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Senior Citizen Couple
Senior Citizen Couple

The Wisdom of Pre-Marital Counseling

Are You Ready to Get Married?

Most partners heading into a marriage say, "Yes."  The real answer is, "No."  If the answer was really "Yes", then the divorce rate would not be hovering at about 50%.  The reality is that most couples have neither studied nor learned the skill set needed to get along in an intimate relationship.

What is the skill set?

From 15 years of working with couples, I can easily name eight critical skills.  There are others.  However, if a couple cannot successfully do these eight, they're headed into the marriage ill-equipped:

1.  Knowing how to listen

2.  Knowing how to talk so your partner listens

3.  Speaking your "truth" about your wants and needs

4.  Knowing how to problem-solve collaboratively

5.  Getting your wants and needs met

6.  And when you cannot get a certain need or want met in the marriage relationship, knowing how to get it met outside the relationship in appropriate, healthy, and honorable ways

7.  Knowing how to treasure your partner

8.  Knowing how to create a vision together of the marital relationship, and working together on that vision

If you come to me for pre-marital counseling, it will be these eight skills upon which we will really focus.  Certainly, we'll look at other issues and topics that you want to bring up.  However, I'll make sure that you leave me having really dug into mastering these eight skills.

Finally, a suggestion --

What I really like to do with couples who come for pre-marital counseling is meet with them 4-6 times prior to their wedding, then once a month at least for the first 6 months following their wedding.  It really helps foster the transition for both members of the couple.

So, if you're considering getting married for the first time, or second, or third, make the investment in pre-marital counseling.  I predict that you will find it well worth the effort.