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  • Caleb Birkhoff

5 Reasons Why Pre-Marital Counseling is a Wise Choice

Congratulations on your decision to get married! As you prepare for your wedding day, you may also be wondering about the best way to prepare for a successful and happy marriage. Pre-marital counseling in San Francisco is a great way to clarify some pillar issues that could be potential pitfalls for couples down the road. Many people can think of a big topic that is often not talked about enough…kids. There are quite a few other topics that really trip up couples down the road, if not clearly understood before a marriage, including what marriage means to them. While planning the wedding may take a lot of your time and attention, it is equally important to think about the future and what comes after the grand event. One of the best ways to prepare for a long and fulfilling life together is by going through premarital counseling.

Some couples elect to do faith-based counseling, others with therapists, some even turn to faith-based therapists. There isn’t a wrong way to do pre-marital counseling and can be a worthwhile investment in your relationship before you make it legally binding. A self-guided course offers the opportunity to begin a conversation, but it will only get as far as individuals can be truly honest and vulnerable with the exercise. Sessions with a counselor offer an opportunity to receive feedback, be asked follow up questions, and explore difficult topics. Many couples have had issues that they thought were resolved only to resurface later in their marriage. Below are 5 great reasons to engage in pre-marital counseling in San Francisco.

5 Reasons to Consider Pre-Marital Counseling:

1. Helps Identify Strengths and Liabilities

One of the main advantages of premarital counseling is that it helps couples identify their strengths and liabilities. This is vital before walking down the aisle as it helps you be aware of the areas that need improvement. In premarital counseling, you will receive helpful tools that will help enhance and strengthen your communication and conflict resolution skills, avert any potential problems. As you address these deficiencies, you’ll be better prepared to put your best foot forward in your marriage.

2. Develops Relationship Skills

Another reason why premarital counseling is beneficial is that it teaches couples essential skills to develop healthy relationships. In premarital counseling, you will learn how to build emotional intimacy; prioritize each other's feelings, thoughts and preferences. Whether it is through meditation, self-reflection, or communication exercises, you will learn how to care for your partner properly, setting you up to have a happy marriage.

Communication is key to a healthy relationship. Pre-marital counseling in San Francisco can help couples learn how to communicate effectively with each other. During counseling sessions, you will learn active listening skills, assertive communication, and non-verbal cues. These skills will enable you to express your needs and feelings better, avoid misunderstandings, and resolve conflict. Often people in relationships forget the importance of healthy, honest, and open communication; instead defaulting to assumption and mind reading. Establishing a solid foundation of communication early will allow you to tackle issues down the road.

3. Identifies Major Issues that Could Cause Conflict

Marriage is not always sunshine and happiness; problem-solving is essential for a healthy marriage relationship. One way premarital counseling in San Francisco helps couples is by bringing up potential problems and identifying issues that are roadblocks to a successful marriage. Common issues often addressed include finances, in-laws, sex, and expectations. By proactively addressing these issues before you’re married, you will develop helpful ways to avoid them or solve them efficiently when they do occur.

Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. Pre-marital counseling can help you develop conflict-resolution skills, enabling you to resolve issues effectively. You will learn how to compromise, negotiate, and understand each other's perspective. The skills you learn in counseling will help you handle any conflict that may arise in your marriage. Did you guess that typing “premarital counseling near me” into a search engine would yield such results.

4. Builds A Strong Foundation

Premarital counseling helps you build a strong foundation for your marriage. Most couples are excited to be engaged and get caught up in all the planning, but they often forget that a marriage is beyond just a single day; it’s all the days that happen afterward! Marriage is a long-term commitment that requires consistency and commitment. Premarital counseling serves as an opportunity for couples to have a deep understanding and insight into the dynamics of their relationship to foster stronger bonds and unity.

5. Improve Self-Awareness

Pre-marital counseling can help you improve your self-awareness. You will learn more about your personality, values, and goals. This knowledge will enable you to understand yourself better, allowing for a better understanding of your partner. Self-awareness can help you identify your triggers and how you react to situations, leading to better communication, understanding, and a stronger relationship. These skills are the foundation of building intimacy with your partner.

Premarital Counseling Can Work for You

Couples who decide to go through premarital counseling position themselves better for a more fulfilling, loving, and successful marriage. It is an opportunity for you to build stronger bonds as a couple, identify potential problems and develop practical solutions, and acquire the skills needed for a lifetime of happiness. You owe it to yourselves to give your marriage a better chance of success.

Pre-marital counseling can be more directive and goal oriented, occasionally with more homework, though it often mimics couples/marital counseling. I think it’s an opportunity to address habits before they become more entrenched and empower couples to think about changes they want to make before they become truly problematic. Communication, boundaries, and trust are foundational to productive relationships, and we often drift from them as the excitement of marriage is on the horizon. It’s best to get started when a couple knows they’re getting married and wants to ensure that they transition into their marriage ready to face obstacles together.

I hope that this list helps you feel more confident to initiate couples therapy in San Francisco. If after reading all of that, you’re still swirling with questions feel free to call me at 415-990-1452 for a free 15-minute phone consultation, and to get some questions answered. I would be happy to hear what is happening for you, what you’re looking for and provide some direction to finding the right therapist for you.

If you are seeking help with couples therapy, drugs and alcohol, life transitions, discovering yourself, or therapy for men’s issues, you can read more about how I might be able to help by clicking here!

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