My fiance and I are getting married in 4 months. We love each other and have had no doubts about spending the rest of our lives together until we started our pre-marital counseling. It was recommended by several married friends of mine who found it very helpful to work through things and get prepared for marriage. Unfortunately for us, it only brought up problems. It brought up our past break up, it brought up how I want to have a lot of kids and he doesn’t, it even brought up all the school debt that he is bringing into the marriage. While we were able to walk away from the session feeling okay, a few nights later when we were out drinking with friends, things turned nasty again. At some point in an argument he stated maybe we should call the whole thing off. I was so surprised and hurt I couldn’t even speak. I really don’t know where to go from here. We have our next counseling session scheduled later this week.
Dear Wedding Doubts,
Good job on trying to work out kinks before walking down the aisle. Big topics such as family, personal aspirations, children and money can bring a myriad of issues into a marriage if you are not on the same page as your spouse. It’s good that you are working through them now before you say your vows. The last thing you want to do is enter a marriage with resentment.
If you are committing to this person you are committing to addressing concerns, writing off problems of the past and consciously engaging in how to make yourselves better together. Having experienced a two year breakup before getting back together, Ryan and I had a hazy period away from each other’s lives. During one of our premarital sessions, we were asked to write a letter to one another highlighting pain of the past in order to address, discuss and healthily move on. I dreaded it. We had hurt each other and I had been the one to initiate the big breakup.
There was a lot of emotion tied into it. We read our letters. We cried. He held me. I sobbed. And he looked at me and told me what is done is done. Period. I agreed. He has never in the heat of an argument, or in a time of disagreement brought up the past. I am impressed by his maturity and ability to selflessly leave the grey areas of the past behind in order to grow a healthy relationship together. I am grateful to have had that conversation before marriage and thank premarital counseling for it.
You’re going to run into arguments, uncomfortable money conversations and life hurdles throughout marriage, but it can all be handled as long as you communicate and share common goals.
You’re going to run into arguments, uncomfortable money conversations and life hurdles throughout marriage, but it can all be handled as long as you communicate and share common goals. These conversations can be difficult and many times heavy to bring up.
By allowing another person to open the door to tough topics, you can focus on arriving at decisions together. This better equips you to deal with problems before they become fires, like setting boundaries on what not to discuss during an evening of drinking which can produce hurtful words. Also know that the groundwork for a healthy and successful marriage can continue after premarital counseling. Having a trusted person in your life whether friend or counselor to continue to discuss these challenges can help maintain the trust and respect needed for a healthy marriage.
Dear Wedding Doubts,
Many times people have a grand idea of what their engagement and wedding are going to be like. You have read about it in books, seen it on tv and romanticised in movies. An approaching wedding has an energy and a motion to it all, almost its own gravitational pull. All of these things are happening and it’s as if you can’t even stop it or slow it down. Despite all of that momentum and the fantasies we have, in reality the most important part is what comes after the wedding is all over, your marriage.
I’m glad that you two decided to go into marriage counseling. Committing to someone for the rest of your life is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, and spending time working through your past struggles and present challenges will help prepare you for your future together. As you now know, there were some things that needed to be worked through. While it may feel like counseling may have exposed something that didn’t need to be exposed, the reality is that nothing goes unexposed in a relationship. Whether it is now or later, these issues would have come to surface. Discussing them before the wedding gives both of you freedom to explore these challenges without the weight of a committed marriage relationship.
Know that issues and arguments will come and go but approaching each other with respect and love will help you navigate through all of them
You mentioned several issues that appear to be specific challenges for you right now including past break up, children, debt, etc. While those issues are important to discuss and work through, the more important aspect of your marriage preparation will be the way you approach each other.
Know that issues and arguments will come and go but approaching each other with respect and love will help you navigate through all of them. If you and your partner are unable to talk through these issues without becoming angry or nasty towards each other, then it’s time to hit the brakes. I trust that you guys will be able to work through these issues but only time and your heart will be able to tell you the truth.