It’s wedding season again — that blissful time of the year when madly in love couples decide to take the plunge and commit to a lifetime of love and happiness. We all want to believe that every happy couple that walks down the aisle will find their way paved with ease, but statistics tell us it doesn’t work that way. Things often get complicated and we hear repeatedly that 50% of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce (Christians have a divorce rate of 42%). With the chances of a successful marriage hovering at those numbers, it is increasingly important we find ways to improve a couple’s chances of being successful right from the first “I Do.”
One result that years of research has found, is that solid preparation before marriage will increase the odds that a couple remain married. In fact, by participating in premarital counseling a couple can reduce their chances of divorce by 30%. Premarital counseling can be done in a variety of forms or fashions, but the basic tenet is that it gives a couple the opportunity to have conversations about any areas of marriage (i.e., communication, conflict resolution, finances, sex, etc.) they may have never discussed or thought about. This allows for areas of tension to be worked through before a commitment is made. Premarital counseling can reveal how the relationship might look when the emotions of love have hit the reality of kids and conflicts.
Christian Counseling of Mid Michigan counselors regularly work alongside clergy and lay-people to help couples prepare for marriage with premarital counseling. Whether it’s walking through the entire process before their wedding day, or focusing on delicate topics that arose through the course of their premarital preparations, we enjoy giving every couple an increased opportunity for success in marriage. Currently, we are excited to have counselors trained in the Prepare-Enrich Relationship Assessment, an assessment based on 30 years of research and currently the #1 relationship inventory and couples assessment tool.
Marriage is one of the most beautiful gifts that God has given to His people. Be sure to give it the best possible opportunity to succeed by preparing for more than just the wedding day.
Emily DeJong, M.S., LMFT