A couple in our church recently got engaged. Knowing that my husband and I have experience doing pre-marital counseling with soon-to-be married couples, they approached us to ask if we would meet with them.
Before we could even schedule a time to meet, the bride-to-be spoke up: “I have a question. Why do we only do this after couples get engaged? Why is there no such thing as pre-engagement counseling?”
She makes a good point.
My forehead scrunched as I thought hard about her question. Why don’t we offer pre-engagement counseling?
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Great article, Kate.
I’d also make a point for regular post-marriage counseling; an every-six-months checkup to test the marriage relationship’s solidity. I mean, we do preventatative maintenance on our cars, and sometimes on our own bodies…but why do we never do it in a marriage?
Preventatative? Sheesh. I’m on an all-nighter due to severe pain, but should still be able to spell.
actually, there is such a thing as pre-engagement counseling:) a local college ministry offers that to their students to see if they should get engaged/married. especially since many of their students come from different towns, it is a good idea. the daughter of a friend of ours and her future fiance had this and found it very helpful in talking through issues that they didn’t normally thing of in the rush of hormones:) they did end up getting engaged…and married in june. as far s i know, they are doing ok.
That is so great, Martha! I’m thrilled to hear this. Thanks for sharing! Hope you’re doing well!
I’m getting married in a Catholic Church and they really focus on preparing couples for marriage. They send us to a 1 day or weekend retreat where other couples talk about different issues that come up in marriage (we haven’t gone yet so I’m not sure what they will talk about).
Then our priest will give us this compatibility test to take. Then he’ll meet with us 3-5 times before our wedding about the results of all the tests and classes. It’s not perfect but I think it can be helpful. Some parishes have like what you and your husband do with meeting with another married couple (my parish currently is revamping the program but I know people that have done it).
I’ve always heard people that say some of the stuff should be done before engagement but idk that you’d get people to do it as it is kind of overwhelming and scary if you’ve never done any kind of counseling before. And there is such a stigma that counseling = you are going to break up.
Congratulations on your engagement, Beth Anne! When’s the big day? Sounds like you’re taking some great steps in preparation! Thanks for sharing your experience! I wish you all of the best in your upcoming marriage!
Would there really be any difference between premarital counseling and preengagement counseling? I’d think you could just get premarital counseling before you get engaged. I mean, nothing really changes after you get engaged – it’s when you actually get married that the real “fun” begins!