A number of couples are recognizing the value of premarital counseling in order to avoid the pitfalls that most couples experience when they do not have an understanding of what makes relationships work and what makes them flounder and eventually break-up.
Getting married without this knowledge is like starting any important venture without preparation. Half of all marriages end in divorce and only half of those that endure are truly happy in the long run. There is also a surprising number of divorced couples who remarry one another a few years later. The average cost of divorce can be around $30,000, not to mention the emotional cost that ripples to other family members.
Many happy engaged couples assume that they won’t be contributing to these statistics. Some mistakenly believe that having lived together or known each other for a long time will prepare them for marriage. Surprisingly, research shows that cohabiting couples have no better chance at marital success than others. Research shows that there is a window of opportunity during the year before the wedding and the six months or so after when couples get the optimum benefit from marriage preparation. This is the perfect time to find out how to avoid bad habits and mistakes that can create resentments in your future.
The typical marriage today has to contend with managing two careers while rearing children and often dealing with aging parents as well. This requires couples to have strong, well-established abilities to communicate and work from alignment to resolve issues. Without this foundation, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by stress and time pressures. Problems can intrude much more easily than most couples realize. Many individuals who grew up with divorced or unhappily married parents may find that they have unacknowledged and unexplored expectations that their marriage, too, may become unhappy. On the other hand, couples who come from a background in which their parents had a good, solid and happy marriage, may assume that theirs will be the same and be shocked when their own marriage does not seem to follow this pattern. Gaining an understanding of how you and your partner construct your experience of one another will help you cut off potential difficulties at the start. Couples need every advantage to succeed in today’s marriages.
Couples sometimes receive some premarital counseling from their religious adviser. Often the religious provider has never experienced marriage, personally. There are programs available that help build skills but it is very difficult to remember to use a skill when you are in the throws of an emotional reaction.
There is very little help available for couples to learn how to bring out the best in one another and avoid conflict when one or the other is feeling stressed. We can help you avoid the dangers that can catch you unaware and assault your marriage. This is what one fiance had to say:“I am extremely grateful to you for the insights I have gained. The idea of stepping back from ego and focusing, instead, on the sacredness of our relationship feels natural to me, almost intuitive. It resonates with the deepest part of me in a way I cannot quantify. Much like dominoes, I sense this new regard for our relationship will inspire me to move outside of ego so I can deep listen, with curiosity and acceptance rather than agenda and bias, and this deep listening will allow me to rediscover Mike, myself, and the gift that is our relationship. I cannot fully express my gratitude for your part in this process.”
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