Premarital counseling is one of the many services offered by our team at The Counseling Hub! As you may know, we specialize in individual counseling and couples therapy or marriage counseling. Premarital work definitely falls under the couples therapy or marriage counseling umbrella, but it’s slightly unique than other types of couples work that we do, and here’s why.
Think of a time when you felt attacked. Maybe it was by your partner, maybe it was by a stranger, family, your boss or coworker, or a friend - it doesn't really matter who did it. The point is this. Take yourself back to that time and recall what it felt like in that moment.
When we talk about the four horsemen, we're not talking about the apocalypse. We're talking about four styles of communication that, when present within relationships, predict the eventual dissolution of that relationship.
You know the song and dance...
Partner one says, "I'm upset about this thing that happened." Partner two says, "I didn't do anything wrong!" Partner one says, "You did xyz!" Partner two says, "That's only because you did abc!" And then the two careen into a fight that has no real beginning and no real end.
Both partners feel justified. Both partners feel vilified. Both partners leave feeling misunderstood, ignored, and frustrated.
Here's a question I've heard before - maybe it's even a question you've asked yourself in the heat of battle...
Is this normal or are we not actually compatible?
Then, for the icing on the cake: Shouldn't I be feeling (insert your choice of feeling word - the one that you've probably said to yourself before)?!
Well, let's talk, shall we?
First, that's a scary question at any point in a relationship. I would say especially when you've invested a certain amount of time and energy into making it work. To feel that sick thud of doubt is terrifying for many people and... it doesn't actually mean anything.
One of the most common themes I see between hetero couples (some same-gender couples, but lots of hetero) is that they are speaking two different languages.
Not literally, obviously, but they may as well be. Couples will come into session, feeling infuriated, misunderstood, and irritated with the other. She's upset because he's not listening. He's upset because she doesn't make any sense. They both are trying to say their piece, but aren't getting through to one another.