And, an effective, research-based, professionally delivered Pre-Marital Preparation Program is high on your gift registry – right?
If you answer “Why yes, of course! Why on earth would I consider something so life-changingly profound without some serious tire-kicking, research and advice!” then good for you.
You and your partner have already considered the top six benefits of professional pre-marital preparation:
1. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND ~ Just because you love someone very much does not a happy lifetime make. A pre-marital prep program which helps a couple dig more deeply into who each person is as an individual and how this person with this background might mesh with that person with that background is vital for planning a life together.
2. GRASP THE ENORMITY OF THIS COMMITMENT ~ I mean, whom you marry will have THE biggest impact on every aspect of your life: Where you live; how you live; the rhythm of your days; your children’s genes and/or upbringing; your daily budget and your long term savings; your friends; your diet; your connection with your family of origin; your spiritual life; your recreation…. you get the point! Learning how to broach and discuss these topics with a spirit of curiosity and open-ness is a vitally helpful skill.
3. ENORMOUS PERSONAL GROWTH ~ A committed, long-term relationship is going to call you into places of deep personal awareness and growth like nothing else can. Learning how to allow this, how to respond without defensiveness and how to gracefully expand into the best possible version of yourself is something you’ll learn with good pre-marital consulting.
4. ANTICIPATE & PREDICT ISSUES ~ A bit like hearing there’s a storm coming allows you to put up the shutters and lay in extra food, getting an eyes-wide-open awareness for the areas in your relationship that are likely to be rocky allows you to prepare, and not be so side-swiped when they show up. Money, sex and anger are the “big three” but all sorts of differences which can seem small now might blow up one day – so skill up for this.
5. GET AN OUTSIDE OPINION ~ You know your love is vast and sound, but if you feel vulnerable about exploring some issues before you even say “I do” it might be particularly wise to expose your relationship to the helpful wisdom of a licensed marriage and family expert. Not because he or she will find flaws and tell you you’re nuts, but because it helps to normalize rough spots and frictions, see yourselves from the outside, and feel free to talk with a trusted professional who has only your couple success at heart – not familial loyalty nor impossibly high expectations.
6. SKILL UP! ~ This will not come as a surprise, but people have been getting married and divorced for a very long time and by and by some social scientists and researchers have been paying attention. There is excellent evidence based research out there from which you can benefit – but only if you know about it. Setting aside some time to learn about principles and practices that foster love, connection and attachment will be one of the best educational investments you ever make over your lifetime if you want to boost your chances of creating a loving, secure, mutually satisfying relationship.
If you answer “Of course not! Why would I have any doubt in our ability to use our love to solve all problems?”
I’m hoping to make the case to you that you’ll vastly increase your chances of success by investing in some learning and experiential help with a great pre-marital program – watch this space!