Why Pre-Marital Counseling?
“Why are you loading it that way?”
“You’re doing it wrong! The dishes are taking up too much space.”
“Why does it matter how the dishes are loaded? They’re going to get cleaned.”
This was the very first argument my wife and I had as a married couple, not even two weeks into marriage. I had this expectation of how the dishwasher should be loaded, how dishes should line up, and I had this expectation without ever telling my wife. One of the most beneficial things pre-marital counseling taught me was that I had hidden expectations of how my marriage should look and how my wife and I would interact.
I want to stress the word taught, because it was not something that came naturally to me and that, in my experience, does not come naturally to many couples. Everyone has hidden expectations, and they can be beneficial or destructive to your marriage. They can be little things like, who is responsible for taking out the trash? Who cleans the house? How many children do you want? Who stays at home with the children? Who disciplines? Who handles the bills? When expectations are not met, you can feel hurt and angry. This can lead you to lash out and begin to treat your spouse with contempt.
This is all a small part of learning how you communicate with your partner. How do you expect them to discuss serious issues in your relationship? How do you expect them to help you with emotional issues? Before embarking on the wonderful journey that is marriage, consider these questions as they can help you grow together as a couple. Answering these will be a challenging yet rewarding task that creates an environment where you feel and know that you can voice your needs, wants, and expectations.
As you read this, consider pre-marital counseling as well. It allowed my wife and me to start recognizing expectations in our own minds and showed us that we weren’t as strong at communicating as we thought we were. We still learn every day how to communicate more effectively.
If you are engaged, consider scheduling pre-marital counseling. You can email me here, schedule a free phone consultation, or call our office at (985) 661-0560. We also have several books that we recommend for couples that you can find on our website here.