The breakup of a marriage causes serious mental trauma for everyone involved, whether they acknowledge the issues or not. Because so many people enter marriage with a solely romantic view – or thinking that all of their problems will magically disappear – their life quickly becomes a sea of disappointment and frustration that they aim at their partner. However, if entered into with open eyes and a willingness to work together, marriage can be the most supportive and wonderful relationship you will ever experience. Premarital counseling can help. 

premarital counseling Sarasota

How Premarital Counseling Benefits Couples  

Many engaged couples who are fighting chalk it up to stress or nerves – and assume the tension will disappear after the wedding day. In reality, their engagement period is the perfect time to work on resolving conflicts, understanding one another, seeing different perspectives, and communicating effectively.   While couples may dream of endless romantic dinners and cooing babies, they often do not address the complex issues all married couples face. By addressing important topics before marriage, couples are not blindsided or hurt when they learn about disagreements they may have.   

Here are two of the best reasons to seek premarital counseling. 

  1. Deal with issues affecting the marriage: Marriage means that two distinct people merge their lives and living spaces. It’s not prudent to ignore differences or refuse to express how you feel prior to the wedding – those feelings will emerge eventually, one way or another. When you ignore relationship issues, they tend to grow, and eventually, you can question whether or not you made the right decision. Any problems not dealt with during the dating process will multiply and go to another level once you are husband and wife. 
  2. Provide early intervention to help the relationship:  While so many focus significant time and money on the ceremony, reception, and honeymoon, the real focus should be an investment in working to build a healthy, lasting, and loving marriage. Premarital counseling provides early intervention and is designed to help couples enhance their relationship – by setting realistic expectations, learning practical communication skills, and understanding how to manage conflict. It also provides a safe space for individuals to discuss values and beliefs about the nitty-gritty of marriage, including how to handle finances, views on parenting and children, and values about marriage boundaries to protect your relationship.

Couples may feel their past is now “wiped away” as they start fresh with someone. They may be confident that they can work through anything together because they are in love. But some issues of serious concern can profoundly impact the foundation of marriage if not addressed, such as: 

  • Any history of childhood abuse or trauma
  • Any history of domestic violence at the hands of a past partner
  • Differing concepts of infidelity (for instance, one partner may not think “lunch with a friend” is problematic, while the other sees it as cheating. 
  • Incompatible expectations of what marriage represents and should “look like.”
  • Differing views on extended family involvement in day-to-day life
  • Misunderstanding of either person’s deepest needs
  • Conflicts or estrangements with extended family
  • History of burying resentment, anger, or hurt.
  • Tendencies to shut down instead of confronting conflict.
  • Differing views on discipline, raising, and schooling children

Many avoid premarital counseling because they fear the revelations will negatively impact their relationship. But it is far better to identify and work on issues beforehand rather than struggling through – and possibly ending – a marriage. Couples should instead view premarital counseling as a positive opportunity to grow together, invest in their relationship, and ensure a stronger marriage. 

Denise Schonwald is a certified national counselor and life coach based in Sarasota, Florida. She helps clients across the country to conquer their fears, address their problems, and live a more fulfilled life. 

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