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The month of love - a time for love letters, red roses, chocolates, and marriage proposals! But let’s remember marriage is more than just the wedding. Some ideas about marriage to discuss with your partner before crossing the threshold:
Marriage Is a Covenant, Not a Contract
Western societies make the individual’s happiness the ultimate value, and so marriage becomes primarily an experience of romantic fulfilment. Getting married these days is like having a relationship with your internet service provider. “As long as you keep providing the internet, I’ll keep paying.” Far too often we treat marriage the same - a formal contract based on happiness or some legal benefit.
A covenant however is not a legal contract that lays out terms, but a mutual understanding that regardless of performance, you’re still all in. It’s a love that understands that the essence of marriage is a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other. It unites not just duty and passion, but emotions and promise.
Marriage Will Intensify Your Problems, Not Fix Them
Marriage puts all your problems under a microscope and intensifies them. Once the mental switch of “forever” comes into the mix more flaws pop up - that’s the perfect storm.
Far too often we think by spending enough time with another person those inconsistencies and flaws will get smoothed out. But once you realise you might have to deal with them forever? It’s easy to get cynical, bitter, jaded, and angry. The person you marry at the altar that day will be the same person forty years from now, so don’t delude yourself. Sure, improvement is necessary for any relationship to thrive, but those flaws you’re ignoring and think you might change, or marriage will somehow fix – think again.
So, if you walk into a marriage thinking little things won’t become big things, or you don’t learn how to compromise and communicate, failure is around the corner and waiting.
Get Your Issues Together Before You Get Married, Because You’re Past Will Come Back to Haunt You
Learn about yourself. Grow. If you have issues plaguing you, then spend the time dealing with them - before getting married! The amount of conflict and grief you’ll save yourself will be worth the investment.
Premarital counselling is a form of therapy that is provided to couples to prepare them for marriage. This counselling plays a vital role in this preparation. It is provided with the aim of helping couples have strong and healthy relationships, thereby giving them a greater chance of enjoying a stable as well as satisfying marriage.
Getting premarital counselling is a great way for partners to enhance their ability to communicate and establish realistic expectations from one another. It’s also an excellent way to develop conflict-resolution skills.
Often, people get married believing that it will fulfil their emotional, financial, social, and sexual needs – and it does not turn out as they had expected.
When differences and expectations are discussed before marriage, the couple can develop ways to understand as well as support each other after they are married. Early intervention is crucial because the risk of divorce is normally at greatest early in marriage.
Benefits of Premarital Counselling:
You gain insight –When two people are in love, they often overlook those things that they ultimately have to face when married. Premarital counselling can shed light on these issues and help the couple solve them before it takes them by surprise.
You strengthen communication skills – Good communication is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship. Without communication, there’s nothing to hold the relationship together and help it function smoothly. Counselling is a great way to help couples strengthen their communication skills.
You understand each other’s major triggers – Identifying the “push buttons” you and your partner are most sensitive about is an important step toward avoiding and overcoming the personal triggers.
You identify potential conflicts – No two people believe or have completely similar ideas regarding life in general. It is important to identify any potential conflicts before they even occur.
You establish shared vision – To have a successful marriage, you need to have a a shared vision you and your partner both have expressed to each other. The vision is a conscious and deliberate way to create your relationship together towards your destination.
Too often couples get so tangled up in spending time planning the perfect wedding, that they fail to address issues that would serve as a foundation of their marriage later on. Yet, for many couples, pre-marital counselling is a positive, affirming and bonding experience that enhances their commitment to marry.
Contact me to help work through your personal challenges in your married or for pre-marital counselling – starting off on the right foot- firstname.lastname@example.org or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: heartsupport.com and spiral2grow.com
I use a meaning and value based approach to help people conquer their problems, challenges, fears and obstacles for a happier and more fulfilled life.
© 2022. NADINE VAN RENSBURG COUNSELLING THERAPIST. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. COUNCIL OF COUNSELLORS REGISTRATION: IR 10177
Level Four B-BBEE Contributor. Council of Counsellors Registration: IR 10177. Viktor Frankl's Institute SA (VFISA) Registration: 50155. Professional Member of International Association for Counselling (IAC). Professional Member of Mediation Academy Accredited in SA and Internationally by ADR International Register, SAAM (South African Association of Mediators), NABFAM (National Accreditation Board of Family Mediators) and ISO9001 Certified.