What is premarital counseling?
So the wedding is coming up soon, and I bet you're very excited and eager to celebrate the big day. This is a time of high excitement and high stress for many couples, and I'm guessing that if you're reading this article, you're interested in why you should consider premarital counseling.
Premarital counseling differs from Marriage Counseling because premarital couples are usually not in counseling to fix problems in their relationship. Instead, these couples seek out premarital counseling so that they can discuss important aspects of their relationship that they know are going to change after they get married and begin building a life together. This type of counseling provides a chance for the couple to, "consider and discuss things that will increase the likelihood of a successful marriage," says family-law attorney Mark Baer.
How come more couples are choosing premarital counseling before marriage?
Is it because of the ominous "50% divorce rate" in the U.S? It may be because the research shows that couples who participate in premarital counseling programs report, on average, a 30% stronger marriage than couples who did not participate in these programs (Stanley, Amato, Johnson & Markman, 2006). Jason S. Carroll, assistant professor of marriage, family, and human development at Brigham Young University, says "After participating in these programs, couples reported or were observed to be better at resolving problems using effective communication styles, and on average, they reported higher levels of relationship quality."
Since this is the “maiden voyage” post on my blog, I’ll keep it short and simple. I was listening to the Diane Rehm show on my way home from a session and the topic of interfaith marriages came up. A stand out moment for me was learning that 27% of all marriages today in the U.S. are considered “interfaith”. That number goes to up to more than a third if you include interdenominational Protestant faiths (ex: Episcopalian married to a Presbyterian). How does growing up as a child raised by parents of two different faiths impact one’s worldview? Which faith do the parents bring their children up in? Didn’t I say this first post would be short?
Listen to the entire conversation
Did you grow up in an interfaith household? What were your experiences like?
A Jewish-Muslim wedding takes place in May 2013.http://www.flickr.com/photos/zlatko/9019985769/
Robin S. Smith, MS, LCMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in clinical practice in Bethesda MD, and specializes in relationship issues for couples, families, and individuals, for improved quality of life. His clinical specialties include: transition to parenthood for new and expecting parents, infidelity, sex and intimacy issues, premarital counseling, and trauma. Robin has given talks to various groups including hospital administrators, graduate students, therapists, and child birth educators. He is the primary contributor to Your Couples Therapist Blog.
Robin S. Smith is a psychotherapist practicing in Bethesda, MD. Robin created The Couple and Family Clinic Blog to provide useful articles on issues related to mental health as well as articles on local, national, and international news stories. Learn more about Robin on the About Page.