Life Happens: How Premarital Counseling Helps You Weather Change Well

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Life happens. Some say it’s what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. Accepting this is a giant step towards peace of mind. Preparing for it takes it to a whole new level—for you and those in your life.

What Happens When “Life Happens”?

For starters, many wonderful things can and do happen. But we rarely think of those events as something we have to “weather.” When our personal storm clouds gather, it could mean:

  • Financial problems
  • Job loss or demotion
  • Health issues
  • Death of a loved one
  • Relationship crises like infidelity or loss of sexual compatibility

Then you have the events that cut both ways, e.g.

  • Getting married
  • Buying a home
  • Starting a family
  • Relocating
  • Retiring

This last set of events and others like them—in general—are what we make happen. They carry a sense of excitement and joy rather than despair and worry.  Once set in motion, however, each of these changes will lead to happenings we may not be prepared to meet. This partially explains the high divorce rate. Close to half of first marriages end in divorce. The rate is even higher for second and third marriages.

Of course, no couple can ever be 100 percent prepared for the twists and turns of their shared life. But what if there was a proven method to learn how to weather change?

7 Ways Premarital Counseling Helps You Weather Change Well

1. It seriously enhances your communication skills

Life not only happens, but it also challenges you to communicate better. So much can be weathered if healthy lines of communication exist. This doesn’t happen by accident. Communication is an ongoing journey with no destination. Premarital counseling is where it can be launched. Learn to communicate well and often and also how to manage conflict when it arises.

2. Partners learn things about each other much earlier than without counseling

Relationships are full of surprises and this can be fun. There are times, however, where we don’t want to be surprised. Regular counseling sessions become a safe space where we can reveal more about ourselves and deepen our bonds. A counselor with professional and life experience can point out traps you may not even think about.

3. You get busted on those sabotaging patterns

Each and every one of us has habits we should break. Since some of these habits are invisible to us, your counselor will play a big role in detecting patterns. Distress in marriages and long-term relationships often begin when couples fail to communicate in a healthy manner and develop a negative cycle or feedback loop.  

4. You build upon your growing foundation

Agreeing to a regular schedule of tough exploration is an important sign of commitment. Your foundation will be strengthened by the hard work you do before you say “I do.”

5. The future becomes more of a concrete reality

The more you hear and learn about each other and work things out together, the more real it all feels. Relationships are the spice of life and necessary for human fulfillment, but they are not easy. Diversifying your connection in premarital counseling will help you both more easily envision your long-term future together.

6. Disagreements and arguments feel less like a crisis

When you’ve put it all on the table beforehand, those inevitable spats don’t seem so daunting. You’ve committed to growth early and often. Change doesn’t scare you as much as it used to.

7. Did we mention communication?

Seriously, there is no secret formula to making your marriage a long-lasting one. But healthy communication is the closest thing you’ll find.

How to Get Started

Trust the process. Couples counseling is often misunderstood—sometimes on purpose. It provides many movie plot points or a stand-up comedian’s punch lines.

Counseling can also be a super sticky sticking point for couples. That’s where the “premarital” part enters the picture. We eat healthy to prevent illness. We save money to avoid financial woes. By that same logic, couples can address issues in advance.

Don't wait for a crisis to figure it all out.  Do the best you can to be prepared.  It all starts with a phone call—a simple act that can change your life before life changes your life.