Sunday, September 15, 2013

Awkward But Important Things To Discuss During Premarital Counseling

Awkward But Important Things To Discuss During Premarital Counseling

Premarital counseling is no longer just a good idea. The practice is almost a necessity. Every couple should consider premarital counseling to increase their chances of a having a long and happy marriage. Here are four necessary but awkward conversations that every couple should have prior to marriage:

1. Divorce
Divorce tops the list as one of the most awkward but important things to discuss during premarital counseling. It hardly seems right to begin a marriage discussing divorce, but since nearly half of marriages end in divorce, couples must be prepared to take measures to prevent it. Couples should discuss how each feels about divorce up front and how the process will be handled if the divorce should occur. Some common questions that should arise during the divorce discussion should include:
  • Should couples therapy or counseling be an interim step before divorce?
  • How will divorce be handled if kids are involved?
  • Is divorce taboo in your family or common?
  • When is divorce the best option between two people?
  • Should there be a prenuptial agreement in the event of divorce?
2. Sex
Sex is one of the most awkward discussions to have between two people and a counselor, but it is one of the biggest sources of contention between two married people. Frequency, style and monogamy are the most common issues discussed regarding sex. The discussions surrounding these issues include:
  • Frequency. Sure, couples may be having pre-marital sex, but things change when two people live together. People get tired, fail to communicate their preferences or struggle with different libidos. When couples cannot get the frequency of their sex lives together, it affects the marriage. This is one of the main reasons why fidelity is an issue in marriage.
  • Style. How people enjoy sex is another point of contention. One partner’s sexual style may deter the other partner from wanting to participate. Sexual style is an awkward conversation, but the discussion can prevent future conflicts.
  • Monogamy. Most people get married to have a monogamous relationship, but some couples advocate open marriages. This should be discussed prior to the wedding. When people have different expectations of marriage, this can cause a significant rift.
3. Finances
Finances are difficult. If one spouse is a spendthrift, and the other spouse is a saver, conflict may arise. Finances are one of the most common reasons for divorce. To prevent divorce, couples must agree on who will work in the family, how often and who will manage the finances. Financial goals must be established to avoid conflict regarding how money should be spent and managed in the marriage.

4. Conflict Resolution
How will the couple handle conflict? There must be a plan for handling conflict in the marriage. Whether discussing the number of kids desired or how to split household chores, there must be rules of engagement. Proper conflict resolution will help couples stay out of divorce court. Determine how to discuss fairly to prevent ineffective arguments that do not lead to a positive outcome.

Obtain Premarital Counseling to Set Expectations
Premarital counseling is necessary to set expectations in a marriage. Without counseling, couples may agree on how to handle disagreements, but there is no one to ensure that both parties adhere to their part of the bargain. Counselors holds both people accountable when they make a verbal commitment to each other.

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