If you have found "The One," you are probably busy making plans for an unforgettable wedding to begin your blissful life together.  However, in the midst of planning for the wedding, you may be failing to plan for the marriage.  Undoubtedly, once the rice is thrown and those two extra toasters are returned, your marriage relationship is what your life will be all about.  Pre-marital counselling is an excellent way to ensure your marriage starts with a sure foundation.  

What is the purpose of pre-marital counselling?

While many people think of marriage counselling as a last resort for troubled marriages, it is an investment every marriage can benefit from--even before your marriage has begun.  Indeed, a common roadblock to successful marriages is frustration over unmet expectations.  Through pre-marital counselling, you and your partner can determine the script for your relationship before disappointments and frustrations arise.

Issues to Discuss

Here are 6 important topics you should discuss in pre-marital counselling:

1.  Roles:  Depending on many factors including upbringing, religious beliefs, and political views, you and your partner may have different ideas about what your role will be in the marriage.  Is one or both of you going to be a financial provider?  Who will handle certain household tasks?  An open discussion needs to occur in order for both of you to understand the other's expectations.  

2.  Finances:  A major issue contributing to divorce is finances.  Money gets tight and stress rises.  Moreover, different backgrounds and upbringing can influence your attitude towards money.  For example, you may prefer to splurge on large ticket items but refrain from eating out for lunch each day.  On the other hand, your partner may feel uncomfortable buying brand new vehicles but has no problem whittling away the family budget on smaller, more frequent purchases.  

Although pre-marital counselling will not cause individual differences to disappear, it does open the lines of communication so you and your partner can understand one another.  Likewise, you can come to an agreement about who will handle the finances and how your money will be spent.

3.  Goals:  What are your goals for your family?  Would you like to have children?  Perhaps one of you wants to start a business someday.  These are vital issues to discuss prior to marriage.  Never assume that your partner pictures the same future you do.  Of course, you cannot account for unforeseen challenges, but clarified goals helps strengthen the feeling of unity in your partnership. 

4.  Physical Intimacy:  This is a topic that can be difficult for many people to broach.  With the guidance of a counsellor, you can speak openly about your expectations so both of you are fulfilled in the relationship.  

5.  Communication:  Pre-marital counselling is not merely a forum to discuss difficult topics.  It is an arena for education as well.  Your pre-marital counsellor can help you learn improved communication techniques, so you have the tools necessary to resolve the inevitable conflict that will occur over the years.  

Pre-marital counselling with professionals at places like Bock Belisle & Associates is a worthwhile experience because you will come to know your partner better.  Your commitment to your relationship will cement so you can have a happily ever after that really lasts.