If you’re getting to know someone for marriage and things have started getting serious, you may have heard a lot more about the benefits of pre-marital counselling. For some couples, the thought of sitting in front of a stranger to open up about their relationship and talk about marriage may seem extremely daunting. Some people may hold the belief that while pre-marital counselling is effective, it is only for couples who are experiencing serious issues. We’ve spoken to Ayesha Aslam from Sakoon Counselling to bring you all the facts on pre-marital counselling and why it may be the best decision you make for your marriage.
Research has shown that couples who undergo pre-marital counselling are 30% less likely to end up in a divorce as opposed to those who didn’t receive any counselling at all. If you’re marrying to stay married forever, then this statistic should pique your interest. Pre-marital counselling is highly effective and can have a major impact on your marriage from the onset.
Sakoon Counselling Services have continuously educated the community on the importance of premarital counselling and deliver an array of courses in order to both drive down the divorce rate amongst Muslims and help new couples be better prepared for marriage. How often are you told that in order to have a better qualification or a better house you have to educate yourself –– but why is it when it comes to marriage, we are never taught the skills to make it successful?
It’s time to bust some myths and get the facts straight on what pre-marital counselling is and why you should consider it before tying the knot.
What is Pre-Marital Counselling?
To put it simply, pre-marital counselling is a form of therapy designed to help couples prepare for married life. It aims to ensure that you as well as your partner can foster a strong and healthy relationship which can lead to better chances of a stable marriage.
This form of therapy seeks out any potential areas of growth in your relationship and identifies issues that might develop into larger problems during marriage. This form of therapy is normally conducted by a licensed therapist (commonly known as marriage and family therapists), however, it can also be performed by a religious leader.
Reasons Why You Should Have it Before Getting Married
You might write off pre-marital counselling as a waste of time. However, there are several reasons that explain why pre-marital counselling is necessary before getting married. They are as follows:
1. It allows you to address issues before they get bigger
Pre-marital counselling provides you with the opportunity to prevent any issues from getting bigger even before you transition into married life. By talking with a counsellor, you’ll be able to settle any disagreements or perhaps talk about your future family plans.
Most couples tend to avoid talking about any issues they have, thinking that they will fade right after they get married – but that’s not the case most of the time. By addressing issues before you get married, you’ll be able to build a solid foundation for your future. It also helps you avoid serious conflicts that could happen later on.
2. It can help you settle any differences in faith
During pre-marital counselling, your counsellor might ask questions that revolve around conflict resolution, your faith, expectations, culture, intimacy, and decision making. They’ll ask questions like “what does intimacy mean to you?” and “what are the expectations of your role in a relationship?”
By asking these questions, your counsellor will be able to provide sound advice that will help you settle any differences that might be present, or work to provide a better understanding in resolving conflicts. In some cases, there are couples who share the same religion but have some variations when it comes to their faith. If left unsolved, those variations might lead to problems down the road, especially if you plan to raise your family under the umbrella of religion while your partner is opposed to that idea.
Addressing this issue can also significantly reduce your rate of divorce. For example, according to statistics, in Malaysia and other Eastern countries, premarital counselling is a requirement before getting married.
3. It helps you learn new things about yourselves
Most of the time, couples believe that they know more about their partners than anyone else. However, pre-marital counsellors will be able to bring out any important information that a partner has left hidden or is even hesitant to share. Through this, couples will be able to learn more about each other and create a safe space for sharing, thereby opening opportunities for growth. This will also help them figure out if they’re really compatible with each other or not.
4. It improves your communication skills
The number one reason why most married couples seek the services of a marriage counsellor is due to difficulties in communication. When a couple seeks counselling, they speak with a counsellor who will help them build their communication skills in order to help them understand each other even better.
The reason why it works is because there’s a neutral party present to mediate and help them understand each other. Through pre-marital counselling, you as a couple will be able to learn specific skills to help you engage in more productive conversations.
5. It helps you work together as a team
For your marriage to be successful, you have to work hand in hand with your partner throughout your lives. Pre-marital counselling can help you develop skills that you will need later on to create a strong foundation for the team that you and your partner are building.
6. It helps to see if you are both compatible
They say love is blind and when you get to know each other you tend to ignore any of the negative traits that may be present in your relationshi[. Pre-marital counselling explores helps you to check in with yourselves to see if you are compatible and how you can make adjustments.
The reason why a lot of married couples fail is that they often get so tangled up in making a perfect wedding that they forgot to address any issues that can possibly happen later on in their marriage.
With pre-marital counselling, couples will be able to create a positive bonding experience that will allow them to build a stronger marriage, develop skills that can resolve any future conflicts, and more. It only goes to show that pre-marital counselling is the key to a solid foundation to enjoy a happily ever after.