Tying the knot is a big step for any couple, regardless of age, sexual orientation, or having been married previously. It’s exciting to be madly in love, and it can be tempting to rush right into the wedding without confronting the important questions in every couple’s relationship. However, it is beneficial to every couple to take the time for a few sessions of counseling before walking down the aisle. As the comedian Henry Winkler observed: “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” There are important questions to address about the possibility of having or not having children, of money, religion, sex, individual friendships, and in-law expectations, as well as learning how to navigate conflicts in a respectful and collaborative way that ultimately strengthens the relationship.
Different from couples counseling, which typically works on problems in the relationship, premarital counseling is short-term (3-4 sessions) and focuses on practical issues and communication skills that establish a solid foundation for a successful relationship. Having been happily married for many years, I have a comprehensive understanding of what makes a relationship work for the long haul, and I’m excited to share that with couples beginning their lives together.