Q&A: Agreeing on premarital counselling

Q: I am engaged to be married and have been dating my fiancé for two years. Recently I feel like we’re not on the same page regarding premarital counselling. I feel it’s important but my fiancé doesn’t want it. What is your opinion?

A: Premarital counselling is essential! Every couple should do it. Studies show that couples who do it can reduce their risk of divorce by as much as 30 per cent. Perhaps that is why some spokespersons have entertained the idea of making premarital counselling a prerequisite for obtaining a marriage license.

We would encourage you to sit down with your fiancé and have an honest conversation about why he’s hesitant to engage in premarital counselling. Don’t pressure him or twist his arm; just encourage him to express his feelings. Chances are, he simply feels that it’s unnecessary. But here’s the thing: premarital counselling isn’t just for people who have troubled backgrounds or difficult relationships. It’s not necessarily a sign or admission that something is “wrong” between you. Rather, it’s a commitment on both of your parts to make a positive investment in your relationship and to ensure that it’s as strong and solid as it can be before you tie the knot.

Once your fiancé is on board, find a counsellor who can navigate you through the PREPARE/ENRICH Premarital inventory. Also, you can take “Couple Checkup” for engaged couples, which is not meant to be a replacement or substitute for premarital counselling, but it might give you and your fiancé some good talking points as you seek out a counsellor together. Best wishes to you!

© 2018 Focus on the Family.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

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