When you are ready to begin marriage counseling, there are a few important things to consider begin getting started. First, ensure that you have clear communication with your spouse to be about what you expect during counseling together. Listen to your pastor about what good preparation looks like leading up to your wedding and throughout your marriage, and last but certainly not least, give yourself some grace.
First Step to Begin Marriage Counseling
When you embark on marriage counseling with your spouse to be, you can expect the unexpected. In other words, you can go into counseling with the anticipation to learn something about your spouse, or yourself, but most likely both. Participating in marriage counseling gives us an opportunity to allow someone else to have a unique, objective, yet helpful perspective on our relationship that we would not be able to have otherwise. Of course, the first step is to make sure that you both have full trust and respect for the person who will officiate your wedding and conduct your marriage counseling.
Continuing Marriage Counseling
Another point that I’ll add as someone who has done a number of counseling sessions and weddings is that counseling is something that should not stop on your wedding day. There is the perception that marriage counseling means a few sessions with your pastor before your wedding to prepare however I would say that continuing counseling for your marriage is just as important if not more important after your wedding. You may be married for many years which means that a few sessions, especially before you’re married just isn’t enough to sustain you for life. Sure, you may have other types of counseling sessions but this is particular to how you are doing and feeling in your marriage, what needs to change, what you can improve on, and what you’re doing well.
Talking About Expectations
One way to go about discussing expectations in advance of you and your spouse’s counseling is to talk about the topic areas ahead of time that you may be comfortable talking about. This gives you space to say that you don’t prefer to talk about certain areas and explain the reasons why. Before you begin marriage counseling you want to know at least what areas you agree to engage in talking about so that you will be more prepared to go further into the topic with the hope of resolving any known or unknown issues.
Giving Yourself Grace
Lastly, you want to give yourself grace so that you will have a healthy, thriving session that will be the foundaton to your new life together. Preparing yourself by giving yourself grace will set your mind at ease knowing that you have already allowed yourself to make mistakes or e ready to hear hard things but know that you are doing the right thing in the right place and following through with counseling is likely the best decision you’ve made to set you up for a great marriage.