Pre-Marital Counseling vs. Marital Prep

The question has been popped, the plans for the wedding are being made and you are excited about beginning your life together. Now it’s time to learn how to make your relationship thrive.

It’s a fact that every married couple will face challenges.  They include:

  • Compatibility
  • Managing expectations
  • Family Issues
  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Sex
  • Intimacy

The dire statistics are also well known: 50% of first marriages end in divorce and 50% of those marriages only last 4 years.  It can be wedded bliss to divorce court in the blink of an eye.  How can you and your spouse avoid that fate?  By learning how to understand the dynamics of their relationship and work together to address each of those challenges — that is the key to long term marital satisfaction and mutual contentment.

The love and passion that you feel towards each other when you become engaged does not guarantee long term success in marriage.  You need to prepare not just for the wedding day, but for the marriage as well.  Marriage certainly deserves no less attention than other important life challenges like sports, tests, public speaking, etc. There are clinically-tested methods that can provide a solid understanding of how to be married, whether it’s pre-marital couples counseling or marriage preparation.  Each one addresses different needs and require different approaches, but both have the goal of improving your skills to work together to maintain a strong, intimate relationship.

Pre-Marital Counseling

The first step in protecting your relationship should be becoming aware that the problems that exist in your relationship will not be resolved simply because you are now engaged.  Many couples decide to get married fully aware of problems in their relationship, but rationalizing that things will get better after they marry.

Unfortunately, many of those couples never deal with those problems until it’s too late and often end up divorcing.  Addressing these potential problems as early as possible will avoid more complicated problems in the future.

Relationship issues that may require professional intervention are:

  • Destructive communication
  • Family Issues
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Clash of Expectation

    Counseling is structured to maximize the couple’s strengths and eliminate destructive patterns in their relationship.  Progress towards their individual goals is monitored throughout treatment.  At The Relationship Center, we use a combination of questionnaires, interviews, and video-taped evaluation to identify the patterns in your relationship that create turmoil and cause distance between you and your partner.  A specific plan to resolve these issues will be provided, but its success cannot be guaranteed unless both spouses commit to understanding the nature of the relationship problems and then finding a course of treatment.

    Marriage Preparation

    Just because your relationship is problem-free at the time of your wedding, doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter problems in the future.  A marriage preparation course will let engaged couples or newlyweds learn what to expect as they grow together.  Couples who feel comfortable and satisfied in their relationship still need an opportunity to explore and understand the nature of their relationship.  Marriage education teaches skills for couples to improve their communication, avoid the destructive effects of conflict, and to keep the passion alive in their relationship. The focus of marriage education is to build on the couple’s strengths to keep their relationship responsive and vibrant.

    Marriage preparation can be taught in group sessions or with each individual couple using research-tested methods proven to improve marital satisfaction. Having a forum to explore your relationship with your partner that is positive and non-threatening allows you to focus on developing skills that will keep your relationship close and connected.  The four most important elements of successful relationships are explored:

    • Compatibility
    • Managing expectations
    • Communication
    • Intimacy

    Join with your partner to learn how to be effective in managing your lives together.  Marriage preparation can be completed in 4-6 sessions.

    Take the next step – schedule your free 30-minute telephone consultation with Miles Wagman to decide which approach will improve your relationship.  You can reach him at mwagman@relationshipsfirst.com or 732-345-1399.

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    The Relationship Center, LLC offers the information on this web site for educational purposes only.