Planning For Your marriage, Not Just Your Wedding

April 17th, 2014
At 3:48 pm, Comments:0

Before I got married, the notion of premarital counseling was alien to me. I had my married life figured out, without consulting my fiancé of course, and she was to play a major role in my dream.


When my fiancée (now wife) brought up the idea of visiting a premarital counselor, I objected to it. I was insulted by the idea. After all, I was mature enough to handle a marriage and knew everything about it. Although I was not interested in meeting a counselor, I agreed to her request and went to see one.


Upon visiting the counselor, several questions were brought to our attention, some that I had not even thought of. My wife, my fiancée then, handled many of the questions better than me.


The counselor had asked us about our compatibility, what we expected of each other in the long and short term, asked us if we knew anything about gender differences, our personalities and families-of-origin, how we communicated, and our style of resolving conflicts, furthermore, questions relating to intimacy and children and our plans and goals in life.


Like any other young person getting ready for marriage, I was blinded by the passions of youth. I thought I had my married life figured out, but after being challenged with these points, I realized I didn’t know the answers to some of these questions. However, in retrospect, sitting down with a pre-marital counselor was one of the first and best decisions we made together before embarking on our journey.


My experience is that most parents in the Muslim community plan for their children’s wedding, but not for the marriage, and premarital counseling is a serious affair. Couples who are serious and go for premarital counseling have several advantages over couples that don’t:


  1. – Premarital education provides perspectives to young couples that they have not yet thought of and as a result, when situations of conflict arise, they are better equipped and less likely to reach premature deliberation.


  1. – Since the importance of marriage is overly emphasized during this session, as it should be, couples start to take the marriage more seriously.


  1. – Couples are given scenarios and options that they were not aware of. Generally couples that cannot handle a conflict escalate it to the
  2. parents, which exacerbate the matter as parents get emotionally involved.


  1. – Premarital counseling helps couples appoint a neutral arbitrator who deliberates in the event of a conflict, which is inevitable in any marriage.  For those married couples who don’t have one, it is never too late to appoint an arbitrator skilled in handling marital conflicts.


  1. – Avenues for learning are provided to the couples, which help them set realistic expectations and plan for the marriage.


The Muslim Community in North America has not yet fully realized the importance of premarital counseling. Marriage still remains a stigma and problems are not openly discussed, nor is marriage education taught in the household. In the era of classical Islam, marriage was not thought of as an inherent quality, rather a skill that needed to be perfected and passed on.

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