So often we think of counseling as appropriate for when something is broken or in crisis. This is not the case with pre-marital counseling or coaching.
So, for starters, what is pre-marital? It comes in many forms - it may be classes you take with a few other couples, either through an organization that specializes in this or through a faith community. It may be a whole day or weekend retreat. It may be customized sessions spread out over a few months with just yourselves and a professional coach or therapist who will have you access resources, possibly complete assessments or read articles.
Whatever the format or philosophy one of the key aims is to equip you with tools for highly effective dialogue and lasting relational intimacy.
So, how is this pre-marital work like working out?
Working out makes muscles you already have even stronger. Participating in pre-marital work is not about being taught basic things that you know nothing about. It is about working relationship muscles that you already have to make them more effective and stronger. For example, you already listen to each other but, like all of us, could get even better at listening to your partner.
Working out has short-term and long-term benefits. Pre-marital classes and coaching will offer you immediate benefits - providing a safe and supportive environment to have important conversations, being exposed to resources and motivational material. Perhaps even more importantly, pre-marital work helps you to establish healthy life-long patterns. Just like regularly working out, this work can prevent issues and problems later on in your lives together.
There are great pieces of equipment that help you work out more effectively. Relationship power-tools and methods can simply make your relationship better. Whether the topic is conflict or decision-making or love languages, learning to use the right tools at the right time will make a huge difference in the strength and flexibility of your marriage.
Toned and strong muscles are less likely to get injured. It is inevitable - there will be stress on your marriage. External stress, internal stress. If you start to intentionally build great habits and skills early in your relationship they will sustain you through the rough times. Every relationship will have times of heavy-lifting.
Working out is a very effective de-stressor. The support of pre-marital coaching or counseling can be a huge help as you prepare for one of the most important, and possibly one of the more stressful times in your relationship. Be it immediate family issues or simply the logistics of a wedding can bring a lot of stress. Professional support in creating effective strategies for your wedding is amazingly de-stressing!
As both an executive coach and a partnership coach, I can say with confidence that the skills you will learn in pre-marital work will serve you well in other relationships, including in your career.
Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! You will be putting many resources in to your big day. Please also invest resources into your marriage!
Marilyn Orr, MA, CEC, PCC
Luv Life Coach, with Luv Life Coaching LLC
Take our Couples Coaching Readiness Questionnaire today: http://luvlifecoaching.com/questionnaire