Does Premarital Counseling Reduce Divorce Rates?

Does Premarital Counseling Reduce Divorce Rates?

Does Premarital Counseling Reduce Divorce Rates? Let’s find out.

Yes, studies show that premarital counseling can reduce the divorce rate by more than 31% percent. Even though Pre-marital counseling does not guarantee a successful marriage, couples who received premarital counseling are less likely to divorce.

This is why,

Marriage is a sacred institution and most people would like to do their best to make it work. For some, the thought of attending premarital counseling might sound daunting. But there are plenty of reasons that you should seriously consider it before getting married. 

Here are the best resources that go hand in hand with this guide. (Available on Amazon--Start a 30-day free trial here)

  1. Preparing for Marriage Couples Guide
  2. Preparing for Marriage Leaders Guide
  3. The Meaning of Marriage-Timothy Keller
  4. Devotions for Engaged Couples- Gary Thomas

Not sure where to start with a premarital counseling conversation, start here.

Studies have shown that couples who attend counseling together may be less likely to divorce than those who don’t receive any type of pre-marriage counseling. Couples in these studies typically had high levels of satisfaction with their marriages as well as lower rates for verbal and physical abuse.

Related Post: Tips to Prepare for a Successful Marriage [A Comprehensive Guide]

Even if your marriage doesn’t end in separation or divorce, going through premarital counseling can help prepare you for challenges ahead.

Teaching you communication skills, financial management strategies, and conflict resolution techniques. Which will strengthen your relationship long term. 

While premarital counseling doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get a divorce, it does give you and your fiancé the opportunity to explore your feelings and expectations about marriage, finances, sex, and other important issues which will help you avoid unnecessary arguments down the road. 

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So how exactly does premarital counseling reduce the divorce rate?

Pre-marital counseling is one way to reduce divorce rates. It allows you the opportunity to explore your relationship in detail before getting married. Letting you learn how marriage will impact your current lifestyle.

The negative outcomes of a marital breakdown are far too extensive, both financially and emotionally, to not take pre-marital counseling seriously.

7 common factors that contribute to divorce and how premarital counseling can help you avoid them.

Study shows that most couples divorce due to unaddressed conflict factors which premarital counseling helps couples avoid. 

With premarital counseling, you will be able to identify your specific expectations about marriage, finances, and other areas of your relationship before you get married.

This alone can help prevent many potential issues from arising in your marriage later on by empowering both of you with stronger communication, conflict resolution, and problem-solving skills.

This is how Premarital Counseling reduces Divorce Rates.

Factor #1: Communication Problems

Statistics show that the divorce rate is higher for couples who had a low pre-marriage level of communication and those in premarital counseling are better prepared to handle it.

Further research shows that couples’ problems are more likely to grow into bigger ones if they aren’t discussed or addressed. With premarital counseling, couples have the chance to identify their specific expectations and most importantly establish open lines of communication so these aspects of your marriage would not create any conflicts later on.

Factor #2 Inability to work together to resolve conflict.

Couples who work together to resolve conflicts are less likely to divorce.

 Couples in premarital counseling gain a deeper understanding of each other and with that awareness, they are better able to resolve any conflicts before it gets out of hand.

Conflict resolution is an acquired skill that can be developed by all couples who are willing to learn and put effort into their relationship. 

Factor #3: Unrealistic expectations about marriage.

Many divorcees state unrealistic expectations as the primary reason for divorce and premarital counseling helps you identify your specific expectations which would give you more control over how you want your marriage to look down the road.  

With realistic expectations, the divorce rate could go down significantly since people will be less likely to make unnecessary sacrifices just because they think it’s part of what they have to do to be a good spouse.

Sample questions that should be discussed in premarital counseling:   – What’s a typical weekend like?   – How often will we disagree over money?   – Where would we live and how would decisions get made in terms of finances, career, housework & child-rearing? See more here.

Factor #4: Financial Stress

Money has been identified as one of the leading causes of divorce.

With premarital counseling, couples are better able to communicate and manage their finances together. Couples in counseling are more likely to learn money management skills like effective communication and creating a plan for paying off credit card debt.  

Further research shows that divorce is more likely to occur among couples if they carry high levels of debt. Premarital counseling can help you create a solid financial plan so that both of you are working towards the same goals in terms of your finances.  See financial questions asked by counselor in premarital counseling.

Factor #5: Lack of intimacy  or sex problems

There is no doubt that sexual intimacy is a vital part of marriage and divorce rates show that it’s one of the top reasons for divorce. There are many factors that contribute to sex problems that premarital counseling can help you avoid.

If you are either not satisfied with your sex life or have any emotional blocks towards being intimate, therapy will help you: -Understand what makes you feel sexually desirable, -identify what attracts you to your partner physically or emotionally, -develop intimacy skills by communicating your needs clearly and get more involved in foreplay -learn how to ask for positions & activities that appeal to your “inner” self  For a full understanding on how to fix this problem click here.

Factor #6: Difficulty with commitment

Most premarital counselors agree that marriage requires both you and your spouse to commit yourself entirely to each other without reservation for the duration of your marriage.  Taking a pre-marriage counselor can help you identify what specifically is important about having this kind of relationship and help prevent future challenges when you discover that your spouse does not share the same value or commitment.

Studies have shown that counseling sessions help premarital couples understand their traditional social roles, financial obligations, and responsibilities.

It helps them see each other as individuals first and a couple of seconds which tends to lessen the chances of divorce after marriage.

If you are ready to get married, and you want to be sure your marriage will last for a lifetime, then you need to take a premarital counseling session.

Factor #7: Infidelity

Infidelity has become a major cause of divorce in many marriages.

It is the breaking of trust between couples and can result from physical or emotional intimacy with someone outside of the marriage.

A recent study found that the divorce rate of couples who engaged in infidelity before marriage increased by 23% in the first 3 years after the honeymoon. Emotional affairs are as devastating as physical affairs because in both cases, there is a betrayal of trust and the emotional pain can be just as difficult.

It is important to note that divorce rates are higher in couples who divorced after infidelity was discovered. 

Premarital counseling helps you and your spouse understand where some of the most common challenges are likely to occur in your marriage. 

It helps you both become aware of what you need to do early on so that you can correct the problems before they become divorce factors.

Factor #8: Abuse

Abuse is any form of physical, sexual, or emotional behavior that is hurtful to your spouse and children and often this type of behavior occurs out of a sense of entitlement.

Inappropriate control over a spouse’s life, such as demanding where they go when they are away from home or controlling their finances and activities, is a warning sign that abuse may occur during marriage.  Living in an environment where there has been abuse before marriage increases divorce rates significantly because it becomes normalized to live with abuse.

You should always take precautions when marrying someone from an abusive family system or who allows others to be controlled by abusive parents.

Premarital counseling allows you and your spouse to understand the root of abuse in a family system and to learn methods for addressing it as a couple.

Final thoughts: Does Premarital Counseling Reduce Divorce Rates?

Studies have shown that premarital counseling can reduce the divorce rate by at least 30% for couples who follow through with the sessions. A study showed that couples attending premarital counseling were more like to discuss sensitive issues and communicate their expectations of each other better than those who are not in counseling. 

It is important to understand that even if you and your spouse attend a session or two, there is no guarantee that it will prevent all future challenges from occurring. Nonetheless, it is still worth taking a few hours out of your busy schedule so that you both know very clearly what you expect from each other and how you might address difficult topics when they arise.