What is Premarital Counseling and how it is different from marriage counselling?


Premarital Counseling is a type of therapy that helps couples to prepare for marriage and to build healthy relationship.

Why should one seek Premarital Counseling?

As marriage depicts for many couples as a formal transition from single person to a couple, it also comes with many major responsibilities and challenges. And therefore the objective of marriage is not just to stay together but to have a satisfying, close relationship that complement the lives of both partners.  But sometimes accepting your partner’s needs and desires while considering your own needs and dreams can be tough which can lead to numerous conflicts in future. Hence premarital counseling is considered and advised as an important preventive educational program for every couple who are ready to tie knot….for their bright and strong future….

The Goal areas of Premarital Counseling can be listed as:

  • To communicate about challenging issues proactively and effectively
  • To resolve conflict successfully and respectfully
  • To create and stick to a financial plan
  • To agree on role responsibilities and expectations
  • To nurture your friendship and sexual relationship
  • To maintain appropriate boundaries with extended families and friends
  • To envision and accomplish your individual and shared dreams

What is Premarital Counseling Like?

In modern society, young couples think that living together is a prerequisite for healthy relationship however statistics indicates that only cohabitation prior to marriage does not increase the chances for marital success.

Therefore a growing number of modern couples are taking advantage of premarital counseling as they known this type of counseling will help them to build their marriage life into more successful one. Studies have proved premarital education can increase communication and lower conflict between couple. Research also indicated that couples who attend a quality premarital counseling are 30% less likely to divorce than those who do not. A study published in Journal of Infection and Public Health, 2011 showed that educating unmarried female students in King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah with premarital counseling program improved their overall knowledge on various topics of health, diseases and family history. And hence premarital counseling can be considered as a type of therapy that helps individuals to prepare for their successful marriage life.

Depending on each couple’s particular situation and desire, premarital counseling can either be a structural or unstructured process.

In the structured scenario, a couple will be asked to prepare relationship inventory. Once they have completed, they will be given a copy of their couple’s report, which focuses on the areas of relationship strengths and challenges. The couple will then rework with their advisor or counselor on addressing the identified areas of relationship challenges and solve them effectively.

Whereas in the unstructured scenario, couples will be asked to share specific issues they are struggling with and want to work on. The counselor or advisor will help them to address and resolve these issues succesfully.

Regardless of the approach taken, all couples will receive information and education derived from the latest research on premarital counseling and what are the requirements for transition to successful marriage. In addition, couples can also engage in experiential exercises such as role plays and couples dialogue.

How is Premarital Counseling Different than Marriage Counseling?

Premarital counseling is different from marriage counseling in that it is a preventative process as opposed to a curative one. Even though many of the principal issues which are addressed in premarital counseling as in marriage counseling are same, in premarital counseling it is mainly discussed from the perspective of helping both partners understand, respect, and integrate each other’s views so that conflicts can be minimized after marriage and attachment can be maximized.

Benefits of Premarital Counseling:

Premarital Counseling prepares couple with all the necessary tools to live their best relationship possible. In other words, premarital counseling boosts each person’s ability to have strong relationship that meets their partner needs while still maintaining personal passions and interests. Here are some more benefits which premarital counseling offers:

  • Helps to enhance the core relationship skills
  • Openly discuss on potential conflict areas from different views on money, sex, parenting, religion etc.
  • Helps to understand how personality and family history can influence your relationship
  • Strengthen your communication and conflict resolution skills
  • Increase confidence in your ability to overcome future challenges
  • Heal existing relational wounds/ disagreements
  • Gives a joint plan and vision of your marriage

In overall Premarital counseling helps in successfully transition from being a dating coupe to a married couple.

Just don’t plan your dream wedding, plan for your dream marriage with Premarital Counseling!



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