Before we got engaged, my fiancé as I decided to start couples counseling to make sure we were making the right decision about thinking about marriage. For the most part we have a smooth relationship built on trust, respect, love and compromise. Every now and again we have major arguments where we don’t speak for a day, but we quickly realize how trivial the arguments are and we move on. One thing I am grateful for is we fight fair. There is no name calling, no cussing and no yelling. When we fight, things just get tense and we want to get away from each other as quick as possible until we can have an adult conversation about it later.
My fiancé is West Indian man, so I can’t even begin to describe how elated I was for him to suggest counseling before we got engaged. He tasked me with finding a counselor so I quickly got to it. He expressed that he felt more comfortable speaking with a female and I was more comfortable speaking with someone of African-American descent, so things went pretty smoothly in this searching department. We found someone, made an appointment and went.
Counseling is a necessity.
I am not great in verbal communication, so this safe space and allotted time dedicated to discussing current issues and past childhood experiences not only gave my fiancé a glimpse into some things I had not shared, but it also showed a vulnerable side of him I had never seen. It brought us closer together and we were confident we were making the right decision in pursuing marriage. We enjoyed the counselor and scheduled another appointment with her as we felt this would help us grow as a couple.
Then she disappeared! The counselor did not answer any phone calls, emails, nada! She set us on a path of improving our relationship and she just dipped out on the one she created with us!
After we got engaged, we started pre-marital counseling with the person who was going to officiate our ceremony. As she lives in a different state, our sessions were done via telephone, skype and we even had an in-person session with her about two months before the wedding.
It is difficult, yet necessary, to hear how past childhood experiences that ultimately affect your present relationship. Daddy issues, past abuse, financial issues, past heart breaks, illness, work, etc., all of these stressful life experiences can and should come up during counseling because they will come up in your marriage. How you choose to handle these life stressors is what determines how committed you are to having a successful marriage.
Sessions can get ugly. There will be tears and disagreements, but when the smoke clears, you dry your tears because in Love and War, it’s what you do after the disagreement that shapes the relationship.
About the Author: She holds multiple degrees, is a natural born socialite, a business owner, an extreme exerciser of faith and a realist. After 3 years of dating and a year of being engaged, she is ready to tell the truth about what to expect when you are transitioning from being a single woman with no worries to a future wife. For the sake of these articles, let’s just call her Nina. After all, that was here “Club Name” for over 15 years….so yeah, introducing Nina.
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