Pre-Marital Counseling Part III

by Darcie
darcie and logan beach

Last week Logan and I had our third pre-marital counseling session. (You can find our first session recap here and our second here.) So far, we’ve enjoyed going to these sessions and have found it helpful to set aside time to focus on our relationship.

We will take our marriage vows very seriously and want to give ourselves the best shot at having a long-lasting and loving relationship. We feel that pre-marital counseling is one active step we can take to ensure our relationship is in the best position for success.

Homework Check-In

Like last time, we started out the session by doing a check-in on our homework assignment. Our task was to use the conflict resolution tools we’d discussed in session to talk through a current conflict in our relationship.

Logan and I chose to discuss a conflict that has come up a few times for us – when there’s a change in plans. As I’ve talked about before, I struggle with adapting to change, whereas Logan is pretty good at rolling with the punches.

When we have a change in plans, specifically when Logan wants to change our plans, he often worries that he’ll disappoint me. In turn, I’ve struggled with the manner in which he conveys this change to me.

We found the exercise to be helpful in coming up with a plan for how we’ll handle it in the future. Basically, we agreed that Logan will call me (or I’ll call him if I happen to be the one changing plans) instead of texting.

Logan doesn’t like texting for much other than logistics because he feels that there’s so much room for misinterpretation – and he’s right! Texting is awful when you want to explain how you feel in a clear way.

We agreed that a phone call would probably solve much of the issue.

We shared this with our pastor and had to admit that we didn’t do all of the steps in the exercise (like designating a time and place for the discussion, we did it on the fly), but that we found it to be helpful.

It’s definitely a tool that we’ll keep in our back pocket for other conflicts that will inevitably arise in the future.

Anyone who has ever been in a relationship knows that conflicts come up. It’s so great to have this resource in our back pocket because it lays out a step-by-step approach to coming to a resolution.

As a therapist myself, I’ve seen just how out of hand conflict can become, and fighting can get dirty. But it doesn’t have to. Having tools for how to resolve conflict in a calm and organized fashion makes it so much less overwhelming…which, IMO, leads to being able to actually resolve it because you’re less likely to avoid the conversation.

Win-win.

Wedding Details

Then we talked about our very brief marriage ceremony which will happen at the end of August, about 6 weeks before our official wedding in Bali. This is purely for legal purposes, and only my parents, the pastor, and Logan and I will be in attendance.

Because Logan and I don’t consider it our actual wedding day (even though in some ways it’s more so than the one in Bali since we will legally be husband and wife after it), we hadn’t really thought much about the details.

Our pastor asked…

What time do you want the ceremony to be?

Do you have a color scheme?

What will you wear?

What decorations do you want?

What Bible verse do you want to be the basis of the message?

I must have said “I don’t know” and “We haven’t talked about that” and “That’s a good question” about 10 times. Haha!

I did know the name of the bride and groom, though, so there’s that. 🙂

Fortunately, some of these details aren’t relevant for us because we are having a very simple ceremony. No decorations, no color scheme.

But part of our homework assignment for our fourth and final session is to decide on these details so we are set for August.

Goal-Setting Exercise

We ended the session with a goal-setting exercise. Our pastor asked each of us to identify 2 individual goals, 2 couple goals, and 2 family goals (family being either for us having children or our extended family). He said they could be any time frame in the next couple of years.

Once we’d done that, we shared them with each other.

Our pastor then gave us a homework assignment to talk about our goals together and then decide on 1 individual goal, 2 goals as a couple, and 1 goal for our family.

That’s it for session three! I’ll wrap things up in the next post and that’ll be the conclusion of this peek into pre-marital counseling.

As always, if you have any questions about the process or are curious about my experience in counseling as a therapist myself, I’d be happy to answer!

Featured image by Bria Peterson

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