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Premarital Counseling For a Lifetime of Love

 

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Premarital Counseling For a Lifetime of Love

Denver • Broomfield • DTC • Online Across the Us & Internationally

Is Premarital Counseling Really Necessary?

By Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, Founder of Growing Self Counseling & Coaching

No, you don’t have to do premarital counseling. Or, like many people, you can do a couple of worksheets with your priest or rabbi and call it good. Besides, you’re both young, and cute, and in love, and you like each other, and you always will.

Because if you’re planning a wedding, you have lots of other stuff to think about besides premarital counseling. Colors, flowers, themes, food, dresses, location, gift bags, seating arrangements, and more. And, let’s be real here, you have lots of stuff to pay for. Your hairstylist, the engagement party, the honeymoon… It’s a lot. Couples easily spend tens of thousands of dollars on a nice wedding. (And we all agree that you deserve to have a nice wedding).

But, regrettably, the part that often gets lost in the agonizing over colors and the excitement of cake tasting and the blizzard of cash register receipts is your actual relationship. That’s the part that will still be there after the party is over, and everyone else goes home, and the wedding is behind you. Then, you two are left on your own to figure out how to communicate with each other about issues that only became issues after you get married. You have to learn how to be civilized and kind to each other even when the other person is being ridiculous, and how to love, honor and respect your new spouse even when they are wrong. And not so cute anymore, in the cold light of day.

The first time your new spouse screeches off dramatically, tires squealing, after you spent twenty minutes screaming at the top of your lungs at each other about who was supposed to unload the dishwasher and when that was supposed to happen and the fact that everyone knows that forks must go tines up and knives points down you may reflect on the fact that someone once encouraged you to get real premarital counseling. And you didn’t. And the priest never said anything about dealing with this bull****. And now you don’t know what to do.

Listen, I’ve been married now for over twenty years. Having a party and a wedding ceremony is the easy part. Figuring out how to become a happy, successful married couple is much harder. Couples have important developmental work to do together after the wedding, that centers around six basic areas:

  1. How to show each other love and respect.
  2. How to communicate.
  3. How to handle inevitable conflict constructively.
  4. How to keep a relationship interesting and passionate for the long haul.
  5. How to create agreement around important issues like money and parenting.
  6. How to support each other’s hopes and dreams for the future.

As you can imagine, most newly married couples have no idea how to actually accomplish this together. They simply begin to experience friction, frustration and hurt feelings as they bump into the limits of their respective “relationship skill sets” over time. Arguments flare up around communication. Priorities. Expectations around housework. Differences in handling money. Parenting.

And when conflict inevitably arises, most couples are entirely unprepared to handle it well. So they yell and slam doors and screech off in cars in their continued struggle over where the lines of their new marriage should be drawn. Because they didn’t get premarital counseling, and they don’t know what else to do instead.

By about year two, some couples have successfully learned how to deal with each other, create agreement, communicate effectively as a team, and keep their love strong. A significant percentage of these couples eventually found their way to marriage counseling, in order to learn how to communicate, and get on the same page. And that is okay, even though marriage counseling is often more difficult and more expensive than the premarital counseling that would have prevented these problems in the first place.

By about year four, a very large percentage of the couples who did not invest in their relationship and work to improve things have decided that their marriage was a terrible mistake, their partners are irredeemable, and the wheels of divorce start grinding into motion. (Though the divorce itself may not occur until years down the road).

Sooner or later, if you want to have a good marriage, you’re going to have to work on your relationship. One way to do it is to wait until there is a big problem and you’re both really hurt and angry. Or, you can invest in premarital counseling and learn what it takes to have a good relationship with the person you are marrying from the very beginning. You can learn how to prevent future problems. You can learn the communication skills that will keep terrible fights from happening. You can learn what to do to keep your love strong, and manage inevitable conflict in a way that brings you closer together. 

High quality premarital counseling is the investment that smart couples make in their relationship, that can save you from all the heartbreak and drama. We have many opportunities for you to do premarital counseling with us, including our Lifetime of Love premarital class, our “I DO!” premarital program, and private premarital counseling

I hope you take advantage of at least one of them.

With love and respect,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, PhD, LMFT, BCC

 

Answers to Your Premarital Counseling Questions

What To Expect In Premarital Counseling?

Good, evidence based premarital counseling generally starts with an assessment. There are various ways to do this. Sometimes you’ll take an online quiz to determine your strengths and growth areas. Some premarital counselors prefer to interview you both to get an idea of your strengths and opportunities. Once that is mapped out…. Read more

How Much Does Premarital Counseling Cost?

The cost of high-quality premarital counseling can vary depending on who you see, how many sessions you require, and the format you choose. If you’re on a budget and looking for basic instruction on communication skills, getting on the same page around finances, priorities, etc. you may consider a class format. Classes tend to be most affordable and usually cost around…. Read more

Can We Do Premarital Counseling Online?

Online premarital counseling can be very effective and helpful for many couples. This is especially true for long-distance couples, couples in rural areas, couples who travel, and very busy professionals who would find it difficult (or impossible) to attend sessions otherwise. However, there are situations where online premarital counseling may not be a good idea… Read more

Is There Secular, Non-religious Premarital Counseling?

While the vast majority of people who engage in premarital counseling do so as a requirement of their religious organization, it is also unfortunately true that doing a worksheet or meeting a couple of times with a pastor is not sufficient to actually equip couples with the relationship skills necessary to manage inevitable conflict, communicate well under stress, and… Read more

Meet Our Team of Premarital Counseling Experts

Jessica Small, M.A., LMFT

Jessica Small is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist premarital counselor with years of experience in helping couples identify their strengths, pinpoint potential problem areas, and resolve issues before they start. She leads our “I DO!” premarital program.

Meagan Terry, M.A., LMFT

Meagan Terry is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist, and a relationship expert. She specializes in helping couples communicate, keep their love strong, and create healthy, happy families. She teaches our “Lifetime of Love” premarital and relationship class.
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Brenda Fahn, M.A., LMFT

Brenda Fahn is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 15 years of experience in helping couples and families thrive. She is a certified Prepare-Enrich premarital counselor, and also teaches our “Lifetime of Love” premarital and relationship class.

Best Yet? We’re Easy To Work With.

We’re Convenient

  • Day, evening & weekend appointments.
  • We have convenient office locations across the Denver Metro area in Denver / Cherry Creek, Broomfield, and Denver Tech Center.
  • Travel? Busy schedule?  We offer online premarital counseling too.
  • Easy online scheduling, or call our 24/7 receptionist for live help.

 

We’re Affordable

  • Our effective approach gets you results in fewer sessions
  • Our rates are reasonable, and we have sliding scale options
  • We offer cost-effective classes, or structured programs
Tammy Gaiter

Tammy Gaiter

Client Services Team

More Questions? Call Anytime.

If you have more questions about premarital counseling at Growing Self, would like to get matched with a premarital counselor, or would like help enrolling in one of our premarital counseling programs, call anytime.

Call or email to connect with our caring client services team. We answer 24/7.

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