Dear Therapist, 

My fiancé and I are getting married this fall, and I suggested we do premarital counseling to strengthen our relationship. One of my married friends told me that they did premarital counseling and found it to be very helpful because they talked through topics that they hadn’t considered before. As soon as I brought it up, my fiancé brushed it off, saying something like counseling is only for couples with serious problems, and premarital counseling would suggest our relationship is doomed from the start. How can I help him see that premarital counseling is a proactive step to ensure a strong and healthy marriage, rather than a sign of impending doom?


Concerned Fiancé 


Dear Concerned Fiancé, 

Getting married is a really big decision, and I think it’s beautiful to hear you want to start your new journey with some guidance. I can also understand your fiancé’s hesitation. Most couples can think of a few issues they need to work on, but is this romantic time the time to work on them? It’s not a huge leap that your partner may perceive counseling as a last resort for difficult times, especially if he believes in any of the common premarital counseling myths

Thankfully, premarital counseling has been shown time and again to help a couple reinforce their relationship’s strength and resilience. According to a study found in The Journal of Family Psychology, couples who did premarital counseling had a 31% lower chance of divorce compared to those who did not receive such counseling. A skilled premarital counselor trained in using the Prepare-Enrich Assessment ensures that you and your fiancé are well-prepared to navigate the complexities and joys of married life together. This is exactly the right time!

Your new chapter of life will undoubtedly include a few new transitions, so gaining insight into how to communicate best with your partner can be transformative. Premarital counseling helps partners learn to express their needs, fears, and desires effectively. Effective communication is key to creating a foundation for a healthy marriage, as it helps reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and conflicts. 

No relationship is immune to disagreements and conflicts. However, how couples navigate these challenges can make all the difference. Premarital counseling equips couples with practical strategies for resolving conflicts in a healthy and respectful manner. By learning to hear and understand underlying issues, couples can prevent minor disagreements from escalating into major fights. This fosters mutual respect and can strengthen a couple’s bond and build resilience for the future. 

Communicating fears and being vulnerable is not easy, however, nothing builds intimacy and connection like sharing all of who you are and being loved for it. Intimacy goes beyond physical affection; it encompasses emotional closeness, trust, and vulnerability. Premarital counseling offers couples the opportunity and space to deepen intimacy and connection. Nothing makes me happier than seeing couples invest in building intimacy and trust before their big day. 

Let’s face it: You and your fiancé come from different backgrounds and environments. You’re now coming together to build a life collectively. No one enters a relationship without their own set of expectations, values, and beliefs. Premarital counseling provides a framework for couples to explore and discuss these crucial aspects of their relationship. The counseling process helps couples establish a strong sense of unity and cohesion by aligning their expectations and values. 

There are so many things to plan and consider when getting married. In between planning your rehearsal dinner and curating your playlist, you and your fiancé should prioritize building your bond. Premarital counseling can give you and your fiancé the foundation for a lasting and fulfilling marriage. I encourage you to share with your fiancé how you feel and how premarital counseling can be a fun learning experience. For instance, you could say,

“I am excited about getting married. I care so much about you and our future, that I’d feel more secure knowing we have done the prep work to know how to handle tough stuff that happens in a marriage. Having the skills and learning together will help us work through anything that comes our way.” 

Our office offers two options for premarital counseling—individual sessions and premarital group counseling. You’ll be in good company with other couples who prioritize building a strong foundation. Check out the premarital counseling pages for more information and read how other couples benefitted from the program. Our practice offers in-person appointments in Charlotte, NC, and Carefree, AZ. We also offer virtual sessions for premarital couples to log in from anywhere! Contact us to get started.