Save the date. Pick a Venue. Flowers. Dress. Color scheme. Seating Chart. Bridesmaids. Groomsmen. DJ. Rehearsal dinner. Photos. The list goes on! It’s no wonder that in the midst of planning the biggest event of your life that the relationship itself can sometimes get lost in the mix. I know for me, there were many times in my engagement season that I felt distant and disconnected from my fiancé. So much so that after our rehearsal dinner I BEGGED him to go to Walmart with me to pick up an extension cord we needed last minute just so we would have 20 minutes alone to connect! So how do we not only plan for an incredible wedding, but also for an incredible marriage?? It takes intention. Investing time in premarital therapy not only creates space for connecting during your engagement season but also helps you lay the groundwork for the commitment you are making in “I do!”
1. GET TO KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS!
All couples have strength and growth areas. In pre-marital therapy, I love to highlight your strengths and really get to know how they work. What makes your relationship feel safe, supportive and connected? These strengths are the key to navigating the highs and lows ahead. By really understanding what makes your relationship feel solid, it will be easier for you in the future to identify where you might be feeling stuck or disconnected.
2. GUIDE THROUGH THE ROCKY PLACES!
Conflict is often seen as being a sign of something being wrong with the relationship. In fact, conflict and disagreement are common in both healthy and unhealthy couples. The difference sits in your ability to work through it in a way that is effective. As they prepare for marriage, many couples are wrestling with tougher topics like finances, sex, family, etc. I like to help couples have these conversations in a way that leaves them feeling like they were both heard and have accomplished something for their relationship. The transition into marriage is sometimes a trying time for a relationship and can bring with it unexpected challenges. By setting aside time during the engagement season to invest in your relationship, you are working together to try and foresee potential tough spots and come up with a plan for how to handle them.
3. RESOURCE FOR THE FUTURE!
By the time a couple has gone through pre-marital therapy, I know the ins and outs of their relationship. The benefit of this lasts longer than just pre-marital therapy itself. Life inevitably will bring challenges and in those times, it is helpful to know that you have someone to turn to, someone you already trust. I like to think of it like a family doctor who sees their patients from childhood through to adulthood. By having an established relationship with a therapist, it means that you can come in for check ups throughout the life of your marriage. It helps me have a context for how to best help you and helps you to bypass the “getting to know you” phase of therapy and get any help you need quickly.
The wedding day is just the beginning! Give your relationship the time and attention it deserves for you both to feel happy, healthy, and connected long after the “I do’s”! CONGRATS! And best wishes on your exciting journey ahead!!