How doing Prepare/Enrich or other premarital counseling/coaching can save your relationship before it's even in trouble.
Stop us if you have heard or made any of the following statements: 1) "We never fight". 2) "There is nothing wrong with our relationship". 3) "There is no doubt we want kids". 4) "We know for sure how we are going to raise our kids". 5) "Our sex life is perfect". 6) "We agree on everything". 7) "We are on the same page with where we see our life together". 8) "We agree 100% on how to spend our money".
Yeah....We've heard those too. Now let us be clear upfront, these might be completely true for you. However before you say they are, how would you respond to these follow up statements for each one above:
1)"We never fight"
Really? What happens when your mother-in-law pisses you off? Or when someone has left their dirty clothes on the floor for the 10,000th time?
2) "There is nothing wrong with our relationship"
That's great, but what happens if something changes?
3) "There is no doubt we want kids"
What happens if you or they change their mind? What happens if one of you develops a chronic illness? What if you struggle with infertility?
4) "We know for sure how we are going to raise our kids"
Oh really? Do you want to bet your child's mental health on that?
5) "Our sex life is perfect"
Okay, what if one of you wants to try something new in the bedroom and the other has a problem? What happens when you want your partner to do more or less of a certain action (use your imagination)? Do you feel comfortable telling them?
6) "We agree on everything"
Do you really? Or maybe you just went along with something so you didn't start a fight. Here are a couple good ones for you: Does the toilet paper go over or under on the roll (by the way, it's over, the patent paperwork even says so)? Is it okay to leave dirty dishes in the sink for days, weeks?
7) "We are on the same page with where we see our life together"
What happens if that vision doesn't come true because of money, health, kids, or career? Life changes so quickly.
8) "We agree 100% on how we are going to spend our money:
So you're cool with your partner buying a $900 replica lightsaber cause you know how much they love Star Wars right? And before you ask, yes they have a problem with you getting mani/pedis every week and spending SO much money on makeup.
Now how do you feel about those follow up questions and statements? I know what you are thinking, "that lightsaber example seemed oddly specific". And, you'd be right but what did we do? We came up with a plan that if I REALLY wanted it, we would do some budgeting to make it work. The nails and makeup were just add ons for the example but if that were something, we would make a plan for that too. How does that work you ask? Well, let's keep chatting.
Premarital counseling has been around for a while. For the longest time it seemed most present in religious institutions. For example we were married in a church that required us to meet with the Preist for premarital counseling. There is a small problem with that. Religious leader can be WONDERFUL spiritual coaches but they often do not specialize in therapeutic practices when it comes to successful marriages. So what did that spiritual leader teach us (two trained therapists) about marriage? Absolutely nothing. In fact they said some real damaging things that, if it weren't for the fact we had done some premarital counseling with a a licensed therapist, could have sabotaged our marriage before it really started. If you'd like to know more about this specific experience, let us know down in and comments and we will either make a special post or video about it.
After going through the experience we did, we knew we wanted to provide coaching where we could, which is how we found Prepare/Enrich. There are a lot of big names in the marriage and family therapy counseling world and all have amazing strengths to them. What drew us into Prepare/Enrich was the research that went into backing up the assessment and the solid blueprint to walk through the most common sticking points in relationships. Many people fear that the assessment will tell them, "your relationship is doomed to fail!" Let's put those thoughts at ease, the assessment does no such thing. It provides you with strengths and areas of growth within your relationship AND what to do to strengthen them.
The questions are based on you and your partner's unique backgrounds and are tailored for previous marriage, children, age, living arrangements, and more. Couples report feeling accurately represented when taking their premarital assessment. You and your partner will be able to learn about your similarities and differences, as well as developing the skills necessary to support your relationship for many years to come!
The Prepare/Enrich assessment helps couples approach topics that many do not think about prior to marriage including, but not limited to:
Family & Friends
Sounds like a pretty good deal right? What is the best thing about this assessment and premarital counseling? Completing it will increase your chance of a successful marriage by 30%! I know that does not seem like a lot but considering the average divorce rate is still hovering around 50%, I'll take that added bump.
As we mentioned in the beginning, you truly might not have any problems right now and that is wonderful. However we are here to tell you that if you don't have these skills developed and on hand, it is not a matter of if, but when problems arise. That is because we are human and have differences. It is a part of what makes life beautiful and it can also, sometimes, get in the way. Your relationship will be battle tested time and time again. It is so much easier to face those battles when you and your partner are fighting on the same side.
Consider utilizing Calibrations Counseling & Consultations for your premarital counseling. We offer the unique opportunity where you can take the program with BOTH Emily and I as your facilitators. We are both licensed mental health therapists (LPCC-S) and we are also a married couple. Our marriage has been battle tested. We have fallen victim to most of the statements at the beginning of this post. Has it been rough sometimes? Absolutely. But because of the skills we have learned and teach, we have gotten though it and come out stronger on the other side each and every time. Let us help you have the best chance at a happy and fulfilling marriage.
If you'd like to learn more about Prepare/Enrich and Premarital Counseling, feel free to visit our website .
If you are in the Northeast Ohio area, we will be at the Today's Bride show on Sunday June 4th 2023 from 11am-4pm. Need tickets? Contact us and you can come as our guests, free of charge. We have a show exclusive where if you visit our booth, we are giving away a FREE 12 week premarital counseling program. All you have to do is scan the QR code at out both, fill out a bit of information and you are entered. This is a $1600 value for free! We can't wait to see you!