Preparedness for Marriage
Pre-Marriage Counseling (PMC) has prehistoric roots. In olden days, parents, grandparents and elders in the family talked about responsibilities and commitments involved in marriage and raising a family. To this date, certain religion offers pre-marriage counseling to prepare couples in understanding their responsibilities when say "I do". Twenty first century has brought major changes in the family and social system. This paradigm shift has caused increasing cases of separations, divorces and dysfunctional families. One approach to resolving this damage is to bring back the tradition of offering contemporary pre-marriage counseling to all couples and families.
What is pre-marriage counseling? The primary purpose of pre-marriage counseling is to facilitate a couple's preparation for harmonious matrimony. The secondary factor provides awareness and insight to the families about the changes that take place after the matrimony. In our culture, marriage is not just between two individuals, it is also between two families. PMC gives a clear understanding of personality differences, individual and societal values, beliefs, attitudes, role-change concepts, family backgrounds, extended family and in-laws, sex and expression of affection, division of tasks at home, children and parenting, beliefs about money, friends and interests, etc.
We all would agree that the fundamental framework for a strong and healthy marriage upon which family is built is based on fulfilling of Emotional, Sexual, Familial, Social and Financial needs. Conflicts due to personality differences, role-confusion and unrealistic expectations may arise while trying to fulfill these needs. Empowering couples and their families on these areas give them an opportunity to assess their interpersonal and intra-personal skills and abilities. Pre-marriage counseling brings increased awareness about expectations of self and expectations from others.
The goal of PMC is to guide couples and their families to identify and endorse that individual behavior is more closely related to the emotional functioning of the family unit. Early understanding of various responsibilities and commitments in marriage will help in developing positive attitude and foundations in building harmonious family relationship. With this, parenting becomes a balanced act. As they say, "single drop of water makes the ocean", each harmonious family constitutes a healthy community and in turn produces a self-actualizing society. Overall, a professional counselor empowers the couples and families to break down the fear of exploring sensitive issues, and to get a taste of success in building a healthy functioning family.