PRemarital COUNSELING

As experts in premarital counseling and other mental health issues, our licensed professionals at NorthStar Regional understand that mental health problems are difficult to face.

man in purple suit sitting across from red-haired woman

Premarital Counseling

As experts in premarital counseling and other mental health issues, our licensed professionals at NorthStar Regional understand that mental health problems are difficult to face.

Our premarital counseling can help you and your partner understand your relationship and how to improve it. Relationships are not always easy to navigate, even under the best of circumstances. Every relationship takes work. Substance use and mental health disorders may make relationship issues more intense and difficult to manage. It is possible, with commitment and work, to make adjustments, correct serious difficulties, and build the relational closeness you desire. Even within a long-term relationship, relational issues vary widely and can change over time. Following are eight of the most common problems, along with encouragement and suggestions for change.

  1. Encourage independence

At first glance, being over-protective might be thought of as a positive trait, but it can come across as possessive, overly helpful, shielding, and stifling. Instead of a relationship of two equals, one partner becomes dominant and parental over the other. To correct this, independence must be encouraged, and the dominated partner should be allowed and encouraged to try new things, even if it means uncertainty, doubt, and potential failure. Communicate encouragement and unconditional affirmations.

  1. Increase Consistent Commitment

A casual and superficial posture does little to foster long-term feelings of love and commitment. This style may be on-again/off-again and the level of commitment to the relationship may rise and fall based on situations, circumstances, and shallow, insincere feelings. The relationship bond feels weak and is not strong enough to hold the couple together when trouble come, which can lead to doubt and insecurity. In contrast, seek to provide steadiness and commitment to the relationship, especially when affection seems based on trivial matters and circumstances. With premarital counselling, we can help you look for ways to demonstrate sincere, consistent affection and assurance of your long-term commitment.

  1. Become Relationally Generous

Nothing kills a relationship like being self-centered and self-focused. The inability to sense what another person needs, and the unwillingness to give it, can create an emotional drought for your partner that can be difficult for them to bear. The self-focused partner thinks about their own needs and want and this self-centered posture can produce feelings of despair, bitterness, resentment, inadequacy, and inferiority in a partner. Out of these very painful emotions arise withdrawal and avoidance, or anger and aggression. Be willing to let go of your “me-first” attitude. Instead, focus on putting other people first, paying attention to their needs, walking in humility, and seeing others as more important than yourself.

  1. Be Trustworthy

When we deny the truth, we increase distrust. It is almost impossible to live in an intimate, close, and loving relationship with someone you cannot trust. Lying to others, minimizing the problems with your substance use, having good intentions but no follow-through, refusing to take responsibility, and keeping things secret all wear away trust. Trust is built as you demonstrate changed behavior over a significant period of time. You strengthen and rebuild your relationship as you openly and honestly disclose important information. The way we live, with steadiness and dependability, creates stability in relationships. Living without secrets, deception, or dishonesty will rapidly built security and trust.

  1. Be Affirming and Encouraging

Being controlling and critical of others often produces serious problems in a relationship and is one of the main factors contributing to divorce in our culture. People want to feel encouraged, supported, affirmed, and uplifted. If your find yourself being critical, intentionally look for ways to ignore other people’s mistakes and highlight their successes. Watch for improvement, positive character traits, and minor successes instead. Point these things out, while overlooking faults and failures. You cannot be gracious in an intimate relationship if you continually criticize yourself. Make a personal commitment to celebrate minor improvements and successes of your loved one, as much as you acknowledge their major accomplishments.

  1. Manage Your Insecurity

Intimate relationships are built on mutual trust and cooperation. This cooperative mindset can easily be damaged is one partner begins hunting for signs of betrayal, disloyalty, and lack of commitment. The suspicious person may believe their partner will cheat or leave. Anxiety about the relationship is not eliminated by making demands of the other, but instead, the anxious and insecure person must reduce and manage their own anxiety, and not expect the partner to provide constant reassurance. Develop confidence and self-assurance through premarital counselling. Ignore subtle cues that elevate suspicion and instead look for clues that support relational trust and loyalty.

  1. Become Generous and Helpful

There may be an unequal level of contribution coming from one member of the couple. Once person may under-contribute in almost every area of life, financially, intellectually, socially, intimately, relationally, and spiritually. This can lead to a general dissatisfaction in the relationship. One partner may feel as though they are over-contributing and always trying to make up for the one who does little. Growing resentment may provoke a flood of behavior changes designed to get the under-contributing partner do more. Work toward giving freely and generously to your partner. This is a process, so be willing to get help and commit to it long enough to determine lifestyle changes have occurred.

  1. Create Harmony and Peace

Anger is a naturally occurring feeling. Aggression is the action coming from angry and hostile feelings. The angry person frequently blames other people and circumstances for their irritation and hostility. When the angry person complains and finds fault with their partner, the partner may retreat and become less available. Seek to create unity and harmony, pointing out similarities, not differences. Also, review what is going right, not what is going wrong. Anger is often filled with selfishness and it can be reduced by paying attention to the needs of others, without being overly focused on your own.

Make Intimacy the Goal

Intimacy is the goal through premarital counseling. Many things can reduce or destroy intimacy; creating intimacy is possible through changing and focusing on your own character, mood, attitude, and disposition. Continue to improve yourself, rather than insist on the improvement of others. Making these changes takes time and effort. Do not be discouraged if you see little progress at first. Be consistent in your efforts and honest in your evaluation the changes you have made. Although you cannot control others, you can influence your relationship by being kind, understanding, patient, and compassionate. Don’t grow weary in doing the next right thing. Premarital counselling to improve your relationship is worth the attention and work.

Ready to Schedule an Appointment?

Our experienced premarital counseling staff are ready to help.