By Amy Freier, LCPC, CST
Wedding season is upon us! Last week, clinician Amy Berrafato shared some truth bombs about the importance of talking about an engagement before actually getting engaged. Premarital Prep is one of our specialties at Spark Chicago Therapy (read more here!), and this week, I’m sharing a few more tips for those of you knee-deep in wedding planning mode. Follow along for my Top 3 Tips for Marriage Prep:
Remember that you are planning a marriage, not just a wedding! It’s easy to get caught up in the details of wedding planning, so much so that you forget that the wedding is just ONE DAY out of the rest of your lives. Don’t get lost in the details (albeit, beautiful Pinterest-worthy details, I’m sure), and remember the “Why” behind the “I do.”
Don’t be afraid to talk about the SCARY stuff (kids, finances, etc.), the earlier, the better! Be a smart fiancé and strategize your way to a thoughtful and well-developed marriage. Sit down with your partner in a neutral, comfortable atmosphere, and make a list of topics you’d like to discuss. Don’t exclude anything, even if you’re worried it will cause discomfort. It’s never too early to begin exploring and identifying your own relationship values and work toward creating healthy communication with your partner.
Prepare for the post-newlywed bliss stage! When the initial stages of newlywed delight dissipate (and they inevitably will), your goal turns toward creating a secure, safe, domestic life with your partner. All of those things are important and great, but there can be a tendency to get stuck in routine (translation: rut). While it’s important to recognize that monotonous down times are a normal and very much expected part of marriage, also know that it doesn’t need to last forever, or even a long time, for that matter. Go meta-communication here: talk about how you will talk about it when it happens!
All of the clinicians here at Spark Chicago Therapy LOVE working with premarital couples to help set up a solid marriage. And bonus: both Amy Freier, LCPC, CST, and Amy Stewart, LMFT, are Prepare/Enrich Certified, which means we have access to some pretty wonderful structured tools to help facilitate focused sessions with couples looking to prepare themselves for marriage. Interested? Contact us at email@example.com for more information!