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Thread: premarital counseling

  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    premarital counseling

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    DB and I are getting "officially" engaged when he gets home from deployment.

    I brought up last night that I want to go to premarital counseling before we get married. Not because there's any problem, just because I think it might be a good idea to do. We've both been divorced before and I think there's always room for improvement somewhere. Some churches require it before they'll even marry you, I'm not sure if mine does or not.

    I was pretty taken back by how against it he was. He was like there's nothing wrong with our relationship and he just wasn't seeming to get that I want to go just so that any speedbumps we come to throughout our marriage don't turn into mountains. He said if we hit a hard spot, we can go to counseling then, and I said an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. He basically told me he felt insulted like I was implying I don't have faith that we can work through problems that might come up. I personally think it's ignorant and naive for either of us to think that we know everything there is to know about making a marriage work for life, and I just want to do it to give us to best chance possible and make our relationship easier, especially since we haven't lived together in a long time.

    He finally agreed to at least reading some good marriage self-help books, like The 5 Love Languages, or 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married. We compromised that we would read them together and talk about them.

    I've never been to couples counseling at all, so I don't know if reading self-help books would give you the same insight as premarital counseling, or be better, or worse? He says I overthink things, and I say I think it's better to overthink than to underthink lol.

    What have anyone else's experiences been with counseling or books? Do you think they made a difference?
  2. The Decider
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    No, books are never as good as a good counselor. However, you can find some decent books out there that are definitely better than nothing.

    The 5 love languages and Fighting for your marriage are the two I can think of off the top of my head.
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    #3
    My best friend did pre-marital counseling (because her church required it) and she honestly didn't get that much out of it. Her and her fiance took a financial class at their church, and she found that way more helpful. I know finances aren't the only bump in the road a couple can hit, but that was the biggest factor for them, besides what kind of family they wanted to have.

    They got the 5 Languages of Love book as a wedding gift, and they both said they got a lot out of that.

    Thanks for posting this though; you reminded me that I do need to bring this up with my fiance.

    Good luck!
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    #4
    I can't encourage marital counseling enough, particularly the military pre-marital counseling. It is a whole different ball game from religious pre-marital counseling. Maybe explain that difference to your future husband. Pre-marital counseling isn't something that is done because the relationship isn't solid, it is something that is done to prepare each person for a marriage, give tools for fighting fair, learn what it means to be married to an individual in the military, as well as maintaining a relationship from a war zone, through a deployment, etc. There are so many great things that a couple can take away from military pre-marital counseling.

    I would also encourage financial counseling, or at least financial classes through the military, and any other counseling/classes that might benefit you both.

    Being that you both were previously married, using these resources can only benefit the two of you.
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    My parents had to do pre-marital counseling for a few months before the Church would marry them. My mom said it gave her A LOT of insight and she wished they could have talked to the priest longer because he told my parents they would run into communication issues in the future. Which is TOTALLY true. They have worked through them, but they also divorced, remarried, and separated countless times. They are together for good now, but it was a very hard road, especially on me and them as well. I would still encourage it. Getting a neutral person's perspective is always helpful in any situation. Best of luck!!!
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    #6
    If you'd like to have the 5 Languages of Love one, I'll give that to you. I got it at a couple's retreat that my husband and I went to when he got back from deployment last year, then few months later, turned around and went out and bought it cause I didn't realize that I even had it haha
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    #7
    I think there was another thread kind of like this one. DF and I are going to premarital counseling. We are getting married in my church and its required. I was the one nervous about it. I thought my preacher was going to tell us if we could get married or not, lol. The first time we met, that was the first thing she said. "I'm not here to tell you if you should get married or not." Anyway, we took about a 100 question "test" in seperate rooms. After we were finished we left and went back a couple hours later. All we do is go over the test. She reads what DF put for his answer and what I put for mine. I'm trying to think of a couple questions that were on the test..one was Are you getting married to get out of any home situation (something like that). Some of the questions were how many kids do you want, who will be in charge of housework, yard work. Things like that. What is one thing you should talk more about with you fiancee (keep in mind these are all multiple choice). Ok, enough rambling. *I enjoy going, and we only have to meet 2 more times, i think*
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    #8
    Some of the questions we answered included relationships with my family (were we close, did we have family meals together, was I an only child), then there questions about our future- did we want kids, when, how many, had we discussed religion and discipline. Loads of stuff! DF and I did it in separate rooms online at home and discussed after the fact, it felt amazing to know our answers matched because we have talked about our future so much Our first session is next Sunday, I'm looking forward to it!

    I'm sorry to hear your boyfriend doesn't want to do it, perhaps once you're engaged he'll change his tune? Good luck! I think whatever you guys choose will work, sounds like you've got your head on straight!

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by heyyykooolaid View Post
    If you'd like to have the 5 Languages of Love one, I'll give that to you. I got it at a couple's retreat that my husband and I went to when he got back from deployment last year, then few months later, turned around and went out and bought it cause I didn't realize that I even had it haha
    That would be great! I've heard nothing but good things about that book. I'll have to look up Fighting For Your Marriage, too... I've never heard of that one.

    He'll be getting out shortly after we're married, so I'd rather do counseling through a church. I think it would be really beneficial, so I think I'm going to bring it up again after he's home from deployment and we can communicate about it better. He knows I want to get married at my church, so I'm hoping it's something my pastor requires.
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    #10
    My sister her her hubby did pre-marital counseling.. and he wasn't excited about it to begin with... but they are both really glad they did it...

    The preacher was amazing... and brought up a lot of things that a lot of young couples don't think about... and therefor end up fighting about later...

    My hubby and I didn't go through it mainly because there just was a time factor... but we did actually on our own discuss all the little things on our own... I think the main thing is to be on the same page on all the big stuff, or at least accept that you aren't before you enter into forever... Good luck and congrats on getting married!
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