If you’re married, or you’re about to be married, you probably have spent a good amount of money. Even if you had a wedding on a budget, you’re still paying for a wedding in your own way. However, if there’s room in your budget to attend couple’s counseling, you should try it out.
You may be a little confused. When you think of couple’s counseling, you may imagine a couple on the verge of divorce. Years of yelling and fighting have led them to the office, with some poor counselor struggling to keep the peace as they continue fighting.
However, this is an outdated way of looking at it. Many healthy couples go to counseling before and after their marriage to help them succeed.
Let’s first discuss premarital counseling. As the name implies, it’s counseling you attend before you’re married. Premarital counseling is a service often found in the church, but it’s seen a rise in popularity for the secular crowd as well. Here are a few services that premarital counseling offers:
- Financial planning. If you’re living together, you may need to keep your spending habits in check. Maybe one person believes in saving every penny, while someone else likes to spend money. A counselor can help both parties come to a financial plan they can agree on, and stick to it.
- Getting to know your partner more. If you’re marrying someone, you may think you know everything there is to know, but that’s not true all the time. Your partner may have quirks or behaviors you only notice after marriage, and this may lead to some problems.
- Communication strategies. Miscommunications can happen often, and they may lead to some unneeded fights. Learning all the strategies beforehand may help prevent this.
- Learning conflict management. No matter how well you two get along, there’s going to be problems in your marriage, and learning how to manage the conflict before it starts is valuable for any marriage.
- Your future. The future may be uncertain, but learning what you two expect out of each other can make the marriage better. For example, what about kids? If one person wants them and the other doesn’t, how do you reach a compromise? What about dream jobs?
Attending counseling before marriage can save you time and money you may waste on conflict and miscommunication.
Marriage counseling can give you the benefits that premarital counseling does. You can learn how to communicate, how to solve a conflict, and more. In addition, here are some other services that marriage counseling offers.
- A check-up. A yearly check-up is a good move for any marriage. Think of it like taking your car in for service. Nothing is wrong with it, but a professional can find tiny problems and fix them before they grow into something that’s much worse.
- Family issues. Maybe the two of you are disagreeing with how to raise your children. One may be too strict, or vice versa. A counselor can teach you ways to help raise your kids. They aren’t going to raise the kids for you, but they can offer some valuable advice.
With a healthy marriage, you probably won’t need many sessions. Just one or two every year. However, if you end up having a major conflict, you may need multiple sessions, which can add up. Luckily, there are some ways to save money:
- Look at your health insurance plan and see if any counseling or therapy clinics take your health insurance. This can pay for or drastically reduce the cost.
- Some counselors work pro bono, or have a flexible rate depending on your income.
- There are community services that offer counseling or therapy for absolutely free. For example, you can go to your local college and look for services there, or speak to a pastor. Local community clinics may offer low-cost counseling as well.
Counseling can keep your marriage the best it can be, saving you time and money. Plus, you may learn financial techniques, saving you even more. There’s no shame in seeking a couple’s counselor. Try one out today and see for yourself how it can help your relationship.