Post # 1
We’re not religious, but both like the idea of premarital counseling. We have a very communicative relationship and actively work on communicating well (my family growing up had some bad patterns and I’m in therapy for anxiety so this is something I’m acutely aware of). In particular I’d love someone to help us think through how we manage finances and financial goals as a couple. I’m 34 and have been living on my own and making financial decisions for myself for quite some time so this aspect of marriage makes me a little nervous. We do live together, but in a condo I own so it’s not the same as approaching decisions as a married couple. We’ve already talked at a high level about how we plan to manage finances but want to make sure we’re thinking of the important conversations.
Curious how other non-relgious couples have done it and if this topic is typically one dealt with in counseling.
Post # 2
Why don’t you talk to a financial advisor?
Post # 3
kelbrimale : our officiant was actually marriage counselor too haha we did a couple sessions with him pre wedding. We found him through a wedding officiant company. I think we did use a religious- based book but he knew we arent religious so we skipped the super Jesus-y parts and it was very secular and very helpful.
Just google marriage counselors- most of them do premarital counseling and you can absolutely find counselors who do not do religion based counseling.
Post # 4
There’s plenty of non-religious counselors that do premarital counseling. I was going to someone for anxiety, and he offered to do it for us, despite the fact we weren’t even engaged. It was really nice! He encouraged we take the same test in the future to see how our relationship and perspectives progress.
When you go or when you’re looking for someone, just specify to them that you want to focus on finances. And take as many sessions as you need until you feel comfortable. Best of luck!
Post # 5
Darling Husband and I went to a liscensed therapist for our pre-martial counseling. I am religious but Darling Husband is not. So it worked out well.
You can also see a financial advisor who can help you with the money situation.
Post # 6
I think I would always recommend pre-marital counselling, regardless of whether the couple is religious or not. I found it really helpful, and a great way to prepare ourselves for marriage.
Darling Husband and I are religious, but our pre-marital counselling focused on a lot of things that would have applied to us regardless. My sister-in-law is not religious, but she and her Darling Husband also did pre-marital counselling, and strongly recommended it.
Post # 7
hikingbride : I have thought about that and I know we will do that at some point. Trying to think about the best way to articulate this…I think what I’m wanting help with is less of how do we make smart financial investments, but more how to handle these conversations and arrangements in a way that feels equitable to both of us.
We both really like the idea of not just doing joint accounts for everything so we’d talked about having a joint account for shared expenses and savings and then each having our own accounts for fun money and personal purchases. But don’t want to set this up in a way that breeds unintentional resentment, if that makes sense.
Part of it is that Fiance and I are coming from different financial places where I am more established than he is (professionally & financially). I want to get to a place where we can work towards shared financial goals while being respectful of the fact that we have slightl different approaches to our careers. We already talk about money and our futures I’m just not sure I approach it in the right way.
Post # 8
Glad to know this is not uncommon. I already found some counselors in my area. I just wish we had other non-religious friends who did this as I’d love a referral. My personal therapist is great but would prefre to go to someone new to both of us.
Post # 9
Premarital counseling is not restricted to Christians or those who are religious. If you google secular premarital counseling or non-religious counseling, I’m sure you’d find some counselors nearby. And yes, finances are a hot topic for premarital counseling, along with family relations, children, intimacy, and future goals/plans.
I recommend a monthly budget meeting. You set aside all money needed for utilities and bills (including shared services such as Netflix), and then the rest of the money you divide up for savings, personal spending, and miscellaneous things such as pet budget (if you have pets), house fund (if you’re saving for a house or if you’re working to furnish a house), and others. There are formulas online or your counselor might be able to provide one, where you can determine what percentage of your joint income should go to each fund.
Post # 10
- Wedding: April 2017 - Valleybrook Country Club
kelbrimale : We did it because the church required it. Neither of us wanted to do it. Darling Husband especially because he does nbot have a religion and married in the church for me and my family.
We actually were both happy that we did it though. It brought up an aray o topics and a neutral party to point out things that we both said. It was really a great experience and I would recommend looking into it! You can ask your officiant if they provide these services, or you can look for a therapist or counsellor.
Post # 11
We did it, and I found it SO valuable (even after being together for 10 years!). My local counselling center actually had group sessions, but you could do couples sessions separately if you wanted. Both of our employer insurances covered counselling by a registered psychologist so we just had to make sure the person leading it was one, and it was free for us.
Post # 12
A lot of marital counselors will also do premarital counseling, and many of them are secular.
My ex and I did premarital counseling through the counseling center on our college campus. It was good for starting conversations, but I don’t think our counselors (it was a pair) actually knew what they were doing…plus the issues that ex and I eventually ran into, no one could have seen coming. But it did help us open conversations about finances and religion, which was good.
Post # 13
Check to see if you are covered for counseling through your job. My EAP completely covered 6 sessions for whatever – therapy, weight loss counseling, etc. We used it for premarital counseling and found it really helpful in figuring out some of the ways we could communicate better, or understand why the other might be acting or reacting a certain way.
Post # 14
We’re working with a financial planner and then we each have a lawyer as far as a pre-nup and dividing our assets etc. We discussed the big issues we felt pretty thoroughly on our own. But we thought a financial planner and lawyer could help us best with laying everything out.
Good to see your planning on covering all your bases with good communication. I’m sure most counsellors or therapists would be happy to work with you as a couple.
Post # 15
kelbrimale : might not be able to suggest someone or where but we recently encountered a book (Rules of Engagement by Richard and Katharine Hill) which both of us agreed that it’s suitable for both religious and non-religious couples. I’m religious but fiancé isn’t. The book focuses more on the practical aspects of marriage preparation, and got us discussing on different areas of wedding planning and marriage. Hope others will suggest someone to you xx