Sunday, April 28, 2013

The TRUTH about premarital counseling

So the fiance and I just completed our final round of premarital counseling on Friday night!  I know, premarital counseling on a Friday night?!?! Who does that????  I am still trying to determine who's bright idea it was to host our final session on a Friday night :)

While going through the premarital program, I was often asked questions like.....
 "Why are you guys doing that?"
 "Is that something the church is forcing you to do?"
 "Do you have problems in your relationship?"
Or heard comments like......
 "I don't believe in counseling...."

The above comment "I don't believe in counseling" made me believe there are some misconceptions out there about the options for premarital counseling programs.

Options for premarital counseling programs
-Private or group sessions with a professional psychologist or psychiatrist
-Faith based premarital sessions (what we did)

We chose the latter of the two because we want to build a marriage that is built around Christ as the center.  I HIGHLY recommend this option to all people out there who have confessed Jesus Christ as their lord and savior and want to built a marriage around your faith.  The program we did was not preachy and was very REAL.  So if you are one of the many people out there skeptical of something like this and you do not believe in "counseling" then this is a great option for you because you aren't in "counseling."  You are in a faith based group that happens to discuss premarital topics:) 

Why we decided to do it
Our reason for participating in a premarital program was for one reason and one reason only.....We simply wanted to be prepared to be the best wife/husband we can be for one another and thought the program would be a good investment of our time and a GREAT gift to give each other.  I call it a gift because guess what????  If you are not meant to get married, premarital counseling is designed to reveal that to you and I consider that a gift that will save each of you a lot of heartache and pain in the long run.

How the program was designed
Our program was hosted by our church.  The commitment consisted of a 2 hr orientation and an all day workshop to start off.  From there, they split us into small groups and assigned us with a sponsor couple who lead the 3 required group sessions.  Our small group was about 7 couples plus our sponsor couple.  The program also comes with as many private sessions as you would like.  We did not have any private sessions but they were open to us if we needed to talk through anything one on one.  The program also consisted of A LOT of homework!! Geez, we felt like we were back in college!  We were up until 1am one night catching up on homework to get prepared for the final session!

Shout out to our sponsor couple.....Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Joan Blake.  They have been married for 25 years and share 3 beautiful daughters.  These two were so real and we learned so much through their wisdom.  We are truly grateful we were blessed with them.

Our workbook was AMAZING!!  If you are not sure about going through a formal premarital program, at the very least purchase this book and commit to completing the assignments in it with your fiance.  I promise you it will be well worth your time and will force you to communicate with your partner about topics you never imagined.  

                                                                 Here's the workbook





So the TRUTH about premarital counseling in my opinion is it's a WIN WIN and I highly recommend every couple embarking upon a marriage should give their relationship this gift.  You will understand the true meaning of marriage, strengthen your faith, learn EVERYTHING and I do mean EVERYTHING about your soon to be spouse, learn from amazing couples, and the list goes on and on!  Another TRUTH is that if more people spent more time preparing for their marriage instead of just preparing for the wedding day alone, less and less marriages will be ending based on the emphasis IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES!

If you were on the fence about it before I hoped I helped you to see the benefits behind this.  It truly will save America from more marriages than not ending in divorce these days.  I am not saying this is the end all be all and that every couple who goes through a premarital program will be together forever, but you sure are giving yourself the best possible chance to survive.  Marriage is hard work!!  #I'm just saying


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