It must have been two or more years ago I first heard about something called “pre-engagement counselling.” At first I thought it was kind of a strange thing but slowly I warmed up to the idea.
Here’s why: Making the decision to be married is literally the scariest thing I have ever done. And for lots of years I avoided thinking about marriage as much as possible.
But when I found myself in a serious relationship, was constantly being bombarded with questions of where was the relationship going and when did I think I’d be getting married, and found myself actually considering marriage…well, I realized needed something objective in my life and that very well could be pre-engagement counselling.
Why I decided to do pre-engagement counselling
I needed help actually making the decision. Objectively. If I was engaged and then went to counselling and decided I didn’t want to get married, I suspected I would either feel too flaky to end it or be too stubborn to see/admit my true feelings. My desire was to know what I wanted (deep down) and what was right for me—before my emotions got the best of me.
This was all in my mind as things became more serious with my husband and we had talked about getting married a few times. We kept it pretty quiet though because there was a lot of other stuff going on with my friends and family (you know, babies, weddings, and break ups. The usual) and it never seemed appropriate to talk about my relationship questions with others. Everyone was so busy. And I couldn’t really deal with the idea of getting married. Freaked me out.
So when the opportunity came up for pre-engagement counselling through church, I grabbed a brochure. Then I pitched the idea to my husband (then boyfriend). I didn’t have to try too hard, he seemed game enough although the idea of “sharing” and “feelings” isn’t exactly his idea of a good time. But he’s a good man. And, well, I really wanted to do it.
Because of things like my fears and my husband’s work schedule it took us more than six months to complete what should have been a once-per-week two month course. We ended up doing private counselling while the rest of the couples did group sessions, but it was fine since we didn’t have a wedding date…since we weren’t engaged.
What happened next
Through the counselling sessions we were able to highlight red flags in our relationship and got the honour of learning about our weaknesses. It was quite humbling (and sometimes really hard to hear) but also…well it was nice to strip off the mask. It was a safe environment. By the end I was pretty much ready to get hitched. My husband wasn’t as ready. In fact he may have been less ready than before the counselling. But after a bit more time and reflection we did, indeed, decide to move forward.
I found a lot of humour in how long it took us to finish our counselling but actually it was great because we really eased into our “engagement” (we weren’t ever formally engaged we more like accidentally courted) without too much pressure.
So that’s why I decided to do pre-engagement counselling. I know it’s not right for everyone, but it was the right decision for me.
Still curious? Here’s more from Elite Daily.
More about my husband and me
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