Most people test out products before making a significant purchase. Many people also make sure to receive years of education before selecting a profession. Yet, some people decide to get married without any hesitation.
After all, if you’re married and feel like you’ve found the love of your life, it is common to feel so excited and energized by the future that you rush into things. All often, though, conflict and challenges arise and people find themselves without the skills to properly handle marital problems. This is where premarital counseling comes in.
Before marital conflict arises, premarital counseling helps you create a strong foundation with your spouse so that your relationship remains healthy, strong, and fulfilling.
Issues such as developing a more balanced relationship, discussing budgeting and financial planning, establishing personal and relationship goals, exploring personal growth and strength area, identifying stressors in the relationships, strengthening communication skills, and using a ten-step model to help with the resolution of conflict are several areas that are tackled.
But premarital counseling also provides each of you the platform to have some of the most important conversations of your life, before you get married.
8 Important Conversations
We all have a relationship with money. Much of our beliefs and money started with our first family, our parents. Most people carry these views into their relationships. Some, however, go in the other direction. Some of the financial questions are: are you a spender or a saver? If you have disposable income, how do you spend it? What do you want to do with your disposable income? Joint or separate accounts? How will you save money? And if you save money, what purchases will be made? Does one of you make more money than the other? If so, how will you share the expenses? What about big purchases? Can you spend freely before you have to talk about the purchase? Do you have a budget? How are/will the costs of your home being paid? What about going out? Who takes on that expense? Is that a shared expense? Do you get a bonus at work? If so, what will you do with that money? What about the money you have saved prior to marriage? Are you willing to get one of the best personal loans available to help consolidate outstanding loans? Talking about money can be a step towards preventing financial infidelity. Lastly, many people bring significant debt to their relationship (student loans, credit cards). How will you share this information with your partner? What is your plan to manage your debt?
2.) Sex and Intimacy
Sexual desire has a tendency to wax and wane over time. Most people will attest to that. And more often than not, desires vary between partners. Couples will often complain that their desires differ as they are rarely in the mood at the same time. Those are by and large truths in most relationships. For women, desire follows arousal. For men, it’s the opposite. And the health of the relationship (communication problems) often dictates the sexual health of a relationship. To help couples start this conversation, you should start to share your history. For example, did you talk about sex in your household growing up? Was it taboo? Does religion play a part in your sexual life? If so, to what degree does it affect your sex life and how you perceive sex? How often do you like to have sex? Do you have expectations about sex? Do you both feel comfortable and safe talking your needs with each other? Why or why not? How does your partner respond when you talk about your sexual needs? Is he/she offended? Does he/she feel threatened?
3.) Extended family
It’s often said that we don’t just marry the person, but their family. In the best situations, both families get along with one another which makes family gatherings and sharing holidays, birthdays, and other special days, much easier. Many of us have traditions that we hope to continue once married. Wedding these and wanting things to ‘be fair’ can at times create friction. To begin, do your families get along? Are the differences significant? Do you come from different religious backgrounds and if so, how will this affect celebrations?