Are You And Your Partner Preparing To Tie The Knot?
Has the possibility of marriage come up in your relationship? Or, are you already engaged and looking forward to the big day?
Maybe you want to feel purely excited about the vows, the party and the honeymoon, but recently, you and your partner have been arguing. You might not know if this conflict is a result of wedding stress or some deeper disagreement.
Or, it may be that everything is going swimmingly, but you wonder if you’ve done all you can to keep your relationship healthy. Maybe you’re uncertain what to discuss before marriage or hesitant to address difficult topics.
It’s also possible that you’re concerned because you’ve never had an argument: What might happen if you run into a disagreement in the future? And if the going gets tough, will one of you get going… all the way to a lawyer?
Whether this is your first serious relationship or your third engagement, you might be worried about:
Your plans for parenting—and if you want children at all
Career ambitions and work-life balance
Income, spending, debt and long-term financial goals
Religion, beliefs and values
Relationships with friends and family members (including blending families)
Sexual intimacy and compatibility
How each of you define marriage and commitment
How to balance secrecy and privacy, inter-reliance and independence
Expectations regarding monogamy or consensual non-monogamy (including polyamory, open relationships and swinging, and how it may affect your marriage or partners)
Overall communication and conflict resolution
Regardless of your particular concerns or desires, do you wish you and your partner could get to know each other on a deeper level? Do you want to learn how to prepare for marriage and build a strong foundation of trust, empathy and passion?
Most Couples Could Benefit From Premarital Guidance
Wedding planning can be exciting, and there’s nothing wrong with getting swept up in the romance of your upcoming nuptials.
However, it’s common to become so laser-focused on your wedding that you don’t fully consider what comes next: your marriage.
That might sound obvious—of course, a marriage comes next! But, many couples don’t take the time to consider what that really means. A wedding is just one day. Marriage can last a lifetime.
That’s why it’s so essential to really get to know the person you hope to spend your life with. And no, I don’t just mean their place of birth, where they went to school or their mother’s maiden name. That information might help you retrieve a password, but it’s not enough to unlock a lasting connection.
You might be on this page because you realize all this, but you also have no idea what you’re doing. You don’t know how to prepare for marriage, and you’ve seen too many unhappy marriages, whether your parents’, your friends’ or your own.
The truth is, no one knows what they’re doing! The future is wonderfully unpredictable, and no relationship—and no person—is static. Marriage isn’t a finish line; it’s a journey with parameters that frequently evolve. Acknowledging that is how two ever-developing partners stay synced and satisfied. That’s how you can keep your marriage invigorated.
By working with an experienced, sex-positive therapist, you and your partner can prepare for the joyful, challenging, ecstatic dance ahead.
Sex-Positive Premarital Counseling Can Help You Nurture Lasting Love And Lust
Marital Sex: The first word is often confused with the word martial, which means war-like. For some unlucky couples, marital sex eventually erodes into martial arts. But some lucky couples manage to nurture their emotional and sexual feelings over a lifetime—the honeymoon never ends. Such couples savor passion into the golden years by constantly showing each other a new sexual wrinkle or two.*
It’s not just luck that keeps a marriage vibrant and playful. Deep, enduring connection is something you and your partner can build together, before you say, “I do.”
My work with engaged (or almost-engaged) couples is short-term, focused on helping you identify and resolve issues that might be lurking beneath the surface. And, if a problem is already crashing your party, I’ll help you and your partner communicate productively and find creative solutions. By meeting with you individually and then together, I’ll gain a clear sense of your individual values, your shared hopes and your best path toward a fulfilling union.
That said, during couples therapy sessions, issues won’t be our primary focus. I will emphasize your strengths and encourage you to define your relationship in positive terms. Rather than drag old scars through the mud, I’ll encourage you to have fun together—to go on dates, experiment, let loose and get curious. Drawing from cognitive behavioral therapy and the work of John Gottman, I’ll give you the tools you need for productive conversation and ongoing play.
Unlike many other premarital counselors (especially those you might meet with in church), I will also emphasize sex, without beating around the bush (so to speak). As a pioneer in the field of sex counseling, I know exactly how important it is to foster both love and lust. With humor and without judgment, I’ll help you and your partner talk about what you need to resolve sexual issues or fine-tune your sexual connection. You can learn how to infuse your marriage with spontaneity, fantasy and heat.
With the right help and firm relationship foundation, anything is possible for you and your partner. You can let go of marriage models that don’t work and enjoy a union that truly speaks to you. Now and through the future, your marriage can be a source of happiness, pleasure and peace.
You may have questions or concerns about counseling before marriage…
I’m not sure we really need to see a counselor.
If you and your partner are getting along, that’s wonderful. However, the truth is, marriage sometimes changes things.
For example, moving in with someone and sharing a living space for the first time means you’re bound to learn new things about one another. That can be thrilling and enlightening, but it can also be frustrating and uncomfortable.
Therapy demystifies what to discuss before marriage and offers you the tools you need to be honest and empathetic with one another. That way, you have the skills you need to build a therapeutic relationship you can return to if you ever get stuck.
We’ve already spent so much on the wedding. We can’t afford premarital counseling.
My work is often covered by insurance and, if needed, I can give you a receipt for reimbursement.
More importantly, my work is all about you, your partner and your future. You’ve invested so much in making your wedding day great. As it should be! Now, I encourage you to invest in all the days that will follow.
Between work and wedding planning and everything else, we just don’t have the time.
The planning doesn’t end with the wedding day—in reality, you’re planning for a whole life together. It’s so important to start prioritizing each other now, before you fall into patterns defined by too much work and too little play.
Often, marriages end because we expect too much from them, so it’s important to be aware of those expectations. Marriage isn’t going to solve all your problems or guarantee that you’ll never feel lonely again. Marriage is just one wonderfull part of your life. With my support and guidance, you can gain the clarity you need to safeguard it.
Start Out On The Right Foot
Feel free to give me a call at 206-244-8788 or 360-394-4568 to set up an appointment. I’m happy to talk with you about premarital counseling, as well as answer any questions you have about my practice in Seattle, WA.
Whether in my office, online or over the phone, I work with all couples—heterosexual, gay and lesbian; monogamous, non-monogamous and polyamorous, etc. No matter how you identify and who you love, I am here help you and your future spouse build a foundation of intimacy and fun.
*Definition sampled from my book, Sex from Aah to Zipper: A Delightful Glossary of Love, Lust and Laughter