Contrary to popular belief, many Black couples choose counseling before they say "I Do".

When Shawn and I decided to take our relationship to the next level I had one condition to marriage and that was pre-marital counseling. There was no doubt in my mind that I loved this man and wanted to be his wife. But I don’t care how many sappy love songs you play, it is not true that “Love Is All We Need”.  In a successful relationship you also need patience, communication and understanding. He and I are both of a certain age (in my Wendy Williams voice) and along with age comes being settled in your ways and slow to compromise, which can be the death of any relationship.
No matter how much you love each other. One thing I was sure of was since I waited this long to get married; I truly want my marriage to last. I did not want to rush into anything and a few years later ask myself why I did it in the first place. The worst thing to me is to be a thirty-seven year old bride and a 40year old divorcee.  I have had friends ask me why we are going to counseling, is our relationship in trouble? My answer to that is we are trying to avoid trouble down the road.

Excuse my stereotypical profiling, but like most men Shawn was hesitant to the idea of counseling. To his credit however, he agreed in an effort to solidify our bond, surprisingly after our very first session Shawn was a changed man.  He loved the therapy session. Therapy offers us both a non-judgmental, neutral ground to air our grievances with the benefit of a third party opinion. This way we are able to see each other’s point of view, which can sometimes get lost in our individual perspectives. Issues are going to arise in the strongest relationships, but through Allison (the best counselor in the world) we have learned to better deal with conflict resolution. Let’s face it, you and your significant other are going to argue, but fighting fair is key. Keeping the love you have for each other in the forefront even through adversity makes everything easier. 

For me, my commitment to Shawn is for a lifetime, and I want us to do everything possible to ensure that. Aren’t I blessed he sees it the same way?
Nearlyweds Jene and Royshawn, above.