They don’t explore critical areas in their relationship, including communication, conflict resolution, finances, and spiritual beliefs.
Even more, they don’t explore the effects that their personality, family of origin, and expectations have on their relationship.
According to the Census Bureau, over 750,000 divorces are granted in the U.S. each year. The actual percentage of marriages ending in divorce in the U.S. varies between 40 and 50%!
That being said:
The rate of divorce after 10 years of marriage is 48% for those who marry before the age of 18. Also, divorces amongst people aged 50+ years is rising.
Research demonstrates that participating in premarital counseling and exploring critical areas within your relationship before marriage can reduce your risk for divorce by as much as 30%!
Premarital counseling—and the education you receive about sharing life together—is an investment in your future. Even more, it’s an investment you shouldn’t neglect, overlook, or pass up. This is marriage, after all!
For the past 22 years, I’ve helped “seriously dating” and engaged couples build a solid foundation for their relationship before marriage through premarital counseling in Tustin, CA.
As an ordained minister, I have also officiated and presided over countless wedding ceremonies for many of those same couples.
As one bride put it, “Steve, I don’t want a stranger watching us exchange our vows on such an intimate day.”
During premarital counseling at In Touch Individual & Family Counseling of Tustin, CA, we first assess your relationship and use that data to celebrate your strengths as a couple. Next, we use those strengths to explore the growth areas of your relationship.
Of course, these meaningful conversations take place in the context of a safe, warm, and judgment-free zone because I love encouraging couples to promote their needs, pursue their dreams, and enjoy a lifetime of love!
Regardless of the unique nature of your relationship, I want you to feel empowered with the tools and skills you need to develop healthy communication patterns and engage in active listening so you can nurture a lifetime of love!
If you want a clear path to intimacy, I would love to be your guide. Contact me to learn how you can get started with premarital counseling in Tustin, CA.
Premarital counseling is rarely on an engaged couple’s wedding planning to-do list. Sure, discussing weighty topics such as money, sex, and children may not be as easy or fun as selecting the first song for your wedding reception. Though discussing these topics might cause temporary discomfort, premarital counseling can help lay a strong foundation for your marriage.
Think of premarital counseling as a preventative measure, like seeing your primary care physician for an annual checkup or taking your car in for an oil change. Instead of waiting for a problem to arise, premarital counseling is a way to get ahead of issues before they take root and grow. Put another way; premarital counseling is like building a house from the ground up. The first step is pouring a solid foundation—one that is level and square. Otherwise, everything built on the foundation can develop problems.
For today’s busy couples, premarital counseling can be a place to clarify and discuss your expectations for marriage, set relationship goals, discover your similarities and differences more fully, and resolve any issues in the relationship before they become problematic. Lastly, premarital counseling can be a resource to help couples prevent or avoid marriage counseling later on down the road.
The primary focus of premarital counseling is to help couples get on the same page about specific topics and better understand yourself and each other more fully. One of the first exercises of premarital counseling is to answer an individual questionnaire, or series of questions, about how they feel about each other and their relationship. Those answers help pinpoint strengths, uncover potential problems, and identify personality traits. Next, we interpret your answers together and discuss the similarities and differences in your responses. That information helps us move forward and set appropriate goals based on what challenges you wish to overcome with each other. Although no topics are off-limits, these are some of the most commonly discussed issues:
Also, there are plenty of issues surrounding money, children, and sex, so it’s essential for couples to be on the same page about those topics. Here is a general overview:
Although premarital counseling can be meaningful and fun, it can also stir up a lot of uncomfortable emotions—there may even be some crying. Rest assured, both extremes are entirely normal. Regardless of the unique nature of your relationship, I want you to feel empowered with the tools and skills you need to develop healthy communication patterns and engage in active listening so you can nurture a lifetime of love!
Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting times of your entire life. Your future is in front of you, and you’re filled with hope and wonder. You’re probably madly in love and can’t wait to start your lives together as an officially married couple.
With all the planning that goes into the big day, there’s no official rule of thumb about when to start premarital counseling. While many choose to wait until just a few weeks or months before the wedding, you can’t really start too early. That said, studies show that couples who go to premarital counseling have a 30% higher rate of success than couples who don’t.
I’ve been facilitating premarital therapy for upwards of 20 years. In general, it involves roughly 6-8 sessions of meetings. While many think that starting about three months before the big day is enough time, you may find that a longer period is much more beneficial. Of course, some believe that you should begin premarital counseling as soon as you’re even thinking about marriage. The choice is yours, so plan accordingly.
Typically, the last 30-days before the big day is filled with loads of last-minute details like the wedding rehearsal and meal, the location of the wedding, changes in the guest list, photographers, videographers, and finalizing the travel plans for the honeymoon.
That said, it might be a good idea to start premarital counseling sooner rather than later—especially if you’re struggling with issues around communication, trust, money, sex, problems with future in-laws, your family of origin, or stress about getting married.
Therapy can make a big difference in your life. The healing that you experience and the changes you can make will impact not only you, but your family and future generations as well. Although therapy can seem expensive, when it is understood as an investment, it is truly an investment in you, the health of your relationship, and your future of those you call important!
Feel free to check out my fee structure.
I’ve been facilitating premarital therapy for upwards of 20 years. In general, it involves roughly 6-8 sessions of meetings. However, every couple is different. Some get in, get out, and get done. Others enjoy it so much that they continue after the wedding day. The choice is yours.
The short answer? Unless you try it, there’s no way to know if premarital counseling is right for you. The long answer? I’m sure you’ve seen this before: Couples often approach the premarital season of their relationship with rose-colored glasses, assuming everything will be fine because they are in love. Premarital counseling can help you see an unbiased, clearer picture of your relationship, so you can address essential subjects more thoroughly and objectively. In addition, it can boost confidence in your decision to move toward the next step in your relationship.
I’ve been married to the same person for 29 years and raised two children her, so I’m more than confident I understand the landscape of married life—the good and not-so-good. If you decide to meet with me, I bring 59 years of life experience to the table and more than 20 years of experience as an MFT, a psychology professor, and a licensed minister. As my dad used to say, “You’re going where I’ve been.” I’m confident that I can help you address any challenges you may or may not face as a couple.
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