My beautiful eldest son is about to marry his adorable partner of several years. My husband and I are thrilled. She is an amazing, beautiful and talented young woman. She has already been part of our family circle for many years. They both started dating when they were both in their late teens. They have been living together for many years.
Yet, as happy as I am about their decision, it got me thinking… back to something my married daughter had said. Reflecting back on her early days of marriage, she said, “I wished we had attended pre-marriage counselling”. Why? I asked. Especially, when they have been living together first for many years.
Don’t they know enough about each other by now? Isn’t the wedding just an outwards celebration of the love and commitment that they have already experience?
She pointed out: marriage can bring with it unspoken expectations that a couple, or the individuals themselves, prior to their wedding, may not even be aware of.
Now that I provide couple counselling (including pre-marriage and/or commitment counselling), I recognise the wisdom in her words.
Couples bring to their marriage expectations and preconceived ideas of marriage which were not part of their pre-marriage relationship. Cultural expectations that may have seeped into the background of their awareness.
Pre-marriage counselling can help by facilitating the necessary conversations around expectations, hopes and dreams that otherwise may be left unspoken.
It can bring to the forefront, unspoken and unrealised expectations.
It can dismantle the misconceptions that sometimes create and influencing visions of a very different futures.
In a nutshell, it can provide a platform for working through all that is necessary to help create a solid, loving and happy foundation on which to continue to build a romantic, intimate and sustainable future.
And, besides being a lot of fun in the lead up to your wedding, it’s an excuse to explore, celebrate and strengthen your relationship.
So, whilst choosing colour schemes, bridal outfits, venues and guests in preparation for your wedding, include some time to prepare for your marriage.
It’s worth the it!