The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make – not just on your wedding day, but over and over again – and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife. Barbara De Angelis
Premarital Counseling helps you to look at key areas of life and what your belief systems are:
Here are just some of the items covered in premarital counseling:
Are we able to accept each other’s habits? Do we like each other? Are there significant areas of behavior which bother me about the other? Do we find ourselves often in situations where we promise to change or where we have disappointed each other?
2. DEALING WITH CONFLICT
No close relationship can be achieved and maintained in any other way than by resolving the conflict which it inevitably produces. Are we able to quarrel productively? Are we able to forgive one another? Does either of us tend to hold grudges? Have we built any pockets of bitterness in our relationship? Do you know how to keep your boundaries intact and healthy in your relationship?
How do we make decisions? Are we content with the patterns which we are developing? Are we able to submit to one another? Are there areas where we wish that the other would lead more, or take more responsibility/initiative? Are there times when I feel “squeezed out’ or ignored? How do we view roles and responsibilities in marriage?
4. SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Do we challenge each other spiritually? Do we share common spiritual experiences, understandings, backgrounds and/or commitments? Are we able to share our faith together easily? Do we pray together? Are there areas of spiritual life which disappoint me about the other?
You don’t marry a person, you marry a whole family! Do we know each other’s family? How do I fit into the other’s family? How does he/she fit into my family? What are the characteristics of our families and backgrounds? What do we each think important about family life? What kind of relationship does the other have with his/her mother? father? How will we spend major holidays as a couple?
Do we plan to have children? How many and when might this work in your plans
6. LIFESTYLE/LIFE GOALS
How well do we understand each other’s goals and dreams? Which goals do we share? How fully can I describe what kind of life the other wants to have 3-5 years from now? How do I see myself fitting into that picture? What do we each want in a marriage? What kind of lifestyle do we each want? What values do we each consider to be important in lifestyle decisions? How do we each reflect our priorities now in the way we use money and goods? Can we talk about money issues….what and how much to spend on things?
7. SERVICE/SOCIAL/MINISTRY INVOLVEMENT
Do I trust the other person to be with other friends? Do I trust our relationship in the context of others? Can I trust the other to tell the truth? Does the other person demonstrate the same personal characteristics when we are apart as when we are together?
How long have we known each other? Under what circumstances? Have we known each other long enough to readily and thoroughly answer all of the questions on this sheet? Should we go to an experienced premarital counselor to help us clarify and discuss these important issues.