(Closed) Pre-Marital Counseling?

posted 10 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 # 17
    2360 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden

    We are independently using a book called “Meeting at the Well” – it is written with a Jewish lens, but the topics that it facilitates are important for all couples.  It has been really helpful (and cost/time) effective

    Post # 18
    14181 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    We didn’t have a bad experience, but we didn’t have a great one either. We felt like it was a waste of time for the most part. We didn’t learn anything new, basically just acknowledged things that we’d already acknowledged together–that communication is important (duh, long distance relationship here), that our biggest ‘clash’ is that i’m more social than him (not ever an issue–he goes out when i want to go out and i do stay home quite a bit) and that we didn’t like the way he suggested we run our finances (with allowances for all kinds of different things–a clothing allowance, a food allownace, a personal one, etc…it was too complicated) and where we stand on children–we want them (no matter how we have them), we agree on controversial issues, and I never ever plan on being a Stay-At-Home Mom (so essentially a lot of the things he advised us on were essentially moot because I won’t stay home). And we talked about sex–we had the same scores on that essentially so we glazed over it.

    We did get a 3″ stack of paperwork and workbooks in case we need them in the future.

    I just felt like it wasn’t necessary for our personal relationship but I’ve had many friends who found their workshops very enlightening.

    Post # 19
    3997 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    We’ve set up an appointment to meet with a therapist who specializes with couples.  The premarital counseling is important to me but my Fiance is most likely just faking it, he probably wouldn’t be as enthused if I wasn’t.  I am not a church-goer so meeting with a church official seems really foreign to me.  I have no idea how it goes.  I’ve always heard from others that they never felt comfortable talking about the things that were really bothering them or issues that are really important to them.  The reasons being either they have known this person all of their life/they’re a member of the church and it feels awkward or they are afraid if they open up too much the pastor won’t marry them. 

    I just know that I’ll always recommend it.  If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work but its worth a shot.  There are always aspects of a relationship that need improvement.

    Post # 20
    542 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    The marriage license in Nebraska is pretty cheap (like $15??? don’t quote me) and I don’t recall seeing any discount for counseling.  I think you’ve gotten some good advice as to where to look.  If you do check with your pastor to see if he/she would counsel you, you might want to check out what the content of the sessions will be to make sure it is something you are both comfortable with.  Our pastor spent three Saturday mornings talking to us about praying together and how that would be the foundation of our relationship.  There was no typical communication, financial (other than how we should give 10% to the church), etc.  My reviews of the experience would be less than stellar, but we did have some interesting conversations.   

    Post # 21
    606 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I didn’t vote because there wasn’t an answer appropriate for our situation. Although I think pre-marital counseling is a good idea, especially if you haven’t lived together before marriage, my Fiance couldn’t care less. My grandfather is officiating for us and the church requires some sort of pre-marital counseling. He has agreed to let us do a ‘book report’ on a good book about marriage that he picked – we are reading the book and then meeting with him to discuss it. It’s only like a 100 page book, but apparently it’s highly recommended. I’d say if you can’t/don’t want clergy to do your counseling but think it’s important, perhaps you could have a few sessions with a licensed marriage & family counselor? A lot of marriage & family counselors will do pre-marital counseling as well as normal marriage counseling. Just a thought! You can find them in the yellow pages under marriage or counseling usually.


    Post # 22
    429 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2008

    We had premarital counseling FOREVER… on and off from early 2006 to late 2008 when we finally got married. It was really good for us, because after the initial “twitterpatedness” wore off, we fought a lot and had very different expectations. We were also both very young and were still learning what we wanted out of life. Counseling really helped us to become better individuals and a better couple. We saw someone who was not a pastor, but employed by our church. I think he did counseling for non-church members and non-Christians as well.

    If you feel uncomfortable about a pastor, don’t necessarily discount counselors that operate out of churches; my Father-In-Law is a licensed counselor and psychologist who is a Christian with an office in a church, but has probably had far more secular clients over the years than Christians. While he obviously thinks that Christianity is true, he’s not going to force religion on anybody if you come to him, and I think most really good counselors will be the same.

    Post # 23
    97 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: April 2009

    Definitely give counseling a shot. My husband is in grad school for psychology, and you can see a student therapist for $20-30 a session. Of course I’m biased, but I think it’s worth it!

    Post # 24
    7 posts
    • Wedding: September 2010

    We got married at the courthouse to simplify or multi-faith wedding and didn’t do marital counseling After all the questions from our families about religion and babies and “what-ifs” coming from all directions we felt confident about our decisions and knew we’d be great through it all.  I had several friends go through marital counseling and it was good for those that had communication issues early on as it forced them past the uncomfortable moments and really truly open up.

    Post # 25
    2083 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    Your FI’s religion really doesn’t matter with premarital counseling. Fiance and I are getting married in a Catholic church. Even though he is Catholic and I’m not (Christian, but not Catholic) we are still going through their premarital counseling with the priest. At first we were dreading it (it is required to do this to be married in the church), but honestly now that we are done with all of it we thought it was a great experience. We’ve been together for 7 years so we thought ‘ugh we already know everything about each other, why do we have to do this?’ but it all just kind of reiterated important topics needing to be discussed. We had already discussed all of the topics before, but it was just nice to go deeper into it.

    Post # 26
    1508 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    We did it through the Catholic Church. The sessions with other married couples weren’t that great. We did love our Engaged Encounter Weekend. It was very helpful.

    Post # 27
    799 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    We did pre-cana which we didn’t love because it was a little too conservative and preachy for a liberal couples such as ourselves, but it definitely led to issues that we talked about on our own and worked out.  I’d definitely recommend some type of marriage preparation and counseling if you have any doubts or nagging feelings about moving forward.

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