Column: Preparing before the ‘Plunge’
Commentary by Logan Everett
Today, there are 2.3 million marriages and 1.2 million divorces each year and about half are marriages where one or both have previously been married. Currently, only 35 to 40 percent of engaged couples receive any kind of premarital education or counseling. Over the years, premarital counseling has shown to decrease divorce rates by 30 percent (that is 360,000 marriages saved) and improve overall martial satisfaction. While the statistics may surprise you, there is an incredible benefit and assurance
Many premarital and newly married couples view their own relationship through an idealistic rose-colored lens that “shields” the couple from the very realistic truths that invade at various times throughout their marriage. With this in mind, it is so vital to consider the natural change that takes place in a marriage: careers, children, in-laws, finances, sex, illness, etc. An assumption couples adopt is that a good relationship flows naturally, however, healthy marriages requires consistent attention. A good, healthy marriage requires replenishment due to the natural changes mentioned above and so much more.
So what are the benefits of premarital counseling? A couple in a healthy marriage live healthier lifestyles, live longer, have a more satisfying sexual relationship, are happier, make more money, and so much more! David Olson, co-author of “The Couple Checkup,” states that prevention is emerging as an important approach across a variety of disciplines. When a couple knows possible areas of struggle, it is much easier to identify potential issues so they can be dealt with and addressed.
Whether you became engaged yesterday (congratulations) or have been married for years, be proactive and learn what needs to be replenished in your relationship, your marriage. It is far more than just a simple checklist, but intentionality paired with focused attention and efforts. Are you investing for your happily ever after? Everybody deserves a happy and wonderful marriage. What steps are you taking to make that your reality?
Product I recommend: “The Couple Checkup” by David Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg, and Peter J. Larson.
Logan Everett is a licensed marriage and family therapist associate and practices on the northeast side of Indianapolis. If you would like to contact Logan, please email email@example.com or call 317-474-6448 ext. 112.