I think we are all mostly aware that the low rate of successful marriages in the United States is enough to shy masses of people away from even considering getting married at all. The likelihood of divorce is almost as probable as the likelihood of a successful marriage (roughly about 50%), and the rate of having a second divorce seems to be significantly higher (just under 70%).
What are the factors that lead to such significant rates of divorce? Well, many factors could play into this, but one thing I have noticed in my practice of therapy is that many couples, usually, but not exclusively, younger couples seem to be hesitant to ask the difficult questions. You know; the questions that help you truly get to know the person you intend to spend the rest of your life with, potentially raise children with, and model for those children what a healthy marriage is supposed to look like—which, by the way, can have psychological consequences for generations to come.
So, about those questions…
These questions help address not only what qualities our partner possesses like kindness, bossiness, or loudness, but the questions that also help us learn motivations, internal drives, fears, limitations, and expectations are essential to the commitments which establish a marriage.
Legally, (aside from the Terms and Conditions agreements of all our favorite apps which we cannot live without) would you sign a contract without knowing what was in the contract, or what the contract was even attempting to accomplish? What if you knew that you could lose half of all of your assets if you breached the contract?
Believe it or not, this is exactly what some people do when blindly entering a marriage. Marriage is an act, but it is also a contract, an agreement, a covenant—an agreement stating (roughly), “I promise to commit to your well-being to the best of my abilities until the day I die.” But truly, how can one person commit to the best version of someone else’s self without truly knowing the person they have committed to?
There are certain questions that couples must ask before deciding to move forward with marriage. The questions to ask should go beyond the basic, “how many kids do you want?” The questions should be the beginning of an ongoing dialogue that continues to reassess ideals, goals, motives, and expectations for your partner in marriage. Many couples shy away from these conversations because they are too difficult, awkward, and the one excuse that always makes me cringe, is that it is too personal.
Umm…people, marriage is extremely personal. If you can’t talk to your potential spouse about the most difficult topics pertaining to your relationship, who can you talk to? And, should you really be considering this person as a potential spouse?
Premarital counseling is something that is overlooked by many couples. There is also a religious undertone which I believe deters many couples from considering this as an option. Marriage counseling can be “secular,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if the counselor touches on each party’s spiritual or religious beliefs as these often hint at underlying values upon which the foundations of marriage are built upon.
Do you find it difficult to talk to your partner about serious topics pertaining to the future of your relationship? Do you question whether you fully know the person with whom you intend to spend the rest of your life? Maybe something in your relationship seems off or imbalanced. Maybe you want to have a difficult conversation but are unsure of how the conversation will play out.
Relationship counseling or premarital counseling could be a benefit to you and your partner. You owe it to your future self and your spouse to set yourself up for success in marriage and to potentially avoid years of regret.
To book our counseling and coaching services visit: Nayaclinics.com/book-online
About Sam Nabil
Sam offers therapy in Boston and Boston Marriage Counseling for adults suffering from relationship challenges, life transitions and anxiety. Sam Nabil was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English, The Washington post, The Boston Globe, Fatherly magazine, Women's health magazine, Cornell university, Yahoo News, USA Today, Marriage.com
Naya Clinics offers Marriage Counselors near me, individual therapy near me, and life coaching near me in various locations across the USA and the world. Naya Clinics also offers Online marriage counseling, online therapy, and online life coaching.
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