While I was going through premarital counselling, I asked the pastor how many persons changed their minds during that time. He said none. It is not that I think premarital counselling is not important, but I think the timing is very wrong.
If you have already set your date, bought your dress and other things for the wedding, sent out invitations and you are basically planning and organizing, how likely do you think it is to change your mind if something comes up in the counselling session? I believe whatever is, either you might not hear it or you might figure you can work it out or it wouldn't be an issue after marriage. I believe you would not have an open mind.
So my suggestion would be to start your premarital counselling as soon as you realize you are in the relationship for the long haul. Sometimes couples talk about getting married, before the engagement takes place, other times they get engage, but no date is set yet. Whatever the case, I believe premarital counselling should take place before you start planning for your wedding and definitely before invitations have been sent out. How should you approach premarital counselling?
- With an open mind- Keep in mind the counselling is to find out if you are actually ready for marriage. The level of compromise and sacrifice marriage requires, mean that both partners must be ready for that approach.
- Ready to communicate honestly- A lot of questions would be asked and a lot of important issues would come out during the counselling, but only if both partners are honest and communicate freely. Do not keep things in your heart because you are trying to prevent anything that might prevent your wedding. Counselling might just prevent you from making a decision that would affect the rest of your life. Remember marriage is long term and in your heart divorce should NOT be an option. Talking does not mean you would not get married to your partner, it just help you to recognize some of the issues early, whether or not you can deal with them and how.
- With little publicity about your wedding- Publicizing your wedding to be before counselling makes it harder if at the end you are told by your counselor to wait. Not wanting to be embarrassed, have made a lot of persons make decisions that that they now regret. If people do not know, you can put off your wedding or push back the date without any extra pressure.
- Most importantly, willingness to change your set decision. If you are not, then counselling is not necessary.
Maybe you have some suggestions of your own and want to share. Maybe you want to share your own experience with premarital counselling. Looking forward to hear from you.