Why Pre-Marital Coaching?

"The first duty of love is to listen...."

You're about to get married. You and your beloved may feel you were meant for each other. Now all your attention is focused on wedding plans and the myriad of details that need attending to. The last thing on your mind is talking to someone about the things that could go wrong. Yes, you've encountered differences and you've had disagreements. but you're sure that after you're married you will live happily ever after. After all, why "rock the boat"?

Well, Pre-Marital Counseling is not about "rocking the boat" but about looking at the issues that all couples face BEFORE the boat capsizes and you're trying to hold on for dear life not knowing what went wrong! Pre-Marital Counseling is insurance. You don't think twice about insuring your car, your home, your life (or your spouse's). In the same way, counseling is designed to examine the issues that all couples face and acquiring tools (oars) that enable you to steer the boat effectively through the turbulent waters that come from time to time in all marriages.

Here are some of the issues you may choose to discuss during our counseling sessions:
* Building Effective Communication
* Resolving Conflict
* Handling Powerful Emotions
* Whether to Have Children
* Religious Differences
* Parenting Styles
* Sexual Compatibility
* In-Laws
* Delegation of Roles
* Your Parents' Marriages
* Attraction to Others
* Differences in Personality Styles

Let's take Conflict Resolution as an example.

Relationship researchers have determined that certain conflict-resolution styles can sometimes lead to divorce. These are:
Stonewalling (withdrawal)
Gunnysacking (storing up past hurts, resentments, complaints)

Finding these marital parasites early and developing a healthier method of interaction gives couples a strong start to marriage that will benefit them for a lifetime. This is an example of an Inventory often used by couples in Marriage Counseling:

Conflict Resolution Inventory:

1. Which predictors of divorce apply to you:
   (stonewalling/withdrawal, defensiveness, criticism, contempt)?
2. Were there childhood conflicts or traumas that trigger an emotional response when you remember them? (Ex: bullying, illness, etc.)
3. How did you respond? What did you do?
4. Did you witness or were you involved in difficult relationships? (Ex: parents fighting, a best friend moving away, difficult break-up)
5. How did you respond? What did you do?
6. The main ways you resolve conflict are…?
   (write a brief paragraph)
7. Is there something you'd like to change about how you handle conflict?

Pre-Marital Counseling can also help you with unresolved individual baggage you may knowingly or unknowingly carry into your marriage. Issues such as low self-esteem, needing to always be right, wanting to be the center of attention, unresolved guilt related to past relationships, difficulty accepting criticism, etc.

I hope you'll see Counseling as the best investment you can make in your future together as a couple. 

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