 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    Hi Everyone!

    I know some people who have said pre-marital counseling is a great idea.  Only thing is, I have been having a really hard time finding a place for this.  I found a couple places – but it was really expensive.  One place wanted $150 for each visit!!!!  I really think my bf and I need to go b/c of the suggestions and also b/c we need to work on our communication – if anyone has suggestions on how to find a professional counselor with experience I would be so appreciative!!  Also, how much does it typically cost?  I live in New York City…. Thanks ladies!

    Post # 14
    Member
    946 posts
    Busy bee

    My boyfriend is atheist, but my pastor plans to counsel us when the time comes.  Talk to your pastor, he/she might surprise you. 

    Post # 15
    Member
    2703 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    you can definitely do them outside of a pastor… there are also community centers that have free seminars and group sessions too, if u do the legwork to find them!

    Fiance and I are doing our pre-marital sessions with my pastor via the web (he’s in cali, we’re in mi)

    currently, we’re reading him/her versions of “the five love languages” and we’re both really enjoying it!

    Post # 16
    Member
    1250 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    We are required to go through pre-marital counseling to be married in my church, and its been a really good experience overall. While we’re not necessarily having any major breakthroughs or learning new things about each other we didn’t already know, its provided a deliberate way for us to think through and talk through things in a different manner than we’ve done before. As long as you both go in with an open mind, I think its really worthwhile.

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