I think premarital counseling has really been helping.
It's not really what I thought it would be. When we went, I assumed it would be a lot of discussion about what's wrong in our relationship, dragging out problems and getting into arguments. Honestly, the whole experience has been very positive.
Even when we come up with something that we need to work on, instead of the pastor giving advice of how to fix it, he instead uses an example from his own life to show how he and his wife got through and to encourage us. It's an interesting way of going about counseling, and it seems to be working.
I didn't really think Nate and I needed too much premarital counseling, because we know each other so well. After dating for eight years, I think that we know what we are getting into.
However, I have seen our relationship start to change little by little in the past couple weeks. I can see us starting to serve each other and putting the other one first. We have talked well and my hope and excitement for our marriage has increased as we learn how to have a strong relationship.
I feel bad for people who don't have the chance to go through premarital counseling. It wouldn't be the same for everyone, but it gives us a chance to really focus on who we are as a couple. That hasn't been something we've really done before.
Although I have read books on relationships and interviewed successful couples, I like that Nate and I are doing the same assignments and are on the same page.
Even if your church doesn't have mandatory premarital counseling, I would really encourage anyone preparing for marriage to take some time and talk to an experienced spouse together.
Marriage is hard. We all need a little encouragement to build a solid foundation as we build from the ground up.