Although most people are familiar with the concept of pre-marital education and counselling and relationship education, many people are reluctant to make use of it.
People may be resistant for many reasons; however there are several that seem to come up more often, these are:
- Divorce happens to others, not us
- We are in love and that’s all we need
- It’s expensive
- It might create or stir up issues
Let’s investigate each of these beliefs.
1 – Divorce happens to others, not us
- The divorce rate in Australia hovers around 50% of all marriages that are legally formalized.
- The dissolution rates for other informal but committed relationships are even higher than this.
- So depending on the type of committed relationship you and your partner decide to enter, you have at least a 50/50 change of it not being successful or long lasting.
However, there is now extensive research over many decades and involving hundreds of thousands of couples consistently showing that couples who invest in pre-marital education/counselling before marrying reduce their risk of divorce. This reduction can be as much as 30%.
- Therefore, instead of looking at a divorce rate of 50% it may be as low as 20%.
- Couples who engage in relationship education/counselling after they are married also cut their risk of marriage dissolution.
2 – We are in love and that’s all we need!
Love is a wonderful feeling, but as the old saying goes “it doesn’t pay the bills”.
A lifelong marriage will have testing, stressful, worrying, unhappy and argument filled times – mixed in with the wonderful times. The benefit of having the skills to help you communicate effectively while you are both navigating all these varying situations cannot be underestimated.
- Communication skills will help you each feel heard when going through trying times in your relationship while putting the least amount of stress possible on your marriage.
- Being prepared for these times by learning effective communication skills is one of the major benefits of premarital education/counselling.
3 – It’s expensive!
The average wedding in Australia costs $36200. Even if you don’t plan on spending anywhere near this amount it can still be a very costly event. By the time you add up the food, alcohol, venue, photographer, wedding dress, suits, flowers, cake……..the list goes on, it’s easy to see where the money goes. Add a lovely honeymoon to the list of expenses and most budgets end up bulging.
When looking at the costs of a wedding it is hard to understand why some people feel that the few hundred dollars that it usually costs for a pre-marital education program or a few counselling sessions is too expensive.
Pre-marital education/counselling should be seen as an investment in the future of your marriage, an important component of any wedding, and added to the budget just as you would any of the other important aspects of your big day.
4 – It might create or stir up issues
Some people worry that attending pre-marital education or counselling is like admitting there are problems, or that it may stir up problems that might otherwise stay buried.
Pre-marital education/counselling can bring to the fore and let you examine potential issues before they become real issues within your marriage.
While these potential issues between you and your partner are being looked at you are also learning the skills you need to successfully navigate through and resolve these potential issues that may arise in the future years. There are many things that can affect the harmonious functioning of your marriage including finances, child-rearing, family interactions, differing expectations and also ways of interacting that you bring into your relationship from your family of origin. Pre-marital education/counselling encourages couples to consider these differences and potential sticking points before they become a problem.
Pre-marital education/counselling and relationship education allows couples to explore each other, their relationship and the way it functions in a supportive and educational environment.
Engaging in pre-marital education/counselling can teach you skills that will help you achieve a successful and long lasting marriage.
For more information on Premarital education/counselling and its benefits, contact Vision Counselling and Psychology on 1300 184 746 to discover how to best plan for your relationship.
Article By: Vision Counselling and Psychology, Perth, Western Australia
Web Address: www.visioncounselling.com.au
Published: 21/01/2016 “Why premarital education/counselling matters”, (Two of us), Available: https://www.twoofus.org/educational-content/articles/why-premarital-educationcounseling-matters/index.aspx (Accessed: 2015, January 13).
“The average Australian wedding costs $36200”, Jager, C (2014) (Life hacker life Australia), Available: https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2014/02/the-average-australian-wedding-costs-36200-infographic/ (Accessed: 2015, January 13).
“Pre-marital counselling the pros and cons”, Seldon, L (2013) (Huffington Post), Available: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/galtime/premarital-counseling-the_b_3542952.html (Accessed: 2015, January 13). Image Reference: Dollar Photo Club