Friday, March 30, 2007

Premarital counseling: Waste of time or real-life benefit?

I have three good friends who are tying the knot this year, and they all seem to have the same concerns and stresses I had when I was about to get married: How will we pay for this? Should there be disposable cameras at the reception? Will our parents go for an open bar – on their tab? The list goes on and on, especially if you’re the bride!

One topic of discussion is premarital counseling.

Most premarital education is mandated when two individuals are to be married by a religious adviser. Each denomination has varying requirements; some want couples to take a year-long course with lots of homework (yes … homework!), and others prefer at least two meetings to discuss the ceremony and to make sure the couple is on the same page.

My husband and I had to go through the latter. We spent one afternoon meeting with our reverend and that fulfilled all of our counseling duties. During those couple of hours she quizzed us about several important topics, such as our perspective on our financial priorities, our feelings on starting a family and our overall goals for the relationship. I felt our session was productive in that we had an objective person going over some heavy questions that needed to be confirmed out loud.

Do I think my relationship was forever altered – in a positive or negative way – by our premarital counseling? No; my husband and I had already discussed most of what was asked of us. But would I recommend a couple go through such scrutiny before saying “I do?” Yes; it couldn’t hurt in case you hadn’t previously discussed some of the hypothetical situations.

Readers, I'd love to hear more about your experiences. How was your premarital counseling set up? Has it paid off for you? Would you encourage engaged couples to go through it?


Anonymous said...

We too had to go through a couple of hours of premarital counseling. It was pretty painless. Since future husband and I were already on the same page about all the important issues, we had no problems. I think this counseling is needed only if you haven't already talked about the important issues and agree on them. People shouldn't get married without being on the same page about having kids (or not, yes there is a choice in this), finances, etc. But for me and hubby married almost 9 years now, it was unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Premarital counseling is just another shrink-based service for people who want a third-party to validate that the lies you told in the bar to get laid are the basis for a life-time relationship.

Consider the current state of the divorce rate in the US:

Taken as the number of divorces per 1,000 U.S. residents, the rate is going down. It was 4.7 in 1990, 4.4 in 1995, 4.2 in 2000, and 3.7 in 2004.

It should be noted, however, that the marriage rate per 1,000 U.S. residents has also declined, from 9.8 in 1990 to 7.4 in 2004. The proportion of marriages to divorces has not substantially changed during this period.

Girls, do some homework, will ya?

Anonymous said...

I believe premarital counseling is a good idea...but depending on the church you attend, you may be asked about more things than just how you handle money and your attitudes about having children. At my church, they won't consider letting you get married there if you are already living together or if you admit to being sexually active with each other. If either situation applies to you, are you comfortable lying to a pastor, on church grounds?

Anonymous said...

As someone who has both received pre-marital counseling and now also meets with couples and performs pre-marital counseling, I agree with all of the comments above.

What I do is two 3 hours sessions, and they are extremely beneficial, even for couples who have talked a lot about future goals and expectations. I have also seen a lot of my colleagues, however, who seem to waste their clients time. So ... I would say that it all depends on who is doing the counseling.

I won't marry a couple unless they walk through this process with me.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I feel premarital counseling is something that should be a couple's choice, rather than being forced on them in order to include God in their union. I feel that forcing them to discuss their finances and personal relationship choices is not only an obscene invasion of their privacy, but also a massive denouncement of a person's right to honor God at their wedding if they refuse to comply with a man made rule. How un-Christ-like of some religions to put a pre-requisite on inviting Christ to partake in your marriage. Just another example of why organized religion only invites people to put their faith in the 'institution' and not in God. And that's my two cents worth...

Anonymous said...

So many people don't care about global warming. They disregard the need for conservation and instead drive SUVs. They don't care about the Federal deficit/debt (outside of partisanship) and they don't care earning $400k for an $80,000/year job will eventually bankrupt the country. They have awarded themselves $400k pay and retirement packages, loading up their friends on the payroll during the boom 90s through the real estate bust while all services which the program were intended to fund now get cut to pay for it.
These people are often common public university labor. Not Ivy League, not private university.
This labor isn't good enough to earn the salaries they are earning. And they understood this when they applied to the public university they settled on.
You can't expect a top-tier salary with a second-rate education.
They think they are going sometime during/at the end of this life, and disregard the poor souls who are left behind.
Sounds like the Italians who were used to plan World War II and the Holocaust, and not by accident.
These are the people who will be here in the United States when bankruptcy is declared and society deteriorates into chaos. And they will deserve the anarchy which ensues.

The gods used the Italians to ruin life in the 20th century.
The gods used the Italians to ruin life in A.D. with The Church.
The Church controlled Western Civilization. As the largest land owner in Europe they controlled the monarchies. They were responsbile for slavery, revenge for African invasion and rape of Italy. They created religious discontent, ultimately leading to the disfavored dumping ground known as the United States.
And each generation of these Italians were sold on "earning", only to be reincarnated as a lesser life form subsequently, punishment for their evil.
"The West Bank, where the end of the world will begin." With xtianity.

The gods are the commensurate rapist pathology, focussed on control.
It is appropriate they picked the Italians for the downfall of man. The perception offered is exactly how the gods are. Unfortunate for the Italians, they were deliberately altered to match this pathology so the god's behavior could be justified in the context of the god's positioning.

I may not have learned as much as I have but I WOULD have gotten more done and made more progress, and at the end of this life that's all that matters. We will all be reincarnated and must re-learn about the gods and their methodology in each sucessive life.
The upside down star is my symbol. There is of course no Satan. That's just the gods with different clothes on.
You're all in big, big trouble. Everyone who failed to ascend before 1900 is. But the importance of this Situation is to ensure people learn the god's system while they have enough time to fix their relationship and ascend before The End.
Don't forget:::Ascending into "heaven" is not the same as entering clone hosting. One is good while the other is evil. The clue is their request to work multiple clone hosts to "earn", for if you were welcome into heaven you would be invited directly. My example of someone who ascended is John Muir. His "fake" went on to accomplish BUT NOT IN A DISCIPLINE WHICH HURT PEOPLE OR PROVIDED FOR SOME TEMPTATION. What happens after speaks volumes.
You're on the clock. This is where the cream rises to the top.

If just then I am The Damned and this shouldn't have happened to me. If unjust the gods are immoral and a total waste of time. For all of us.