The Beatles sang: Love is all you need. It's a good tune. It's a nice thought.
It's pretty much BS.
Your marriage needs much more than love. It needs good communication and the ability to navigate the rough spots. It takes compassion, kindness and a willingness to accept changes as they come.
People in successful marriages report feeling more consistently happy, experience more positive emotions, and find a deep level of satisfaction in life. How wonderful it is to have a spouse who is your trusted partner when making life decisions; who is your confidant, your emotional anchor, your greatest friend, your home!
Does Premarital Counseling Really Work?
Did you know that couples who do not receive pre-marriage education are more likely to see their problems as atypical and unsolvable? And 41% of divorced couples say lack of premarital preparation contributed to their divorce.
Sure, I could be saying that because I want you to pay me. I mean I do, yes, but hear me out.
The typical couple spends over $25,000 on their wedding. They may spend months planning for a celebration that lasts one single, solitary day. But all that preparation for the party does nothing to ensure that the marriage will be a success.
In fact, the opposite is true. A recent study found that couples who spend less on their wedding tend to have longer-lasting marriages than those who splurge.
Specifically, the study found that women whose wedding cost more than $20,000 divorced at a rate roughly 1.6 times higher than women whose wedding cost between $5,000 and $10,000. And couples who spent $1,000 or less on their big day had a lower than average rate of divorce. Your investment in premarital counseling could pay off for a lifetime.
Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts
My premarital coaching is based on the work of Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott – relationship researchers from Seattle Pacific University and authors of the book, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts (SYMBIS), among others.
They have developed the SYMBIS Assessment, which is:
Modern. Uniquely attuned to today's couples like you
Research-based. On nearly two dozen dimensions related to healthy marriage relationships.
Wide-ranging. Join over one million couples around the world who have taken this assessment.
Reliable and valid. The more honest you are the better it is. Just like marriage.
Once you complete the SYMBIS assessment, the results come to me for review. We'll work together through several sessions, carefully talking through all the intricacies of your results. There will be love, there will be laughs, there will be tears, there will be things that you likely didn't think would come up.
We'll talk about what each of you brings to the relationship, your commonalities, your differences, and any red flags.
What will come up?
Oh, wouldn't you like to know, Captain Nebby McNebster?
Actually, that's a valid question. I apologize.
We'll go over four main factors:
Marriage Mindset. The way each of you thinks, feels and believes about marriage.
Wellbeing. Both your personal wellbeing- your self-concept, maturity, and level of independence from your parents- as well as your relationship wellbeing.
Context. Your "baggage". Social, family, in-laws, finances, and expectations of the roles you each play in the household. I promise to use a terrible German accent when I say "Zo, tell me about your mutter."
Dynamics. The BIG ONE- your Personalities. So important that this will make up more than half of your report. It's your attitudes toward challenges, communication, bridging the gender gap, managing conflict, spiritual intimacy, love and even bow-chicka-wow-wow. Okay, sex. We're gonna talk about sex.
We'll put on our Sorting Hat and place you in one of eight different personality types: achieving, pioneering, energizing, affirming, cooperating, unwavering, deliberating and analyzing.
Coaching is a joy for me. It's wonderful to see how much you grow as a couple throughout the process. This may be your first experience attending coaching. My goal is to create a comfortable and relaxed environment where you both can be open and honest. Coaching is beneficial at any point in your relationship. In fact, I encourage you to return for follow-up check-ins after your wedding whether it's a month, a year or a decade later. I am your minister, confidante, coach and friend as long as you need me. And as long as you bring gifts. Suggestions: Adult beverages are nice, as are warm pretzels with cheese sauce. Yummy-yum-yum.
So, in a serious relationship and considering marriage? Why not take the important step of starting premarital coaching? While your wedding celebration lasts only a few hours, the positive impact of premarital counseling can last for years and years. I would love to help you get your marriage off to a great start.