If you asked a hundred couples that had been married for at least 20 years what the secret to their success was, what do you think you would hear?
Most people would think that the secrets to a successful marriage include:
- Commitment to the relationship
- Love for one another
- Shared goals
- Similar values
- A strong network of support from friends and family
While all of these factors are certainly important, perhaps the biggest predictor of marriage longevity is how well the couple understand each other and how well they recognize their role in creating a positive relationship. This is what it at the heart of quality premarital therapy.
But We Know Each Other
The reality is that dating for years or even living together doesn’t develop a sense of understanding. People can spend decades in each other’s company and never communicate effectively about their needs, their desires or even their expectations.
With no foundation or understanding of how to have these conversations, or even where the other person is coming from, pressure and challenges faced by a married couple turn from bumps in the road into huge mountains. With no way to communicate without causing more conflict, situations continually escalate and fester and continue to simmer. The next issue just adds to the problem until it is no longer a sustainable relationship.
Getting To Know “Us”
Through premarital therapy, a counselor or coach will work with a couple to discuss the “hot button” topics that can lead to issues in a new relationship. These can be issues such as when to have children, how to handle the finances, how involved the in-laws will be and other topics that couples often fail to discuss.
Through these discussions, the counselor will also work with the couple to learn how to have conversations in a productive and enlightening way. By learning how to both talk and listen disagreements can be worked through rather than becoming a way to lash out at the other person.
Disagreements and differences of opinion are not always negative and they are perfectly normal in any healthy relationship. Through premarital therapy, you will learn how to have those conversations and share your thoughts and ideas while also providing the same opportunity for your partner.
This type of therapy is very different from reactive couple’s therapy after a problem has occurred. Think of it as proactive care for your relationship, giving you the necessary tools to be one of those successful couples that works together through the challenges you encounter in your life.
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