Week 9: The Benefits of Pre-Marital Counseling (for when Rock, Paper, Scissors doesn’t work)
We took last week off and it was a much needed break! This week I’m back with a PSA you don’t want to gloss over. Get to reading!
If you don’t think you need marriage counseling, this post is for you!
Okay, that was a bit harsh, but I’m about to deep dive into what might be the most important post of the entire series.
Last week Shawn and I finished our pre-marital counseling. We did a 6 week course with other couples in our church, and then a deeper 6 week private course with our officiant. Y’all, it was incredible! I learned so much about the type of partner I want to be, and the strengths and weaknesses I bring to a relationship.
You can’t Rock, Paper, Scissors your way through marriage!
What Surprised Me The Most
I learned more about myself than I planned to. Going into the classes I thought it would a series of conversations on how to be a couple. While it did eventually lead to those topics, the first several weeks were focused on learning about ourselves. It was so eye-opening to see how my upbringing affected the way I loved, fought, and expressed emotions.
It was also helpful to understand how my parents and their parents acted in relationships. For better or worse (see what I did there?) it was imperative to see how I became the person that I am. When I understood more about myself, it was clear where my good and poor qualities fell with regards to relationships! I am in no way perfect, but I could follow patterns when I wasn’t fighting fair. It also made me want to broaden my good qualities and be a better partner for Shawn.
It’s A Two Way Street
The best part is that while you’re putting in the work to better yourself, your partner is alongside you doing the same thing! It was so cool to see Shawn share more about his needs and wants and it was like a manual for how I could be a good wife! I mean, c’mon, you have to admit that’s pretty awesome! I loved learning more about us as individuals, and that led into learning about us as a couple and partnership.
Things To Discuss
I’m no counselor, but these things seem to be pretty important when you’re planning a life together.
Finances – Talk about your savings and your current financial status. Make a plan for how you want to save and grow together!
Family Dynamics – How much of a say will your family have in your marriage? Do you want kids? Talk about the level of involvement you and your partner are comfortable with and discuss the type of family you hope to have.
Discuss Love Languages – Does your partner know how you like to receive love? I told Shawn very early on that quality time is a biggie for me, and he has always made it a priority! Likewise, I learned his love language and it has helped me be a better partner.
Daily Roles and Expectations – As silly as it sounds, make a plan for who does what chores around the house! Set your expectations early so you don’t resent your partner if you’re always the one going to the grocery store. We discussed the types of chores/errands we like to do, and split them based on our availability.
There are endless resources out there, but these are ones I have personally tested! Most quizzes tell you to take the assessments by yourself, and then compare notes with your partner.
The 5 Love Languages Quiz – This quiz breaks down the 5 main ways we show and receive love. It’s so helpful when catering to your spouses needs.
How We Love Quiz – This quiz digs a little deeper! It breaks down your love style and shows you areas of your life that may need improvement with regards to relationships.
So there you have it. Advice from a non-expert. 🙂 I don’t have it all figured out (heck, I’m not even married yet) but I feel like I have the tools to get to work. It can’t possibly be this easy, but I’d rather have a road map than nothing at all!
Feel free to share your advice and ask questions along the way.
Best of luck!
PRO TIP OF THE POST: You aren’t going to grow overnight. Set a few goals with your partner and come back in a month to see if any improvements have been made.