Premarital Counselling: Tips for a Happier Marriage
Making any relationship work requires effort. Marriage is no exception, and will often require additional cooperation between partners. Many counsellors advise taking premarital counselling before tying the knot since it serves as excellent guidance for the road ahead. A counsellor can offer insights into different aspects of the marriage (e.g. financial stresses, communication, and decision making). They can also provide a stronger foundation for any future challenges.
Some tips for a successful marriage include:
Focus on positives - Spending time scrutinizing your partner for faults or incompatible traits will create additional stress in the relationship. Work on changing your perspective and focus more on your partner’s assets and beneficial qualities. Whenever you are annoyed by your partner’s actions, bring attention to your partner’s more positive traits to alter any negative thinking.
Communicate - Learning to communicate is an important part of keeping a marriage strong and healthy. Pay attention to your partner’s unique way of communicating affection to better understand their emotional needs (e.g. physical contact, helping around the house, etc). Understanding each other’s love language encourages emotional growth and respect.
Empathize - Whenever problems arise, focus on empathizing rather than finding an immediate solution. Empathy helps you understand your partner and their needs, leading to better problem-solving. This is especially useful when your partner uses anger to cover up their vulnerabilities. Understanding the root of all issues will allow both partners to remain connected while seeking solutions.
Be honest - If you do anything to break your partner’s trust, lying about it will exacerbate the situation. Avoid keeping secrets or withholding information from your partner. Be open and honest instead. Take responsibility for your actions, both positive and negative, and request your partner’s understanding in these regards. Transparency builds trust and intimacy between partners, allowing for better conflict resolution.
Show appreciation - Always remember to show your partner that you appreciate them and what they do to nurture your relationship. Over time, you can become overly comfortable in a relationship, leading to dissatisfaction and communication blocks. Even small, loving gestures will remind each other that you still care. Avoid competition with your partner and always let them know that they are appreciated.
Premarital counselling is an effective tool for strengthening your relationship before marriage. A counselor provides advice for a happy and healthy partnership, identifying any issues that may lead to future problems.
At Living Well by Design, we provide counselling services for couples at different stages in their relationship, including marriage counselling and discernment counselling. Contact our office in St. Albert, Alberta at (780) 246-8100.