By: Dr. Jacqueline Del Rosario, America’s Marriage Coach™
Here are five general, yet necessary pre-marital counseling questions everyone should ask with their mate to find a marriage coach. People are getting married and divorced every year because they didn’t put in the simple work to build a solid infrastructure before jumping the broom.
These pre-marital counseling questions are not very complex, but they are designed to spark conversation between the two of you so you can choose a coach that will work best for both of you.
The best time to work through the marriage issues is before…not after you’ve tied the knot.
1. How flexible is your curriculum?
Couples who begin pre-marital counseling may encounter issues they’ve never considered and may need more time than expected to work through problematic areas. Or the opposite could be true—a couple may be very mature and advance quicker than expected.
Flexibility will allow you to go as fast as you’d like or as slow as you desire, with the option to change pace at any moment.
2. How diverse is your background?
Your marriage coach should be equipped and ready to cover more than one topic. I only recommend a specialist for those couples who have already covered the basics. Your marriage coach should also understand the dynamics of interracial, cross cultural, and non-American marriages.
3. Are you prepared to deal with deep issues?
We mean real depth. Substance. Someone who knows it all because, they didn’t just study it, they experienced it! I’m sure your idea of marriage counseling is misconstrued by what you see in the movies or by what some couples experience. Real marriage counseling coaches you in several marital domains and should include something like this:
The first domain covers marital expectations and helps you decided what it means for you to fill the role of a wife or husband. The second domain explores morals and values of the marriage, and helps you and your spouse get on the same page in your daily lifestyle. One of the biggest deal breakers in marriage, the third domain, is finance! You should know about the nuances of joint or separate banking, investments, and shared financial responsibilities.
The area that reaches into the sensitive fields of family planning, dealing with in-laws, and outside influences is the fourth domain—a critical one for future harmony. These may seem like small matters, but if they are not handled with care, this could cause a huge riff in the marriage. The fifth domain covers the second biggest issue in marriage—intimacy. It discusses everything it takes to have a vibrant, meaningful, and amazing sex life and how to avoid affairs. The sixth domain works through the dynamics of religion and the seventh tackles disagreements.
The average divorce in America costs $50,000, so it’s safe to say your marriage counseling won’t cost you 5 bucks, right? This is your marriage you’re dealing with! And the moment you decide it’s worth saving, understand you’ll have to come out the pocket just a smidgen. But make no mistake about it—anything’s cheaper than divorce.
We’re not saying he or she needs to be married… but doesn’t it help a whole lot more to know that he or she would KNOW the dynamics of marriage through trial and tribulation? Of course. Your marital course provider should also be culturally and technologically inclined; diversity and the application of advance sciences make the world go ‘round today; make sure he or she is sensitive to those key facets.
So there you have it. Not exactly what you had in mind when you thought “marriage counseling,” huh? Exactly. Working through any given marriage is more than about getting over an affair or dealing with being broke; every little detail matters! Seemingly minute things like compatibility and religion are things often overlooked, but like marriage itself, it should be handled with tender love and care.
If you like these pre-marital counseling questions, pass it along!