Premarital Counseling: Learn How to Build Your Marriage from the Ground Up
Premarital counseling is one of the best ideas out there! It is meant to prepare a couple with the TOOLS and KNOW HOW they need for building a strong marriage.
Sessions I do with engaged couples, committed couples or newly married couples, are jammed packed with the knowledge a couple can use, right away, to stay connected, and learn to work as a team.
Your relationship is going to go through stages and changes. There are many decisions to make during the engagement period and after the wedding. For the first time, you have to become a decision making team. At the same time, you are finding out how different you are. This inevitable conflict happens to everyone within the first months or years of marriage. While you try to navigate these waters, there are pitfalls to watch out for! One of you may be more flexible moving through the stages than the other. This creates further conflict and tension.
Again, this is normal and inevitable but can be distressing. It’s not a sign that something is wrong with your relationship. You are growing as a couple, but you need to learn how to talk to each other during conflicts and about important issues.
Here’s what we cover in Premarital Counseling:
- An in-depth assessment of your strengths and challenges as a couple.
- An in-depth assessment of your individual psychological strengths and areas for stretch goals.
- A conversational tool/dialogue method for effective communication. Using specific proven communication guidelines, you can learn to have constructive conversations that get to the heart of the matter. You will develop a much deeper understanding of each other, and build feelings of empathy and connection, no matter what the issue or challenge is.
- Coaching on how to avoid the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse identified by John Gottman PhD himself, famous marital researcher of 40 years. They are Criticism, Defensiveness, Contempt, and Stonewalling.
- Preparation on how to avoid the pitfalls of unrealistic expectations, lying to avoid conflict, difficulty expressing needs (in and out of the bedroom), reluctance to discuss hot topic areas.
Don’t wait until you have built up negative history with each other! You can prevent that; I can show you how.
Call or text me at 415-999-4414 for a no obligation call to discuss your particular situation.
The trick is to be patient and to realize that you need to invest energy into communicating with each other, about the day to day decisions and big picture topics. Be patient, calm and focused. Above all, know that it is absolutely inevitable that you will disagree on many issues, and have areas of great differences. This is often part of your attraction to each other.
It’s couples that don’t talk, that are apprehensive about talking, that run the highest risk of relationship damage and divorce.
Here’s an example of partners working out a clutter problem.
You Must Talk… but it’s How You Talk that Matters Most
Stay calm. Be direct, but most of all don’t blame, criticize, defend or shut down (Gottman, J. famous marital researcher). Instead speak from your heart. Be vulnerable and let your partner know what’s going on inside of you. Voila! Intimacy lives here.
Many people don’t have a language to speak with vulnerability. In fact, here is a very popular Ted Talk addressing that very thing:
It’s not just about COMMUNICATING…
Being a good team player involves a steady stream of thoughtful actions, being a good listener, making quality time together, and having fun. Don’t make the mistake of talking too much. That can lead to negativity, the opposite of our goal. You will get weekly assignments to do to enhance your relationships in whatever ways needed. Together we brainstorm about the results you got until you feel confident in your ability to create the results you want.
Getting married itself is one of the biggest commitments you will ever make. Learn the Tools of Success!
Phone/text (415) 999-4414 to discuss your situation with me, no obligation. Or, email Kathy@couplescounselingworks.com.