The road to a happy marriage can be a long and winding one, taking the couple on detours and exploring cul-de-sacs they never expected. Being married to someone will have its highs and lows, or to return to the metaphor of a road, it will have its smooth and idyllic moments, but it will also have its rough and bumpy bits that need work, too. Preparing a couple for marriage is the reason why premarital counseling exists.

How premarital counseling works

Premarital counseling is a form of psychotherapy or talk therapy where a couple meets with a counselor to prepare themselves for marriage. Often, one can find a counselor through a church, but you can also find professional counselors through a web search, at a local medical center, or through recommendations from loved ones. The counselor meets with the couple over a period of time which can vary from several weeks to several months.

During those sessions, which are weekly and are around an hour in duration, the counselor will work with the couple to think through several subjects and concerns. The couple may approach the counselor with specific questions and concerns they want to be addressed.

Or, the counselor can work through the more typical concerns that couples need preparation for. The couple chooses the counselor whose style and approach they feel most comfortable with.

Though a couple can meet with the counselor by themselves, which may be advantageous for discussing matters the couple considers deeply private, there is the option to do group premarital counseling. If you don’t mind sharing the space with other couples on the journey toward marriage, group counseling is an excellent option that still meets the need to prepare for a strong marriage.

Your counselor will work with you to explore topics such as money, sex, children, boundaries, roles, and responsibilities in the home, your faith, understanding marriage, as well as how to deal effectively with conflict.

At the end of your premarital counseling journey, you and your partner will be empowered enough to make a wise decision regarding your future together, and you’ll be equipped to tackle challenges that may come your way.

The main benefits

There are many benefits to doing premarital counseling. While caught up in the romance and minutiae of planning for the wedding, premarital counseling can seem like an inconvenient afterthought, something you do simply as a precursor to getting married.

However, premarital counseling has many benefits that shouldn’t be passed up because they may mean the difference between a functional and happy marriage, or the breakdown of your future union.

Some of the benefits of premarital counseling include the following:

Raising awareness of potential issues

Premarital counseling can help by pinpointing potential issues in the relationship and bringing them to your attention before you make a lifelong commitment. This may include issues as diverse as inappropriate anger, difficulties with intimacy, or differences of opinion about children, to name a few.

Equipping you to handle conflict

No couple wants to be embroiled in conflict; they would rather spend their time doing other things. However, the reality is that sometimes people misspeak, or they inadvertently offend one another. Conflict arises in a relationship for various reasons, and premarital counseling helps you under the dynamics of conflict, including how you respond to it.

Not only will you learn how you respond to conflict, but also how that affects your partner. Some people withdraw, which can deepen the conflict. Other people engage in conflict head-on, which can seem too confrontational to your partner. You need to understand your conflict styles and how best to deal with conflict in ways that allow you both to engage the issues meaningfully.

Cultivating healthy communication

Premarital counseling can help you better understand how you communicate, and the way to express yourself to your future intended. You might struggle to express difficult emotions like anger, sadness, or loneliness. Premarital counseling can start you on your journey of growing your vocabulary to express difficult emotions without blaming or shaming one another.

Setting realistic expectations for marriage

What you picture your marriage to be, and how it turns out can be widely divergent. You may have formed your ideas about marriage from your parents or other significant role models, but you and your partner are different people. Your dynamic is different, and your relationship is also different.

Premarital counseling can help you picture your marriage as it really will be, not as you’d imagine it to be. This means that you can prepare to handle the joys and tears that your relationship may bring.

Premarital counseling helps you and your partner prepare for your future together. By addressing the common pressure points that affect relationships, you and your partner will set a strong foundation for your marriage.

Premarital counseling helps to empower you to make wise decisions for your future and to be better equipped to handle the challenges of marriage. If you’re getting ready to be married, make premarital counseling part of that preparation. The counselors in our directory would be happy to walk that journey alongside you. Give us a call today.

“Sitting on the Couch”, Courtesy of cottonbro studio,, CC0 License


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