Did you know that premarital counseling can reduce the chance of divorce by up to 30%? Taking time for marriage preparation can lay the foundation for a happier and healthier marriage. It has been widely reported that half of all marriages will end in divorce. Research shows that of the half that do not end in divorce, 50% of those marriages are unhappy. Premarital counseling raise the chances of a loving relationship by examining and sometimes resolving the differences between two people who are in love and want to make a lifelong commitment. Marriage preparation prepares the couple for conflicts and challenges that may present themselves in the future. Living together before getting married does not make a couple immune to divorce down the road, however the time spent together can allow the two of you to gain some insight as to what married life with this person would be like. This is the perfect time to cover some of the topics that should be covered and questions that should be asked to prepare for marriage.Goals and Priorities
Do the two of you share the same goals, values, and priorities? If a couple is not headed in the same direction there is bound to be conflict in the future which can lead to serious marital problems. One good exercise in this area is to ask yourself how you would like to be remembered after you have passed away. Do you want to be remembered as a hard worker? Perhaps you would like to be remembered as a loyal and dedicated person who would give the shirt off his back to help someone. These are some examples of the type of person you are or want to be. How do your values and goals compare to your partner's.Handling Finances
Money is probably the biggest reason couples argue and fight. Wouldn't it be great to nip this one in the bud before exchanging marriage vows? Talk about how you currently handle your finances and how you would like the money handled in the future. Maybe you abhor the use of credit cards and instead choose to always pay with cash. Talk about things like saving, investing, insurance and retirement.Communication and Conflict Resolution
I feel that these two warrant grouping together as they are so closely related. After all, conflict resolution is achieved by utilizing communication to its fullest. Think about the past disagreements the two of you have had with one another. Do you feel that you have been fully understood during these times? Do you feel that your partner is sincerely listening to you? Does it seem like the issues get resolved or just avoided and forgotten? Do you feel that you talk too much or not enough with your partner?Children and Parenting
The best way to open a discussion about children and parenting is to talk about your own childhood and how you were raised. How would you, as a parent, do things differently? What would you do the same? What are your views on discipline? What do you feel are the responsibilities of a father and a mother in raising children? How many children do each of you want to have?Spirituality
Spirituality is a very important aspect of marriage that is often overlooked. Do you share the same religious beliefs? What beliefs do you want to instill in your children? Spirituality can be the glue that bonds a couple and a catalyst for growth. Remember the old adage: A family that prays together, stays together.Roles and Expectations
What specific role do you see yourself taking in the marriage? What role do you expect your future spouse to take? If you are both currently working do you plan on continuing your career or do you see yourself more as full time parent and homemaker? Who's going to do the dishes or cooked meals or do the laundry? Will it be a 50-50 split when it comes to household chores?
A typical marriage nowadays is very complex. Juggling two jobs, raising children, integrating mixed families, these stress factors and more contribute to the need for good, strong premarital counseling. It is more important than ever to take advantage of any and all resources you can find regarding premarital counseling and marriage preparation whether it be from a licensed professional or religious adviser.