Get Therapy Before You Get Married: Premarital Counseling Helps Iron Out Those Relationship Wrinkles

Resolving problems before they snowball is essential for a healthy marriage. Many couples end up in therapy to straighten out issues that they really should have discussed before they went through with their wedding. If you are about to get hitched, you and your future spouse may want to look into premarital counseling just to ensure that there are no major issues lurking beneath the surface. Just be aware that you have to choose a good counselor, or you could end up in a more stressful situation.

Choose a Good One

Whether you go with a couples therapy counselor or a religious leader in your community, the therapist you talk to before getting married needs to have a good grasp of how to resolve arguments and keep the conversations calm. If that person doesn't, then what starts as a minor disagreement during the counseling session could explode into a never-ending argument. A good therapist or counselor will be able to defuse situations and help you find a good resolution.

Be on the Same Page

Premarital counseling looks at situations that can come up during marriage and all the little issues that pop up surrounding that situation. For example, many people don't discuss whether or not to have kids -- or they gloss over the situation, instead agreeing in general, but not on the details. Do both partners want to have their own kids? Does one prefer to adopt? What would the couple do if they couldn't do either of those options?

Money is another big issue. It is very common for couples to hide debt from each other or hide troublesome spending habits until after the marriage. Premarital counseling looks at spending, debt, household budget divisions, joint versus individual accounts, and other financial issues. All of these have huge effects on both partners; for example, if you and your spouse will have one joint bank account for household expenses, keeping the rest of your money separate, will you have a joint credit card? What about investments and property purchases?

And it's not just kids and money. Communication styles seem like they would be a non-issue by the time two people are ready to get married -- but sometimes people haven't known each other long enough to really see how their communications styles mesh or differ. The counselor can dig into all aspects of a relationship and help you and your future spouse ensure that you're both on the same page.

There will always be little things that you and your future spouse had totally forgotten to discuss. But meeting with a couples therapist or religious community leader for premarital counseling can help you get through the major issues that could derail your marriage.