(Closed) pre-martial counseling with pastor who is related to my bride to be…

posted 4 years ago in Family
Post # 16
7372 posts
Busy Beekeeper

This would not sit well with me. You have every reason to be feel uncomfortable. 

Post # 17
2595 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

It’s a conflict of interest and therefore wholly inappropriate. Get a different counsellor!

Post # 19
11738 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

manlyman15:  I’m sorry, but did your fiancée dream of a good marriage too?

Because forcing this important step to be less than it could be is a foolish move. You should be using this counseling to discover things — and right now, you’ve discovered that she is putting her dreams about her wedding above the actual marriage.

I don’t mean to sound flippant, this is actually a pretty big deal. She is disregarding what the counseling is for and how you feel. 

Thats not a good start.

Post # 20
4238 posts
Honey bee


You should be able to do premarital counseling with one of his colleagues. I know of no Protestant denomination that requires the officiant to have conducted the counseling sessions to officiate the ceremony.

Follow your gut.


eta: No, they do not have to be licensed/certified counselors with the state to conduct premarital sessions in the church. By The Way, I have Christian/Protestant background and training.




Post # 21
7910 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I see major problems with confidentiality by having family members giving you pre-marital counseling. Even in healthcare, people aren’t supposed to be treating family members. Is the uncle part of a particular Christian denomination? Is there a colleague in the same denomination that you could go to? The distance is ridiculous too. 

Post # 22
862 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

He should be OK with you guys doing counseling with someone else… my brother-in-law married my friend but her dad was doing the ceremony, so no counseling with him! They found someone else. We, on the other hand, just went through a book together. My Pastor seemed to think that was a great thing and recommended the book.

Post # 24
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Big conflict of interest. No, no, no!

Post # 25
7683 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

manlyman15:  Agreed.  I hope that you can work this out, so that your new pastor can do the counseling and your FI’s uncle can marry the two of you.  


Post # 26
5894 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

manlyman15:  Seems reaslly inappropriate to me and I think your Fiance should put her foot down with her uncle.  But if she won’t, you can always just got to the counseling sesion and NOT be honest about whatever it is you dont’ want him to know.  If he asks any questions about things you aren’t comfortable talking about you can eitehr say, “I’m not comfortable discussing that with you,” or say, “yup, all good, no issues there.”

Not ideal, but could get you through the issue if no one else is willing to give.  You never have to disclose information to someone just because they ask.  If he insists on being your NOT trusted advisor, don’t trust him with your private info.

Post # 27
1890 posts
Buzzing bee

My thought is that if you can’t convince her to have someone else do it, you’ll have to phone it in and not really go deeply into any issues, but stay on the surface and pretend like everything is fine. That’s not helpful to either of you, and goes against the point of doing counseling to prepare for marriage. Let’s say it wasn’t religious counseling, but counseling done with a therapist. There’s no way a relative would be permitted to work with you. I’d try and reframe her thinking about it in that way.

Post # 29
7644 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

cbgg:  manlyman15:  Yes I was going to say something similar (and I’m in a church very similar to Baptist, if that matters). Tell your fiancee that there are certain things you won’t be able to be open about. (And she should feel the same way, to be honest).

I like your idea of counselling with your current pastor if possible. From a practical point of view, that’s better anyway. Your local pastor is more able to give pastoral help if required – and more able to be impartial if there are problems.

Post # 30
244 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

I hate to say this, OP, but I’d be worried about my future relationship if my fiancee couldn’t see why having her relative do couples’ counseling for us would be likely to cause problems, or why I’d have an issue with it, and if she was unwilling to discuss it, listen to my concerns, and compromise on someone geographically closer who could be recommended by her relative.

Communication and compromise are the most important skills in a relationship, in my opinion. Next to laughter and kindness. 🙂 And I have doubts about this uncle’s counseling skills if he isn’t encouraging the two of you to communicate and compromise on the issue of choosing a counselor.

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