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Is Premarital Counseling Worth It?

answered 05:21 PM EST, Mon February 06, 2012
I have been living with my girlfriend for 3 years. We are now engaged to be married. She wants us to get pre marriage counseling. I think it is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of…but if it makes her happy I will do it gladly.

For what possible reason would I need to get counseling to learn more about a person I’ve just had spent more than a 1000 days living with and getting to know everything about? Is there really any point in this? I would really like to understand the point and my fiancée is not really able to tell me why it makes sense….especially when we have a rather expensive wedding coming up to pay for.

Stephanie Adams Says...

Do you only change the oil in your car when it's not working? Or do you change it regularly so it keeps running smoothly? If you wait until there's a problem to go to marriage counseling, you may find yourself performing maintenance on a machine that's already broken.

A good premarital counselor will help you look backwards, present and forward to help you assess what problems you've had in the past, what you're doing right, and how you can avoid problems in the future.

The vast majority of my clients in marriage counseling come in as a last resort, when they've already checked out of the marriage. In contrast, those who enter premarital counseling - while things are still good and everybody's positive about the future - can avoid many, many speedbumps before they start.

It's a good thing that your relationship is positive enough that you don't see the need for "counseling." But think of it like getting your oil changed. It doesn't hurt for you to check in, and while the mechanic's under the hood, he/she may do some preventative maintenance that will save you down the road.

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Page last updated Feb 07, 2012

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