Premarital Counseling FAQ’s
Q: Is it true you know everything about being married?
A: Yes, it is true. Don’t tell my wife, though, she’ll hyperventilate from laughter if she heard me say that…
Q: Well, we are thinking about getting married, do you offer premarital counseling?
A: Yes, I love doing premarital counseling.
Q: What is your approach?
A: I believe the couple should commit to a minimum of four sessions, and, at the end of the fourth session we should all decide if we are “done for now,” or, if some more work needs to take place.
Q: Why four sessions?
A: In the first session, we will talk about what is going on “Today,” do some history-taking, and talk about how you met. In the second and third sessions, we will take a family history (you decide who goes first or second) and look at the patterns of relationships/marriage in each of your families. We will look at what messages and “rules” you bring to the marriage. We are a product of our families, you know…
Q: My parents are ___________ (CHOOSE ONE: A-Divorced; B-Crazy; C-Mildly Dysfunctional; D-Doing Hard Time; or, E-All of the above). What if we want our marriage to look nothing like other marriages in our family?
A: Then doing some preparation now will help prevent any of those old patterns from emerging. I love when I see a couple who say: “We want this to work, but, neither of us knows what to do…” We all need help with relationships.
Q: OK…so what about that fourth session?
A: At that time, we talk about what I feel are your potential “sticking points,” places where you will need to work on improving. I give you direct, honest feedback. If I say something you don’t agree with, then we figure out where I “might have missed something.” My goal is that by the end of this fourth session, you will feel clearer about your relationship, and that I have “set the stage” for you to work on and prevent problems.
Q: But you are so expensive!
A: If you spend thirteen hundred bucks with me, it will be a better, longer-lasting investment than the flowers you’re buying for your wedding. And, I actually smell better than many types of flowers.
Q: Can’t you just recommend a book?
A: There is no single outstanding book…I feel each couple has their own unique issues, but…feel free to read all you want about healthy marriages. I simply haven’t found that one great book to recommend to people.
Q: What types of religions do you work with?
A: Any kind except certain sects of Polygamous Mormons. I simply lack the physical space in my office. No…I kid. I love Mormons, I am a big Karl Malone fan.
Seriously, it doesn’t matter what type of religious affiliation you have (or don’t have). My approach is not religion-based, but, we will certainly discuss religious and spiritual beliefs and see if you are having any issues in that area.
Q: Why would we come to you instead of our Pastor/Minister/Priest/Reverend/Rabbi?
A: I curse more.
A: Well, probably, but, I feel I can go deeper and quicker than most other folks. I can address what you two need, not what some “program” says you need. You can also do both, by the way: You can see someone from your house of worship…and see me.
Q: What if at the end of four sessions you tell us not to get married?
A: I have never done that, but, I have seen couples who feel that four sessions are just a beginning, and stick around and do more work on their issues.
Q: You keep on using the term “work.” Isn’t love supposed to be easy?
A: Only in love songs and movies, kids. Sigmund Freud (who is quite dead and often quite wrong) said: We are here to work and to love. Dr. Gore says: We need to love our work, and work at love.
Q: Isn’t love enough?
A: If it was, would you still be reading this? Do the “work” now, it will be easier to deal with your “stuff” now, instead of five years from now…
I believe in marriage. I believe in working on relationships on an ongoing basis. I believe the best gift we can give ourselves, and give to our children, is a happy marriage.