There’s a lot of material out there on pre-marital counseling, but what about pre-engagement? How can you be sure you want to say “yes” when the person you’re dating starts to talk about marriage? What should a couple do before they decide to get engaged?
Pre-Engagement Counseling is an opportunity to explore important relationship questions such as:
- Does your partner give you the affection you feel you need?
- When a problem arises, how well do you communicate with each other?
- Do you feel understood when you have an argument with your partner?
- What kind of temper/mood does your partner have, and can you live with it?
- What, if anything, needs to change in your partner, and what will happen if he/she cannot change?
Would you like to understand each other better, to communicate more effectively, and to prepare for and/or avoid the arguments that most couples have within their first three to five years of marriage?
Before you ask someone to marry you or before you respond with “Yes,” is the best time to get some guidance on whether it’s a good decision to marry each other. More than fifty percent (50%) of all marriage end in divorce and over and over again people say they wish they had chosen more wisely. Making the decision to get married is the single most important decision you will ever make. And you can’t afford to just make this decision only with your heart. When a decision is made with both your head and your heart it is more likely to pilot you to a happy, healthy, fulfilled marriage.
That is why The Marriage Gene believes it is very important for couples thinking about marriage begin seeking counsel BEFORE the train starts moving. With married couples already having the odds stacked against them given the high divorce rates, you would think couples thinking about marriage would be sobered into looking for every possible resource available. With half of all marriages failing, doesn’t it make sense to make sure that you’re NOT on the wrong side of the statistics? Wouldn’t you rather do the hard work of confronting your issues and asking the tough questions before you get married, instead of hoping for the best?
So if you are in a serious dating relationship and the topic of marriage comes up, we would encourage you to get counseling counsel BEFORE the proposal. Before you take on the 300-pound gorilla of wedding planning, make sure you’re moving forward sensibly and soberly. Even in dating it is difficult to have clear vision and an objective perspective, but if you are hesitant to have an outside opinion weighing in even NOW, then that’s a huge red flag.
If you are trying to decide if your relationship is ready for the next step, Pre-Engagement Counseling can help. In a private setting you can discuss important issues to help you decide if you are ready to get married. You can explore your expectations for marriage and family. As a team you can learn communication and conflict resolution skills to help you avoid the common pitfalls proven to lead to early divorce.
Don’t hope for the best, don’t count on the other person to change, and don’t ignore the input of your friends and family. Breaking up with a boyfriend or fiancé is hard, but being in a bad marriage is much, much harder.