Table Of Contents:
- 1. Pre-marital Counseling: What And Why
- 2. Questions You May Have
- 3. Tips For Pre-Marital Counseling
- 4. Outcome And Benefits
A lot of things make a marriage. A little effort and some compromise from both ends, loaded with buckets of love is what makes a marriage successful. You put in a lot of time, effort, and money into making the marriage ceremony a huge success. But did you ever stop to think about what else can be added to the preparation list?
We’re talking about a pre-marital counseling session. Don’t raise your eyebrows. Unlike a usual marriage counseling session that is attended only if there are problems in a marriage, a pre-marital counseling session works differently. Pre-marriage counselling lets you know your strengths and weaknesses and helps you sort them out accordingly. MomJunction tells you about what pre-marital counseling sessions are and what are covered in them.
What Is Pre-Marital Counseling?
As the name suggests, pre-marital counselling is a therapy session that helps the to-be bride and groom prepare for their lives together as a married couple. It helps you both open up to one another and discuss your strengths, and weaknesses, and issues, if any. A marriage or family therapist helps you with pre-marital counselling and let’s you enter the new life with more confidence and emotional strength.
Why Do You Need Pre-Marital Counselling?
As gender roles are constantly on the reversal, and life is faster and busier than ever before, many marriages reach a stage where they head towards an eventual breakup. Sometimes, even if the partners do live together, there is hardly any communication or attachment involved. Pre-marital counseling aims preparing you for the practical day-to-day issues you will face as a couple.
11 Things That You Should Discuss And Question At A Pre-Marital Counseling:
There will be a host of topics that you and your future partner will discuss at the pre-marital counselling session. In addition, there are some questions that you should talk about while you are at the counselling session. These questions will help you cover the most basic topics that are associated with marriage and will also make you understand each other better. Remember that these are not just questions you should ask your partner, but find an answer too. Take a look:
1. Questions About What Marriage Means To You:
- What does commitment mean to you?
- Why do you want to settle down with the partner you have chosen?
- What are the qualities in your partner that make you so sure that you would want to be in a lifelong relationship?
- What are the boundaries of your marriage? What will make you jealous or insecure? What will make you uncomfortable in your marriage in relation to your partner’s association with others?
2. Questions About Your Life Goals And Plans:
- What are some of your future plans that you really want to work hard on?
- How do you think you will achieve those goals?
- In what way do you want your partner to contribute and help in reaching those goals?
- What are your plans regarding your career?
3. Expectations From Each Other:
- What are your expectations from your partner regarding emotional and physical needs?
- What do you expect from your partner when you are depressed, are in a financial crunch, or are excited about something?
- Do you want to have some lone time with your friends or you expect your partner to tag along with you?
- Are you alright if your partner spends time out with friends or otherwise, without you?
- What kind of a house do you want to live in and what kind of a neighborhood do you have in mind?
- How much time do you want to spend at work? Do you also want to dedicate some home time to work?
- How much time do you want to dedicate to each other during the weekends? Will this be inclusive of your lone or work time?
- Will both of you work out of the home to support financial needs? Or will one person stay home when you plan for kids?
- Will your pay structure be an issue to your partner about who earns more?
- What happens when one partner wants to take a break from work?
4. Planning The Living Arrangement:
- Where do you plan to live and do you have any specific plans after a baby?
- How will you determine your place of stay based on your area of work?
- Will you live with in-laws or parents? How would this affect your finances and personal space?
- If you are not going to live with parents or in-laws, how do you plan to be available for them.
5. Planning Children:
- When do you want to plan a baby and how many kids do you want?
- If you plan to have more one kid, how much should the age be?
- What are your ideas and plans regarding an unplanned pregnancy? How comfortable would you be with the options of abortion?
- What are your opinions on disciplining your kids?
- What type of a school would you want your kids to attend?
- What would the primary mode of language be?
- If you and your partner speak more than one language, would you want your kid to learn those? Who would take the responsibility for teaching those languages?
- Are there any special concerns you have about religion that you want your kids to follow?
- If both you and your partner are from different faiths, how do you intend your kid be brought up? Do you want to teach your kid one faith, both the faiths or let your kid grow up and decide what to choose?
- What are some of the things about bringing up kids that you and your partner do not agree on?
- How would you decide on punishments and how extreme would they be?
- What would your monthly budget for kids be? How much would you spend on them, their pocket money, and other such things?
6. Money Matters:
- Do you intend to open a joint account after marriage or want to keep your bank accounts separate?
- If you have a joint account, would you set a limit on the expenditure or spend as per necessity?
- How would the bills be split and who would take major financial decisions?
- Do you want to share all your personal financial details with your partner?
- How much money do you want to save? Is there an amount you would want as a safety cushion?
- Is there any debt you are already paying or are planning to get into?
- If you want to plan a house who pays for it? Would it be paid by one or both of you?
- If your parents require financial assistance how do you want to plan it?
- How do you intend to save for or plan for your kids’ school and college fees?
- Do you plan to save money as part of a retirement plan?
- Do you intend to go for life insurance plans? If yes, who will be the nominee?
- How do you plan to pay the taxes?
7. In-Laws And Parents:
- How much time do you want to spend with your respective parents if you do not live with them?
- If you live in different cities, how often do you intend to visit your parents or in-laws?
- How will you plan your holidays? Will you visit your parents and in-laws for all holidays?
- How often do you want your parents or in-laws to live with you?
- Are you comfortable if your partner discusses issues about in-laws with respective parents?
- How do you approach issues you face with your in-laws? Do you discuss it openly with your in-laws or does the partner act as the mediator?
- In times of a disagreement with in-laws, how do you want your partner to react? Do you want your partner to take a stand or stay out of it?
- What type of a relationship will your kids have with their grandparents? How often do you want them to meet?
- Are you comfortable about living with your in-laws?
- Do you ever intend to start living with parents especially when they grow old? Would you be comfortable with them living nearby or living in the same house as yours?
8. Gender Based Roles:
- Who does the cooking at home? If this is a shared responsibility, would there be time slots for each partner?
- Do you intend to have a cook?
- How would the chores at home be divided and on what basis?
9. Physical Intimacy And Needs:
- How often do you want to be intimate with your partner? Is there something like a too much or too less for you when it comes to sex?
- When one partner wants to have sex while the other does not, how do you resolve the situation?
- Do you like watching erotic movies? If yes, would you want your partner to watch them with you, or separately? Do you ever want to play out the scenes that you watch?
- Do you have fantasies? If yes, would you like to share them with your partner? Will you be willing to fulfill your partner’s fantasies? Is there something that is off-limits to you when it comes to having sex?
- If you are not feeling physically satisfied with your partner, how do you want to resolve the issue? Will you be open to your partner and talk about it?
- Are you comfortable with having sex with your partner soon after marriage or do you want to wait and be more intimate and comfortable first?
- Are you comfortable to have sex during menstrual bleeding? If yes, what are some precautions you need to take? If no, is there any way your partner can make you feel comfortable and try it out?
- Will you be interested in trying out sex toys?
10. Times Of Disagreement:
- How do you resolve disagreements?
- Is shouting and abusing going to be a part of your disagreement issues? How would you manage your anger?
- What if a partner ends up inflicting physical violence on the other, whether intentionally or unintentionally?
- How will you resolve the issue when both of you are upset?
- Do you want a timeout after a disagreement to cool off? Would you rather have your partner reach out to you and that will help you cool down?
11. Relations Outside Marriage:
- What does the term extra-marital relationship mean to you? What applies to cheating in your terms? Does cheating only imply having a sexual relationship with someone other than your partner? Does kissing someone, going out for dinner with someone else, spending alone time also mean cheating to you?
- If you feel attracted to someone how do you go about it? Will you share it with your partner? Do you want your partner to discuss such feelings with you?
- Do you think fantasizing about someone else while having sex with each other is also equivalent to cheating?
- What if one of you ends up having sex with someone else? Do you want to come clean and disclose it to your partner? Or would you rather forget about it and never do it again? Do you want your partner to tell you about it as you feel it will make you trust your partner more and will help you work on your marriage? Or would you rather not know about it?
- Are you alright to discuss about your sexual life with your partners? Are you alright if your partner discusses about your sexual life with someone else?
4 Important Tips For Your Pre-Marital Counseling Session:
Some four important tips that you should keep in mind when you go for your pre-marital counselling session are:
- It Is All About Knowing Your Partner: Remember that the main reason you are getting into a pre-marital counselling session is to get to know your partner better. You are not doing this to change your partner, nor should your partner try to change you. The idea is that both of you will understand how the other person functions. It will help you both reach a middle ground that will make your marriage more stable and happy.
- Be Honest: You may want to know everything about your partner, but you also need to be honest. Remember that when you get into a pre-marital counselling session, you have to be prepared to come clean about everything and discuss a lot about yourself. You can surely tell your partner about some things that you are not comfortable to discuss at length, but do not hide things out of choice.
- Let Your Partner Speak: Instead of questioning your partner after every point you discuss, be patient and listen. Even if you do not agree with something, let your partner talk about it from a personal point of view. It will help you understand your partner’s thought process and how you can make mutual decisions.
- Be Appreciative: It takes courage and effort to open up honestly and completely to someone. You may find it very easy to do, but it could be a big challenge for your partner. Appreciate the fact that your partner is willing to have a pre-marital counselling.
What Are The Benefits Of Pre-Marital Counselling?
Pre-marital counselling is one of the first steps in understanding your partner better. Here are some of the benefits you can expect of your counselling session:
- Gain Clear Insight: When you are in love or meet someone for the first time, you may not always be able to see their flaws or understand. A counselling session will give you an insight in your partner’s personality that you may not yet have had a chance to notice.
- You Will Be Better Prepared: Through the counselling session, you will be prepared in advance about how to get into the relationship. You will not have any unpleasant surprises in your marriage. Even if you do not agree on certain things, you will have the chance to discuss about them and come to a mutual agreement.
- You Know The Repercussions: Once you discuss honestly about each other’s thoughts and feelings, you will understand the limitations and know where you need to draw the line. It will help you prevent disagreements and unpleasant situations in your marriage.
- Better Way To Understand In-Laws: You may or may not live with your in-laws, but nothing can help you understand them than a pre-marital counseling session. When you know their preferences and when your partner also knows about your preferences, it will be easier for everyone to adjust accordingly.
- Reduce Your Chances Of A Divorce: When you take the time out to understand each other through pre-marital counselling, you show your commitment towards the marriage. Understanding each other is the biggest way to reduce your chances of a divorce.
A pre-marital counseling session does not mean that you and your partner have a problem. It means that you understand the importance of the relationship you are getting into and want to give it your best shot.
Did anyone you know have a pre-marital counseling session? Let us know about it in the comments section. Have a happy married life!
The post What Is Premarital Counseling And How Does It Help? appeared first on MomJunction.