Tag: Premarital Counseling

Let's Talk About Sex…

Any premarital series would be remiss without discussing sex.  It’s a vital part of marriage. Regardless of whether you and your partner have been sexually involved with each other for years or have remained abstinent – a professional may help shed light on areas you haven’t even thought about discussing.  Are you able to communicate openly with your partner about sexual needs and wants?  Is your partner?  Take a look at some of the discussion topics below which are frequently used in premarital counseling.
– Desired frequency of sexual intercourse
– Preferred sexual positions
– Feelings about marital aids such as erotic films and sexual toys
– Sexually unusual behavior
– Sexual handicaps
– Sexual preferences
– Specific behaviors that turn you and your partner on
– Personal definitions for intimacy
Have you discussed each of these topics with your partner?  What do you do if you have different opinions about them?  What if your opinions change?  As with most things, it’s best not to assume you know how your fiance feels about an issue.  Premarital counseling gives you the opportunity to dialogue about intimate issues in a safe environment.

* Photo credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2125

Money & Marriage: Things to Discuss Beforehand

Money-MarriageYou’ve probably heard it said that money is the number one issue couples argue about.  Did you know it can also significantly predict divorce?  According to a recent study out of Utah State University, couples who argued over money once a week were 30% more likely to get divorced than those who argued over finances a few times a month.*  In fact, disputing over money was a larger indicator than any other category examined; including sex, spending time together, in-laws, and chores.
With this in mind, it’s important to openly explore issues of money with your partner before even getting married.  Perhaps the best place to start is at the beginning.  Take a close look at your upbringing and how it compares to that of your partner’s with regards to money.  Were your parents major savers or spenders?  Was debt commonplace or something avoided at all costs?  Did they combine incomes or keep them separate?  Most money behaviors are learned so it’s important to explore your pasts together and determine how they have shaped your views.
Continue your exploration into the past by discussing credit.  It’s important to be honest with your partner about past financial mistakes.  If you decide to pool your money together then one person’s debt becomes that of both individuals.  It’s best not to have surprises in this area after saying “I do.”  Do you have a plan to manage the debt?  The sooner you discuss the better.
Next, take a look at the logistics of money management in a marriage.  Who will handle paying the bills?  Will you set financial goals together?  What are those financial goals?  How will you develop specific plans to save (for a home, children, vacations or other luxury items, retirement, etc)?  Will every purchase be made after consultation with your partner or will you develop a specific dollar amount that deems it a “big ticket item” which requires consultation with your partner?  What will that dollar amount be?
The truth is you won’t be able to predict every potential disagreement about money before you get married.  The important thing is knowing how to communicate with your partner when those disagreements come up.  So ten years from now when your step-daughter turns 16 and asks your spouse to buy her a car and he’s ready to sign on the dotted line while you’d prefer to make her work for it herself – you’ll want to know how to discuss your views in a way that won’t damage your marriage.  Or when you discover that your partner’s desire to eat lunch out everyday is making a significant dent in the savings towards a down payment on a house – you’ll need to find a way to come together on the issue.  Money will inevitably play a role in every marriage.  Premarital counseling can help you to identify problem areas and give you the tools to communicate about them throughout the course of your marriage.
Check back later this week for our next topic in our premarital series: In-laws.


Planning A Marriage (Not Just A Wedding)

Planning-A-MarriageWith half of all marriages ending in divorce it’s important to do everything you can to create a solid foundation in your relationship.  Fortunately, you can begin this prep work before you even say “I do.”  Premarital counseling is an opportunity for you and your partner to dialogue openly with some guidance from a professional.  It can help identify areas of weakness before they become major issues in the marriage. Ultimately, it can strengthen your overall relationship.
Because we feel so strongly about the importance of premarital counseling we are going to begin a series devoted towards it.  Each week we will highlight a major topic typically discussed in a counseling session.  Each are vital domains in a marriage.  Be sure to check back next week as we discuss our first topic: Money.

Walking Down the Aisle? Make Sure You Visit a Counselor On The Way!

Wedding bands, Premarital Counseling Deciding to get married is one of the biggest decisions a person can   make.  Congratulations for making it!  Marriage is life changing and demands a lot of attention and hard work.  Premarital counseling is an opportunity for couples to get a head start on the work ahead of them.  The goal is to decide if engagement is a good choice, inform couples about the realities of married life, teach communication and conflict resolution skills, and establish mutual goals. (www.findcounseling.com/glossary/prenatal-counseling.htm)  Think of it as an opportunity to openly and honestly discuss issues, feelings, and baggage (we all have it!).  Counseling should cover these specific areas: compatibility, expectations, personalities, origins of families, communication, conflict resolution, intimacy and sexuality, and long-term goals.   A variety of quizzes and assessment tools will be used to open the dialogue in areas such as interests and activities, role expectations, personal adjustment, interpersonal communication, religion and philosophy, marriage expectations, family issues, finances, children (and parenting), and sexuality.  Chances are you and your fiancé have different views about things in one or more of these areas.  That’s to be expected.  The key is to identify and communicate these differences beforehand.
Still trying to decide if premarital counseling is for you?  It’s for the young and never married, those afraid of commitment, couples that disagree on important issues (i.e. sex, work, money, parenting, religion), individuals with previously failed marriages, those who have difficulty handling conflicts, and people with a history of childhood or domestic abuse.  That just about covers everyone!
Still not entirely convinced?  Think about this.  Research shows premarital counseling reduces the incidence of divorce by 30%. (www.mamashealth.com/wedding/counsel)  Why not work to strengthen your marriage before it even starts!

hope & restorationWhen the dark clouds of life roll in and settle over you, it’s important to have someone who can help you tap into your inner strength so that you can survive the storm.  At The Empowerment Group, that’s exactly what we do. We welcome you to explore the possibilities that are available to you. Restore a sense of balance and direction to your life. Whether through therapy, through Family Mediation, or through relationship counseling, we can help you find a path toward resolution and relief. Empowering your life! The Empowerment Group wants to help you bring balance, peace and happiness to your life even when the storms roll in and you feel all hope is gone. We can help:
  • Mediation
  • Therapy
  • Relationships
  • Pre-Marital Counseling



Subscribe for
Empowerment Tips!