The thought of marriage can be exciting, yet frightening when considering the high rate of people living in unhappy marriages and those who end up getting divorced.
One of the things couples are advised to do is attend counselling ahead of the commitment, but is pre-marital counselling really important?
According to Gerrie Pretorius, founder of lifecounsel, who has been counselling couples for over seven years, pre-marital counselling is very important.
“Pre-marital counselling is important because relationships are important. Most people put much emphasis on the wedding day, but preparation for the marriage itself is very important. Premarital counselling helps you understand each other better, your values, and what roles you will have in marriage,” he said.
“In pre-marital counselling, couples get to talk about relationship vision, finances, children, personality differences, and how to deal with conflict when it arises amongst many other issues.”
Gerrie says that although some people start the counselling after the engagement, it is best to do it before the engagement.
“Although I have helped both couples who were already engaged and some who were not yet engaged, I’d say it is best to do the counselling before you commit, just to make sure you are marrying the right person. In counselling, we also help individuals to deal with things within themselves, and we control the environment when sensitive issues arise which are bound to cause conflict,” he added.
The good thing about pre-marital counselling is that you can prevent yourself from getting into an unsatisfying marriage by doing it.
“I’ve seen instances where everything was all set and ready for the wedding day, but couples calling it quits because they realised that they were not ready to deal with certain issues and their marriage was doomed for disaster,” Gerrie concluded.