[Editor’s note: Hey friends! So I bet you didn’t know that Kristine, one of ELD’s contributors and an ELV planner, is also a certified counselor- with a specialization in marriage preparation nonetheless! So this girl definitely knows what she’s talking about! Today she’s sharing a little Tuesday Tips all about planning for your marriage, so enjoy! :)]
So many couples spend months–sometimes years–planning their wedding day without giving much thought to their marriage. And while the wedding is certainly important, it’s not worth much without the marriage. Consider this statistic: Half of the marriages that will fail end by the 5th year of marriage. That means that the early years of marriage are crucial–they lay the foundation for all the years to follow. What better reason is there for preparing yourself through education and counseling before saying your I Do’s?
Studies of premarital preparation programs have shown that couples who complete such programs have a greater chance for marital success and will be less likely to divorce. Here are some other advantages:
• They improve relationship skills, including communication and conflict management.
• They encourage openness and honesty between partners.
• They allow for each partner to learn about themselves, their family histories, backgrounds, and sensitivities, as well as one another.
• They address expectations for marriage and ready the couple for unavoidable hardship.
• They encourage the couple to seek marital therapy early on instead of waiting until they are on the brink of divorce.
• They help the couple take their decision to marry seriously.
This is the way I like to describe it: Education–about yourself and one another–increases compassion, and compassion decreases frustration. Why wouldn’t you want that for your marriage?
Premarital preparation programs are fairly easy to find if you look for them. Most churches and pastors will provide some kind of premarital counseling, but you could always seek out a therapist or find a facilitator of a program in your area. I’m a certified facilitator of the Prepare Enrich program (which I highly recommend). You can go here to find a Prepare Enrich facilitator in your area. Or just contact me with any questions!
Just remember, your wedding is one day but your marriage is a lifetime. Make sure you spend your engagement preparing for the marriage too.
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