Shakespeare wasn’t lying when he said, “Love is blind.” It’s true. We are often blinded to the faults and internal struggles of the ones we love. And because love is blind, it is helpful for engaged couples to do therapy work together before making a lifelong commitment.
We are biologically designed for connection, and selecting a partner to spend your life with is the biggest decision you will ever make. It helps tremendously to have a seasoned outsider break through the cloud of romance to challenge you both to dig deep into your past, examine your expectations, and talk through what the future may hold. This is why we offer premarital counseling at The Finding Place.
Why should we see a therapist for premarital counseling instead of a pastor or mentor?
Good premarital counseling is different from education; it goes beyond learning facts or having conversations about how many kids you want or how to communicate well. That knowledge is useful, but it is limited. And learning new information is not nearly as important as delving deep into the emotions, the heart, and the driving forces behind how each of you operate.
Because we live in a fallen world, and no family is perfect, everyone has some level of trauma connected to their attachment history. Essentially, everyone has childhood wounds that play out in relationships. And many people are blind to the connection, even in themselves.
Let me give you a couple of examples–
Your fiancé is a golden child; he is strong and resilient and a high achiever. That’s what you and other people see. But deep down, neglect is the motivating factor for his success because he was only praised as a child when he brought home a good grade or won an award. He wanted to please his parents so badly that he has no idea who he truly is or who he truly wants to be.
Or maybe your fiancé grew up in a family where there were few to no boundaries, where asking to have her needs met was considered rude. She was made to feel responsible for her mother’s emotional outbursts, and she was shamed for not falling in line with the family’s opinions or beliefs.
Both of these scenarios have the potential to create significant problems in a marriage relationship, and you need a trained eye to be able to see that and work through it. A licensed therapist has the knowledge, training, and experience necessary to heal these hurts and help your marriage succeed.
What other topics are typically covered in premarital counseling?
Along with family of origin issues and trauma histories, premarital counseling gives you the opportunity to discuss your attitudes about sex, money, child raising, and work. You will discuss how to manage friendships and in-law relationships as well as how to manage expectations for yourself, your partner, and your relationship.
You will also need to talk through the disagreements, concerns, or hurts in your current relationship because marriage will not solve these problems; it will only intensify them. Marriage is about completing the incomplete and finishing the unfinished. What unfinished business resides within you? It’s important to find out because it’s going to affect your marriage relationship.
A quality couple’s therapist understands the hidden dynamics that affect satisfaction and relational health. We would be honored to help your marriage begin in the healthiest way possible.
The Finding Place Counseling and Recovery is located in Little Rock, Arkansas, and our therapists offer both secular and Christian premarital counseling. Contact us to schedule a session or book an intensive.