CBS OWN Zoom & Skype Consultations

Pre-Marital Counseling NYC

Premarital Counseling is a great way to prepare for marriage and its ups and downs. It is a well-known fact that a high percentage of marriages end in divorce for many reasons. Some marriages end because couples feel they have made the wrong choice or have found that they no longer work with their spouse. Some get divorced because they have resentments, unmet needs and conflicts that erode empathy, connection and love. Often times, attempts to communicate escalate into negative cycles (arguments) and spouses do not know how repair and nurture a shaken emotional connection.

This is why premarital counseling is so beneficial to New York City couples. The purpose of pre-marriage counseling is to build a relationship that have a better chance to last. Marriages go through many seasons and will often see many ups and downs. Preparing for those challenging times will equip you as a couple to navigate and survive those seasons. However, during the exciting season of wedding planning, most of your attention is focused on your engagement and wedding and “red flags” are often ignored and not addressed early on increasing your risk of trouble in the future.

Effective Pre-marital Counseling can help address and resolve budding conflicts before they blossom into “irreconcilable differences”. Just like any good Couples Therapy, Pre-marital Counseling is a great away to explore and address any potential differences early on, so the couple can feel on solid ground when they enter this important milestone in their life and relationship.

It is my belief that the more you know about yourself and your partner’s strengths and vulnerabilities, the clearer you are about what you agree and disagree about, the more realistic you can be about your marriage and keeping it growing, exciting and fulfilling.

While premarital counseling is typically encouraged or even required for those getting married in a religious ceremony, secular couples can also benefit from it.

Common Reasons People Come To Counseling Before Marriage:

There are many reasons a couple will decide to seek premarital counseling. Some of those reasons may include:

  • Fighting, conflicts
  • Communication problems
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Stuck in blame/defense patterns
  • Questioning your choice of Spouse
  • Doubts about marriage
  • Trust issues
  • Feeling a need to address resentments that may have built up

Premarital Counseling Sessions

During premarital counseling sessions I offer you in New York, an opportunity to explore your relationship in an atmosphere of safety, honesty and trust is created together. We can learn together what drew you to each other and what makes you a great team. I also have couples take a written questionnaire which enables me to have a better understanding of their feelings and thoughts about important issues such as money and time management, work and careers goals and plans, their relationship with themselves and each other’s families, timing and number of children, thoughts about child care, needs for individuality within the context of a couple, household chores and duties and, of course, sex and romance. After reviewing the questionnaire you will have a more thorough understanding of where you stand on these issues and will be able to identify potential areas of conflict. From there I will be able to help you address these potential issues in premarital counseling.

It is unrealistic to think that a couple has to agree on everything. EVERY couple has “irreconcilable differences” in their marriage. However, it is not the differences that lead to divorce, but rather how they are communicated and dealt with that makes or breaks marriages.

In my work with New York couples about to get married, I use psychoeducation, relationship coaching and experiential interactions all of which are intended to restructure communication in order to create connection, empathy and build a foundation for a marriage is designed to last.

Important tips about marriage:

  • Differences and disagreements are inevitable and do not mean you are not meant to be together.
  • All married couples have issues that they disagree about and will continue to disagree about throughout their life together.
  • Sex and Romance ebb and flow over time. It is important to make time for sex and create moments of romance and excitement. They don’t have to be compared to earlier times, but can evolve into something new.
  • Often marriages change after a birth of a child. It is normal and to be expected. It does not mean your love and romance are over. You are now parenting not just romantic partners. Hang in and find those special moments.
  • Be open to change within individual and couple. When getting married, we promise to stay together, we do not have to stay the same.
  • The most important key to marital satisfaction is how you repair conflicts.

One of the secrets to a good marriage is addressing pre-marriage issues before they become irreparable. Premarital counseling will help you create the best possible sustainable relationship together. To learn more about pre-marital counseling or to set up a session call (212) 953-1388 today and speak to Irina Firstein, LCSW.

Sessions available in person, by phone or on Skype.