Love is strong.
Platitudes about it – it conquers all, it’s all you need, etc. – persist for that reason. It’s enough to bring people together, and enough to make them fall in love. But when love matures into marriage, it takes more. It takes effort and a deliberation those early days might not need.
Like many great things, a good marriage can be accomplished with early planning. Premarital counseling solves problems before they occur, and therefore any couple can benefit from it. Since divorce risk is highest in the first year of marriage, it helps to hit the ground running. Here are some common early marriage problems that premarital counseling can address.
Arguably the most important element of any successful relationship – romantic, friendly or otherwise – poor communication can derail a marriage. Partners may assume what the other person wants rather than just asking them. This can be due to their own family norms, anxiety or any other number of problems.
Communication issues are insidious because we often don’t know they’re there. Often, you may think a problem is trivial or silly when what it’s “really about” is communication. Premarital counselors can identify patterns in both of your behaviors and teach you how to recognize it. They can also show the other partner how to cope and call it out (responsibly) when it occurs.
The business side of marriage is just as important as the personal one. Financial problems are the number one stressor in romantic relationships, and the knots of marriage – shared taxes, bank accounts, and mortgages – can quickly complicate them. Transparency is key. Couples must be open and honest about their debts and spending.
Like with communication, premarital counseling addresses these problems with a proactive approach. A premarital counselor can help figure out why talking about money is so hard, and help you reach a point where it isn’t.
As with communication patterns, gender roles can be deeply ingrained in us. We unconsciously adapt them from our parents and friends. Unfortunately, this can lead to assumption, and in marriage assumption can be dangerous.
A premarital counselor addresses this issue head-on, so that both parties know exactly what to expect going into their commitment. Whether one partner provides or both share, whether gender roles are traditional or flexible, a premarital counselor will help you find the clarity you need.
If you think premarital counseling can help you, Dr. Azevedo would love to help. Contact him today to schedule an appointment.