At first the comparison of Pre-engagement and pre-marital counseling can seem so similar and unimportant. Yet considering the differences, pre-engagement counseling may provide many dating couples additional benefits to the relationship and confidence in making a lifelong commitment!
Here are a few IMPORTANT factors to consider in regards to pre-engagement counseling:
Engagement/ Pressure: Proposals, shinny new engagement ring, and the excitement of telling everyone the great news, can really compromise the objectivity of the relationship. The priority of working on the relationship may easily turn into planning the wedding day instead of working on and finding a resolution to the conflict that may be remaining within the relationship.
Time Constraint: Couples seeking pre-engagement counseling do not have the same time crunch as couples that have already set the wedding date. Pre-engagement counseling can allow dating couples to openly share fears and hopes in sessions without worrying about how emotions will interfere with the couple’s timeline. In some cases, couples may need more than 8 sessions to resolve or practice new skills they are learning. Rather than couples that have a short engagement, which may not have sufficient time or desire to address issues prior to the wedding.
Confidence in your Decision: Attending pre-engagement counseling can provide both the couple and each individual the time and place to explore such an important decision with a trained professional. A couple can also benefit from expressing their thoughts and feelings to a professional who is trained in marriage and relational issues and will remain an unbiased third party. It is important to consider the motivation and readiness each person has to make such a commitment. By taking the time to explore your relationship in counseling, individuals can discuss expectations for the marriage and find a compromise if necessary prior to making the commitment.
So whether you are currently in a serious relationship or questioning if you and your partner are ready for marriage, please consider pre-engagement counseling! Pre-engagement counseling may seem as an unromantic plan or unnecessary, yet with staggering divorce rates this is just another way to invest in your relationship!