Premarriage Counseling Risks

Premarital Counseling

You already know that premarriage counseling is one of the best investments you could ever make. However, just like any investment you might make, there’s always risks involved. Somewhat similar to the risks of traditional marriage counseling, please consider the risks when seeking premarital counseling as well.

Premarital counseling tends to be shorter than traditional marriage counseling, but it can still impact your bank account quite nicely. Many glorified counselors might request tremendous fees for their services, and you should make sure you do not invest too much in the wrong place. Premarital counseling should be mostly around individual work with your partners, and hand-holding is not required. Look for efficiency when seeking premarital counseling, not the most expensive therapist. Efficient premarital counseling is where the therapy is guided by the philosophy of proactively engaging in awareness-building and communication activities with your partner.

With that point in mind, premarital counseling can either make or break your upcoming marriage. You will encounter challenging questions and will learn about more aspects of your partner that are different from your own, and these will be challenging to your relationship. You must come mentally and emotionally prepared for them, and not live the illusion that everything is going to be sugarcoated. Only when you are fully prepared to tackle all the disagreements and differences will you be able to benefit from the vast resource of premarital counseling. [pullquote align=’left’]You Must Come Emotionally and Mentally Prepared for Premarital Counseling[/pullquote]

Generally, premarital counseling can be accomplished privately between a couple, given that their relationship is strong enough and based on trust and communication. All you have to do is ask each other important questions, and check the other posts in this blog. However, if you decide that you must seek a professional marriage counselor, please remember that marriage counseling a carefully crafted skill that is possessed by very few individuals. Some marriage counselors aren’t married. Others are divorced or remain unhappily married. It’s important to do your research on your marriage counselor before placing your marriage in their hands. Check their credentials and feel free to ask them questions before signing up for treatment.

Premarital counseling is also the best way to untangle secret grudges you might have for one another. Be prepared to argue, especially if you discover that your core beliefs and values, or your plan for raising children ends up being contradictory. You might think your marriage is all planned out in your mind, or that you might have an easy way into it, and that’s usually wrong. One thing counselors and therapists are good at is finding your buttons and knowing the right questions to ask that would push those buttons. Overall, this is a good process that leads up to prosperity in relationships, but only if you come prepared and equipped to handle it.

With these risks and precautions in mind, I urge you to conduct premarital counseling at least in your bedroom with your partner. These questions do not need a personal guide, they only need to be asked and honestly discussed. Even if you find out you can’t resolve it, it’ll be a good sign to seek professional help.

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Premarriage Counseling: Definition and Theory


Premarriage (primarital) counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples explores all the available options before marriage. Premarital counseling can help you ensure that you and your partner actually have a future together, and therefore avoid a lot of future loss. Premarital counseling can also provide you with tools to build a stronger, healthier relationship, giving you a better chance of beating the 50% divorce rate. Lastly, premarital counseling can help identify weaknesses which can be resolved prior to marriage.


Premarital counseling is usually provided by licensed therapists/practitioners known as marriage or family therapists. Each marriage counselor has a graduate or postgraduate degrees. Many therapists choose to achieve credentials by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).

Premarriage counseling is also commonly practiced in multiple religious institutions, and many forms of premarriage counseling are adapted to each faith’s rituals. These small but vital differences are essential to be effective in successfully helping couples. Moreover, some spiritual leaders actually require premarital counseling before conducting a marriage ceremony.


Premarriage counseling helps couples discuss all the big questions in life – but in specific relevance to the relationship. For example: what would be your dying will? How about a living will? You rarely think about death, and even less about how it might affect your family or relationship.

Many other important topics are discussed which cover a full range of scenarios, all of which are important to ensure that you and your partner are compatible, and that you will lead productive lives for both yourselves and your potential children. All the following are discussed (and others highlighted in red):

Family relationships and how will you deal with them. Remember that marriage is a package deal, and you marry your all of your partner’s family, and vice versa. You need to make sure that you and your partner are willing to suffer through and support each other’s families.

Dealing with anger: face it, we all get mad at our loved ones, sometimes even more frequently than towards mean strangers. Understanding your anger and knowing how to deal with it is vital to secure your marriage.

Beliefs and values: are they aligned or are there any deal breakers? Are there any religious considerations that you need to make? How about cultural differences? What education will you seek? How do you plan to spend your retirement?

It’s also important to determine your roles in marriage. Is one of you a stay at home mom or dad? What happens when a child is born? Who does what in the house?

Communication: active listening and speaking skills that ensure honesty and trust

How will you spend your time together? Is one of you more demanding?

Money, finances, budgets, savings, and how you should handle it..

Do you feel affectionate and sexually satisfied? Are you missing anything? Beat adultery before it becomes an issue by being sexually happy in your relationship

Do you need to discuss any roles in sex? Are you unhappy with what’s going on right now, and hoping that it will change with time? Marriage counseling will help you tackle those elusive topics.

Premarital counseling will also work on teaching you important parenting skills (if you need them), and help guide you through the next steps after marriage. You will be taught decision making skills and logical thinking that will help you solve different types of problems that you may encounter as you’re newly wed. Effective decision making that is objective and aims to resolve conflict is essential to every marriage, and these skills normally require training.

Overall, premarital counseling will help couples improve their ability to communication, set realistic expectations for the marraige, and develop decision making and problem solving skills.

Before going to premarital counseling, please keep in mind that you bring a different set of values, opinions, and history into the relationship, and usually these will be rather different than similar. Gathering all of this information before getting married is key for your happiness and the happiness of your families.


To prepare for your therapy, the most important step is to find the right therapist. I’ve discussed risks before, and it’s vital that you find a suitable therapist that will be able to guide you. Alternatively, you can start the process yourself by tackling the big questions.

Make sure to check your therapist’s education and experience. What is their educational background? Are they legally licensed to practice? What are their credentials? What’s their marriage looking like?

Additionally, you’ll want to lay out a clear plan for treatment. Discuss the length of each treatment, and how many sessions are expected.

Additionally, you’ll want to lay out a clear plan for treatment. Discuss the length of each treatment, and how many sessions are expected.


Often premarriage counseling begins with a set of questionnaires to assess the perspective views on the relationship, one’s personality dispositions or any other factors the therapist sees relevant. These questionnaires also help determine a couple’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential problem areas. The main focus of treatment is to teach awareness and encourage proactive problem solving and communication. Your counselor will help you understand your results together, discuss problem areas, and help you set realistic goals to improve your relationship.

Your counselor can also ask you to use different mental tools and psychological exercises – teaching you to do perspective-taking and learning other vital skills. Additionally, exercises to understand relationships better are used to help visualize all your differences and set goals together.

The variety of questions that can be asked are vast, but they all aim to do one thing: inspire awareness, and encourage proactive improvements of your relationship.

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Marriage Counseling Questions To Ask Yourself

Marriage Counseling Questions To Ask Yourself

There are several marriage counseling questions that are asked throughout traditional marriage counseling. Before you consider investing the time and energy into traditional marriage counseling, consider the following marriage counseling questions:

What are our main issues?

Oftentimes, what one partner might find insignificant is the source of the other’s misery. When you’re in a relationship, it should be your goal to understand your partner’s feelings, even if they don’t make sense at first. Asking your partner what they think are the main issues in the relationship could open your eyes to new perspectives. Perhaps what you thought was bothering them is entirely incorrect, and it was something deeper – like not spending enough time together? Finding out what your partner is missing is key to a happy marriage. You don’t need marriage counseling to tell you that.

Which of those issues are the most important?

All the main issues need to be resolved, but you might not be able to tackle them all at once. Consider what your partner feels is the most important, and focus on resolving it first. Once the most urgent issues are resolved, you will both feel at ease and find it much easier to progress for the less important ones.

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Risks of Traditional Marriage Counseling


Whenever a marriage is in crisis, most people react in one of two ways: destructive or constructive. Destructive comes in many forms, which is not the topic of this post. There’s a much bigger issue with the ‘constructive’ reaction, as the immediate approach is to go to marriage counseling. Most people don’t even consider any other alternative. This assumption, however, is absolutely wrong if you consider that about 90% of traditional marriage counseling does not work. There are several reasons for that:

Marriage counseling is expensive. Most couples have difficulties that include financial shortcomings, and investing more money and emotional energy. During these meetings, often the focus is the negativities that brought the marriage down – which is wrong to do. Over time, when things aren’t getting better, the financial implications will only drive your marriage to dust.

Marriage counseling is a carefully crafted skill possessed by very few individuals. It requires interpersonal, emotional, religious, financial, and general life skills to honestly be anywhere near decent in helping a marriage. Some marriage counselors aren’t married. Others are divorced or remain unhappily married. It’s important to do your research on your marriage counselor before investing all that time, money, and energy. Just like you wouldn’t take parenting advice from a bad parent, neither should you accept it from someone who does not understand their own marriage.

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Premarriage Counseling

Why You Should Invest In Premarriage Counseling

Premarriage counseling is one of the best things you can do in your entire life. Seriously. Here’s some perspective:

The last time you considered buying a house, or a car, or moving to a different country – or any other decision that would significantly impact your life, what do you do? You research. You compare prices, and how this change will impact your life, your family’s life, and so on. You read reviews and you make sure that what you’re investing into is compatible with your needs.

Next, answer this question: do you think that getting married (historically, Until Death Do Us Part) is similarly a significant decision? If your answer is yes – then premarriage counseling is essential. Not only because it can prevent future marriage counseling (which costs far more in traditional methods), but because it can prevent a future divorce, separation of children, and losing half of your hard-earned belongings.

The main difference between marriage counseling (usually works on resolving emotional conflicts) and premarriage counseling is that the latter is highly practical.

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Free Marriage Counseling Online


It’s well known that about half of all first marriages end up in divorce. I hope to help alleviate that in the future by providing all the information necessary help fix it. This includes premarriage counseling. Such devastating divorce rates also scare many couples on their second or third try – which turns into a scary feedback loop.

On this site you’ll find all the resources you need to figure out most problems, and if you can’t find it – I’ll redirect you to a better source or try to answer your questions in future posts.

Free marriage counseling comes in many shapes and forms. The most common ones are forums, ebooks, and public posts like the ones on this website. Many of those ebooks will feature false titles (e.g. “7 secrets to solve all your marriage problems!”) – these ones are usually of medium quality, and exist merely to convince you to sign up for their product. Other ebooks which offer specific solutions or feature a specific topic are most likely of better quality (e.g. “how to fix the 5 most common communication problems”), as they’ve been researched around a specific topic.

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