Marriage Matters Monday – 5 Ways to Seek Pre-Martial Counseling


Please enjoy this informative piece by Philadelphia-based writer and mental health therapist Essence Cohen. I personally learned a lot from this article and I’m sure you will, too. Be sure to show Essence some Triple B love in the comments!

There are so many exciting activities surrounding your wedding day that you can lose focus of the importance of building the foundation for your actual marriage. The new experiences and unchartered waters you and your future spouse will explore will enhance your relationship but also test your commitment. Being prepared for these moments are actually more important than cake tasting, gown shopping and the bachelorette party. A pre-marital therapist or counselor is an excellent investment for you and your fiancé to help you both iron out the kinks that you are bound encounter when you make a vow to be with one another “for better or for worse”. Outlined below are five efficient ways and reasons to seek pre-marital counseling before your wedding day!

5) Learn Where Your Partner Stands. Determine what your partner’s thoughts are on premarital counseling before you begin calling around and possibly prematurely setting up an appointment. Counselors as resources to help us through many situations and it is important that you present this to your significant other so that they can begin to understand the benefits, and hopefully it will counteract any misnomers they may have about therapy.

4) Shop around. Just because you have an initial session with one counselor does not mean you have to commit to this person for the duration of your sessions. You and your partner should find someone who you feel can understand you and someone who you can relate to. Whether it be a particular gender, ethnicity or religious affiliation, shopping around until you find someone you two are comfortable with is one of the most efficient ways to find a pre-marital therapist/counselor. P.S. shopping around is great-as long as you two don’t mind filling out the initial assessment paperwork multiple times!

3) Spirituality and Religion. For most, marriage has both a spiritual and religious significance and history. When you consider this, it could be beneficial to seek a religious professional for marriage counseling as they are likely well versed in the purpose and foundation of marriage as you and your future spouse view it. If you are heavily connected to your higher being then this is perhaps the most favorable route for you to go…unless you are concerned about…


2) Anonymity. You may be reluctant to share the most pressing details of your relationship with someone who knows you two as a couple (i.e. your pastor). Being able to confide in someone who does not know either of you as a couple can offer a sense of relief because it allows to you release the feeling of someone “being in your business”! The truth of the matter is that both religious professionals and counselors are resources designed to help — and not judge — you.

1) Investing in your future. Counseling can be helpful at any stage of a relationship, however just like in the medical field; you have better outcomes when you focus on prevention and not just treatment. You are better equipped to deal with tough issues in your relationship when you have prepared for it verses when you are trying to figure out how to address it while it you are seeking counseling for the first time.

Triple B Sidebar: Here are two highly regarded pre-marriage counseling resources to consider. Don’t forget to mention Black Bridal Bliss sent you should you reach out to these professionals. Mary Pender Greene and Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy.

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    Comments

    1. Essence, GREAT article! This is very important information and if there were more articles like this floating around maybe the divorce rate wouldn’t be so high in this country.

    2. Erica J. says:

      This site continues to be a great resource. Not only do I get much of the “feel good” stuff, but now I get the “real” stuff in pretty packaging. Thanks for the informative read.

    3. Anonymous says:

      I have enjoyed reading this article so much. Such good advice. I’m a happy widow that have no desire to ever marry again but enjoy reading and looking at the beautiful pictures on BBB. To the engaged couples, pre-martial counseling can only strengthen a happy, trusting relationship. Again,excellent aricle Essence!

    4. Zenobia Hatcher-Wilson says:

      I think that pre-marital counseling is so important that it should occur AFTER the two of you have decided that you want to spend the rest of your lives together but, BEFORE you set the date for the wedding. If taken seriously, these sessions can reveal some difficult areas that could delay or put a stop to the wedding plans (hopefully not though). Great article, thanx Essence!

    5. S. Outlaw says:

      Great info Essence. So often couples believe that going for counseling is a bad thing. Hopefully couples getting ready to take the next step in their relationship will read this article and see that pre-marital counseling is a good thing. I’m particully fond of #1, Investing in your future….nice:-) So proud of you.

    6. Bridgette Bridgette says:

      @Triple B Family – Thanks for showing Essence so much love! This information is invaluable (as a planning bride I personally can vouch for this) and I’m happy Triple B is serving as a platform to share it.

    7. I consider it ‘peri-marital’ counseling. I assume that my beau and I may still need ‘touch-up’ sessions AFTER the sacrament is sealed.
      This was a great article and I love the diversity of sources and voices I find here.
      I want to encourage BBB’s male readers (we know you’re out there) to be leaders and not wait for the lady to bring this up. I know I love it when my man demonstrates that he has been thinking about not just our physical life (home, money, etc) but also our spiritual life and is proactive in those areas. No matter who brings it up, the fact counseling/guidance is discussed at all is a positive step for the relationship.

    8. @ Ronda – You’re right, I know I’m not the only loyal male follower.
      A successful relationship takes plenty of work, thought, compromise, and love. With the baggage and stress that many of us have from living fairly normal lives, a qualified professional (including those in the various houses of worship) often help the two involved parties meet on non-confrontational ground. I think Essence’s point regarding using counseling as a preventative method as opposed to a treatment reaps greater benefits.

    9. Essence C says:

      Thank you so much for all of your comments and feedback! I’m really glad you found the article informative. Thank you @S.Outlaw I agree #1 is one of the best! All of your responses were really heartfelt and encouraging, I’m glad you enjoyed the article!

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