Information from Little Rock therapist Becky Whetstone for those who may be considering marriage …
Premarital Counseling (for individuals and couples)
P.S. Don’t even think of getting married until you read this!!!
Marriage lasts a long, long, long, long, LONG, LONG, LOOOOoong time,
so you want to be certain you make a wise decision!
Choosing a life mate is the most important decision you can make.
by Becky Whetstone
I have dedicated my career to ending divorce because I see the destruction it causes — not just to the individuals who end their marriages, but to their families, friends, children, and society. Not only do people experience the predictable mental and emotional consequences, but usually there will be financial, social, and physical injuries as well, many of which last for decades, and sometimes forever. Many times all of this could have been prevented had the individuals spent more time and care choosing an emotionally stable and personally compatible partner in the first place.
So read this – the number one cause of divorce is choosing the wrong partner in the first place — and usually for the wrong reasons. Over and over unhappy couples tell me they knew from the beginning that the marriage they were entering into was a high risk and doubtful proposition, but still, people do it. Why? Divorced men and women have told me that they married because:
- They felt (wrongly) that they could not have found anyone better.
- They were pressured by family to settle down.
- They disliked the single world and were tired of dating.
- They can’t be alone.
- It seemed like the time to do it and he or she was the person around at the time.
- “All of my friends were getting married, so …”
- Felt like it was my last chance to find anyone who would have me.
- Asked the person to marry, changed his/her mind, and didn’t have the guts to call off the wedding.
Well, if you think you might be thinking anything like that, you would definitely benefit from counseling that will help you shore up your self esteem so you can make wise and healthy romantic decisions. It’s amazing how many people have no idea what a healthy relationship looks and feels like, and it’s well worth your time to find out, and that brings me to the other most common cause of divorce, which is not being mentally and emotionally mature enough to be capable of a healthy, vibrant, trusting, and sharing relationship.
Premarital Counseling for Individuals
Whether you’re in a relationship or not, you can help stamp out divorce by learning all you can about choosing a compatible partner. Unfortunately, most people put more thought and consideration into choosing a car or house than they do a husband or wife. Well, if you knew you were only going to get to drive one car for the rest of your life, wouldn’t you take your time, study the situation, and see what’s out there? In addition, part of preparing for marriage is making certain that you have the mental and emotional health you need to be the best partner you can be. That’s why I recommend premarital counseling for anyone who hopes to have a healthy and happy marriage that grows and lasts through life’s challenges.
Premarital Counseling for Couples
Couples considering marriage would benefit from having a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist’s wise and trained eye to talk to them honestly about what they hope marriage to be. MFT’s know to look into each person’s beliefs and values concerning money, child-raising, spirituality, individuality, partnership, marriage in general, and more. If we see an emotionally immature or incompatible couple heading for a marital train wreck, we’ll tell them. If we see two people making a wise decision, we’ll tell them that, too. If there is work to do, we can help a couple decide how to approach it. Sometimes this means individual therapy, sometimes it involves working together as a couple, or it could be both. A therapist will be able to show a couple useful skills that will help them achieve an authentic, respectful, loving, and emotionally intimate relationship that is compatible with who they are as individuals. It’s a process, and I tell many of the couples I work with not to feel badly that they don’t automatically know the skills for good communication and achieving respect and intimacy … these do not come naturally, and much like playing tennis, golf, poker, or baking a souffle, are learned skills — great marriages involve knowing how to give and receive information, controlling your actions and what you do and don’t do, pure and simple. Once you get them down, you’ll be way ahead of the game.