Updated: Feb 9, 2019
Having worked with couples for over ten years, I surveyed what couples would have wanted to know about each other before they ‘Jumped the Broom'. I then asked what could have made the difference to their marriage…
Working with couples in crisis it is becoming more and more apparent that learning “relationship skills” at the beginning of the journey can save a great deal of pain, upset and distress further down the road.
My survey indicated that 76% believe that Pre-Marriage Counselling is something that the participants would consider, and 88% of participants suggested that they wished they'd entered Pre-Marriage Counselling before engaging in a long-term relationship.
As a result of my extensive conversations with clients, JDJ Counselling is launching Pre-Marriage Counselling for couples. I’m working with several wedding planners, and colleagues to offer a bespoke pre-marital service!
In this post I will outline reasons I think all couples who intend to make a long-term commitment to each other should consider:
1. Pre-Marriage Counselling can teach you how to talk to each other. The central focus of my work with couples is teaching them how to talk to each other so both can stay safe, both feel heard and both learn to listen. Learning these skills at any stage of the relationship is going to be transformative. Why not learn it at the beginning rather than when things get tough? As a lecturer, I use my teaching skills to teach couples how to relate to each other.
2. Pre-Marriage Counselling can explain why you chose each other in the first place. Once we have made the commitment to stay in a relationship, such as marriage, it’s likely that we are going to start noticing the negative side that our partner displays more than the positive stuff. If we have had pre-marriage counselling and understand this will happen, and why it will happen, it allows us to ride it out and appreciate that it’s at this point in our relationship that we have our best opportunity for growth.
3. You learn about what events in the journey are likely to test you out as a couple. Pre-Marriage Counselling gives you a “heads up” and creates a space for you to plan some strategies to put in place should life’s ‘issues’ come your way. These are simple yet powerful coping mechanisms, they work if you work them! They will not only enhance your own relationship, but all relationship that you have with family, friends, colleagues etc.
4. You will learn about how to resolve disagreements. Pre-Marriage Counselling teaches how to deal with differences and disagreements. After all, this is a realistic process of being in a relationship and learning skills to resolve disagreements will enhance the relationship in general. I offer a ‘tool kit’ of being with one another, and a safe way of communicating your needs and desires to your partner and listening in return to theirs. Have you ever heard of a ‘talking stick’? Talking sticks have been used for many generations in many different cultures to resolve disagreements. You will be able to make your own couples taking stick that will be you’re for the duration of your time together.
5. You get to express your feelings of love and affection for your partner. That’s why you’re making a long-term commitment to each other in the first place right? You will work on “appreciation dialogues” that will be motivating, intoxicating and have a wonderful feel good factor. Focusing on the positives at the beginning of your journey together, leads to ongoing appreciation of each other – both as an individual and as a couple.
Entering something as important as marriage or civil partnership the need to prepare in any way for the emotional difficulties that are inevitable in a long-term union with another human being, can sometimes be overlooked.
Does this sound like something you and your partner would benefit from? If so, just contact me and we can discuss the opportunity to set your life-long relationship off on the best possible footing!
Future events to look out for:
With such a demand for couples Counselling, JDJ Counselling is also pleased to announce that we will also soon be offering ‘Couple Retreats’ in 2019. I will keep you posted about events on my blog.