So The Specialist (my fiance was in the Army) and I had our first premarital counseling session this past week.
Now, even if you’re not getting married in a house of God (you heathenish tot!), I would still recommend having a sit down with a family counselor, psychiatrist, voodoo priestess, whatever, before the big day cometh. Like so many horses of the Apocalypse…
Why? Because it’s pure comedy, my friend.
There’s a few things you need to know before experiencing the masochistic joy of premarital counseling:
1. Be prepared to talk. Alot. Even if you don’t want to. Even if you’ve physically stapled your lips shut prior to the appointment, something will get you to talk. And if you’re a female, you will talk, and talk, and talk, and talk. Because you’ll be utterly convinced that this person sitting behind the mahogany desk is fully qualified to totally fix the relationship that, prior to walking into the office, you didn’t realize was broken.
2. Your guy will look like the proverbial deer in the headlights for most of the session. He will restrict his answers to one syllable words, much like a Neanderthal. “This make Bob feel bad.”
3. Even though you’re the one who vented, and he’s the one who stubbornly remained tight-lipped, you’re gonna walk out of there feeling like everything is your fault. That’s right, your relationship is crap piled on poop and you’re queen of the hill.
4. Thank goodness for step 4! Because that brings you to the second session. Yep, you ARE sadistic enough to actually put yourself through all of that again. You will have to bribe him to go, of course, but you have to bribe him to do most stuff so it’s no biggie. The second session is the complete opposite of the first. You enter the office in full-on whipped puppy mode. And that’s good, because when your guy sees that you’ve learned a little humility, he starts to open up. And magically, progress is made.
5. Your relationship goes from great to amazing, and you realize that in the midst of the chaos of planning your wedding, you momentarily forgot the actual marriage—you know, that thing that starts the day after the ceremony?
Counseling helped me to reprioritize my, well, priorities. It made me pause to really look at my habits, my shortcomings, and how those might influence the way I interact with The Specialist (he wasn’t totally let off the hook either). But we also talked about how we really do compliment each other, and ways we can work better as a team.
In closing, you don’t need to feel like your relationship is precariously close to the edge before you go to counseling. It’s just a healthy thing to try—making sure that you’re doing everything you can to start out your life together on the right foot.
And do the world a favor and film the sessions for a possible sitcom.