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Premarital Counseling: Did you? Will you?

Mutley's post in Katy's thread made me think about this.

Did you or will you do premarital counseling?  Reasons?  If you've gone through a pre-marital program, how valuable was it?

Re: Premarital Counseling: Did you? Will you?

  • No, we haven't and won't. I think that we have a good enough line of communication that we can just discuss what we need to. I do think it can be valuable though to open up those subjects to couples who may have a hard time doing it themselves.
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  • motoLynmotoLyn
    2500 Comments Third Anniversary 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
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    edited April 2012
    I have had friends tell me that they have and it was great for them.  I also know those who have not and are still happily married.  I think for me what it come down to is if Danish Man and I are on the same track with our future plans and how to handle issues and events.  How we want to raise our kids, how to handle financial  matters, emergencies and priorities.  We talk about this on a daily basis so I wouldn't do premarital counseling, and so far agree on pretty much everything.  I'm sure there are couples who need it so that they can be on the same page.
  • In Response to Re: Premarital Counseling: Did you? Will you?:
    We haven't, but I'd be really open to it.  FI isn't very interested, and I don't feel like it's a huge deal, so I haven't pushed the issue.  Honestly, I don't see how it could hurt, so if it might give you some pointers and tips, I feel like, why not?
    Posted by polo1425
    That's kind of how I feel, too.  I would be totally up for doing some kind of program if I could find a secular one.  That's a tall order in this part of the world.
  • We will most likely be getting married in church so we will have to go to Pre-Cana.  I think it will be good for us to open up some things for discussion we may not have thought about yet.  We seem to work very well together so far, so I think that should be enough for us. 
  • I have recently been thinking about doing this & have started doing some research on the subject.  FI said he would be on-board.  I think it can't hurt so why not?
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  • lunarsongbirdlunarsongbird
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    edited April 2012

    I usually associate premartial counseling with religion. Does anyone else?
    Are there benefits to non-religious premarital counseling? And I wonder who does it then...normal psychologists? And is it covered by insurance at all? Hm...many questions.

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  • In Response to Re: Premarital Counseling: Did you? Will you?:
    In Response to Re: Premarital Counseling: Did you? Will you? : That's definitely a factor for us.  I completely respect that for many people, their faith is an important component in their marriage.  For us, it's not.  So it would feel somewhat...fake?  false?  to have counseling sessions that talked about that.
    Posted by polo1425
    Exactly.  I would feel like I was lying the whole time.
  • In Response to Re: Premarital Counseling: Did you? Will you?:
    I usually associate premartial counseling with religion. Does anyone else? Are there benefits to non-religious premarital counseling? And I wonder who does it then...normal psychologists? And is it covered by insurance at all? Hm...many questions.
    Posted by lunarsongbird
    I often associate it with religion because several religions require it in order to be married in the church.  It's definitely not exclusive to religious groups, though.  Houston had several secular programs you could do and they were mostly run by licensed counselors, I think.

    Mississippi doesn't seem to have any, though.
  • We haven't and probably won't. I would be open to it, FI is not open to it at all, and I don't value it enough to bother pushing for it. He's bound and bent that we communicate well enough as is, and that we've talked about the big stuff. Which is true; our daily dialogue is full of discussions about the future, where our values lie, etc. We might have missed something, but in general, we're on the same page (or can find a way to be on the same page) so I'm not too concerned overall. But like I said, I would be open to it - like Polo said, it can't hurt.

    Also, we are not religious or getting married in a church, so I don't actually even know where we'd go for it.


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  • edited April 2012
    We do.  It's not religious at all.  We've been going to her for almost a year and a half on and off so I'm not sure it can be solely classified as "premarital counseling."  We started going just because we knew we wanted to get married one day and wanted to learn some better communication skills.  Then we started going again when I got back from deployment last year.  Our focus now is much more on getting ready for marriage and we go every 5-6 weeks for our "monthly maintenance visits" (that's what we call them). 
    Those communication skills we learned have been invaluable!  Our insane schedules and sometimes living a planet apart can make things more difficult than normal; our counselor/therapist person really gives us skills to deal with things like that. 
  • Another option is I know the wedding channel has wedding deals, twice I have seen deals for ONLINE marriage counseling.  Yes they have interwebs sessions too.  Another option to look at.
  • thejucheideathejucheidea
    2500 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its Name Dropper
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    edited April 2012
    Absolutely not. I don't even care that you get a discount on your marriage license if you go through counseling. We're not religious, so I feel no reason to go to a pastor for recommendations. We solve our relationship problems on our own without a mediator, so I see no reason to go to a secular counselor either. I have my own therapist that I go to for personal problems, but my problems revolve around my immediate family, not Tyler. It would be a total waste of time for us.
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  • DanieKADanieKA
    1000 Comments
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    edited April 2012
    We'll be going to a marriage counselor. I think so many people think that they fully discuss things or that people are on the same track and you really don't realize how big of a issue certain things can be until you are in the thick of it, after you are married. 

    I mentioned this in lunar's post above, but one I've seen in person is "we want 2 or 3 kids" is all fine and good now. You know you both want kids (or not) you talk about names and you get all giddy thinking about it. several years down the line he's satisfied at 2 and you don't feel like the family is complete yet. It can become a real issue and lead to a lot of resentment. 

    Same with other topics. You just can't prepare for everything a marriage is going to throw at you, but fortifying it with these in depth discussions with an outside source (religion based or not), as PP's have said, couldn't hurt. 

    Another thing I think people don't put as much emphasis on when dating is religion. How many times have people gotten married and been fine, but once kids come, or maybe you're faced with a tragic death, or job loss, or some other issue you don't foresee....Many people get very religious/spiritual when something rocks their world whether that be childbirth or something else. Not having at least similar ideas on faith can be very challenging to people who swore up and down and to the moon and back that it wasn't an issue before marriage. It seems so obvious now. Like, "DUH" who wouldn't discuss these things, but it happens over and over and over again in real life. Some of these couples probably didn't discuss it. But I can guarantee you some did and didn't think it was going to become the issue it did in their marriage. 

    These are just two big (and common when it comes to this topic) examples. 
  • My bf and I plan to one day once engaged. The people I know who have done it all recommend it, and I definitely want to do it because I think it might bring up subjects he and I just wouldn't even think to discuss. Plus, we plan to get married in a church, so it'll be a requirement!
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  • edited April 2012
    Yes.  FI and I are going to premarital in counseling in 2 weeks.  We are doing a whole weekend retreat.  I'm very excited for it.

    I did it because I'm SUPER sensitive to the idea of divorce.  I firmly believe that the #1 reason my parents divorced was that they never knew each other well enough to get married.  And I'm aware that I can't control everything, but I think it's a good idea to do the MOST I can to make sure we're on the SAME page about everything important.
  • BF and I are open to it, if it's not affiliated with any particular religion. Although, after 5+ years together, I'm not sure there's much we haven't already talked about. I do think it could be interesting to have the 3rd-party perspective though. Guess we'll see what we decide when the time comes...

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  • We did not, but I wanted to. I had a hard time finding a secular counselor that wasn't expensive. I tried to go through my insurance, but they didn't have anything. So we just never got around to it.

    I just thought it seemed like a good idea. I didn't have anything in particular I wanted to discuss.
  • BF and I have talked about alot of the big topics but we have never talked about marriage counceling.  He has never had therapy of any kind while I did in college and I know how much it helped me so I am definitely open to it.  I'm not sure hwat his thoughts are on it at this moment but I'm definitely going to ask.  Neither of us are concerned with religion and it won't be a large part of our marriage but I would also like some ideas on the logistical stuff like finances, children, etc.

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  • bethsmilesbethsmiles
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    edited April 2012
    BF and I would like to do pre-marital counseling but I think we might have trouble finding someone to do it. We are religious but we don't really attend church. We'll see if we actually do it once we are engaged.
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  • We did it and I found it really helpful.  I highly recommend it.
    Ours wasn't so much about communication but it he asked us a lot of questions to see where we stood.   While I had answers and felt like we had discussed a lot of the questions there were some we had one.  The biggest one I remember is who will take care of your parents when they are older and need help?  I had never thought of that one before or discussed it so I found that really helpful.  He was also able to help FI realize some things about his family that I had never been able to get him to realize before so that was really good.  Also he helped me realize some things about myself that could be destructive to our marriage farther down the road. 

    While I don't think a marriage will fail if you don't do it, I feel like there is no harm and if anything it can be a benefit. 

    "Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained"-C.S. Lewis

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  • I would really like to do it because ive always struggled with things with myself. My SO has helped me through most of it but my parents are divorced and hisdad was divorced before being married for 25 years to my SO's mom. I realy dont want something to ruin our marriage and i know we will have hard time since i will be going to med school and will be spending a lot of time at school or hospitals and such. So for us i think it would help a lot. He is not too much into the idea but im trying to show him the benefits of it, and that just because you get it doesnt mean you have problems, just it will help you prevent problems in the future.
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  • polkadot111polkadot111
    1000 Comments Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    edited April 2012
    We did and it was very helpful. I really don't understand why you wouldn't want to do it. It can't hurt- it can only help. I'll be honest, before I went I too was in the, "Oh I don't need it! We can do things ourself!" category. But, it was so enlightening. I learned lots of things I didn't know about FI, even though I really thought I knew everything. We also learned some great skills through counseling, even though our relationship was pretty awesome (I think!) before the counseling. It just got better.

    Also, we got a new friend out of it too. The person who did our counseling is going to perform the ceremony. Once when we had our biggest fight we ever have had, we went to talk to him just to get another perspective. He also calls us to see how we are doing every so often. 
    Used to be bourgehm. +1,500 posts. Silly knot
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