Relating to Premarital Counseling, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Foundation Marriage is Built On

Premarital counselling is a therapy administered to single people that intend to prepare them for marriage. This requisite precaution ensures that everyone enjoys a healthy relationship and a lasting marriage especially in these times when divorce rates in marriages are high. It seeks to establish and iron out the weaknesses that may develop to be hindrances during marriage. The rates of divorce have lately increased sharply to the extent that, in every three couples, one will either divorce or consider separation as an option at one point in their lives. This raises the need to have proper counselling in preparation for marriage (Sandra, 2008).

Several foundations of marriage exist and vary from one society to the other. The likelihood of divorce is extremely high when couples fail to observe such foundations. First, the spiritual beliefs of the couple should be identical or similar. Spiritual beliefs influence many family values and individual characters. Therefore, couples should take this as a key factor to ensure the success of their marriage. By ensuring spiritual compatibility, they will not only share a belief in their lives, but also their worldview and attitude towards several things will be similar. Spiritual beliefs are the ones that define love and principles that couples should uphold. It will also influence the goals of a person, and since goals determine the life we want to live, couples should ensure that they have compatible or tolerable goals.

The spiritual beliefs determine the commitment that a couple is going to make towards sticking in marriage, and thus it should be paramount the two share these beliefs else one will feel short-change. The key for a lasting marriage is a commitment to staying together even when things are not particularly easy. One should be sure that their partner would stay with them even when they hurt, are far, or need things beyond their reach (William & Robert, 2008).

According to Wright, finding the right person is usually a mirage that will never become a reality. Instead, what couples should do is that each person should pursue to become the right person for the other. Building oneself prior to marriage is extremely necessary because it will help the partners experience and enjoy the best of themselves. One should have a strong sense of personal identity so that they depend less on their partners to feel complete. In such a case, one will always lack something, and will feel that the prerequisites of enjoying life rest on somebody else. Therefore, one should build himself or herself in order to become an asset for their partner (Wright, 2006).

Different people have different forms of attachment to others, or even different modes of communication. These are often difficult to know or to misunderstand their intentions. In order to have a lasting relationship, both partners should discuss and understand these aspects. Lack of effective communication triggers many conflicts in marriage whilst giving room for the making of wrong assumptions. In the end, the couples end up fighting or quarrelling over unusually small issue that they could have discussed and sorted out (Sandra, 2008).

From the above factors, it is evident that the foundation of marriage depends on the commitment of both partners. Therefore, they have the biggest role to ensure that their marriage stands and lasts. The most crucial bit of all is ensuring that they prepare adequately by undergoing a proper premarital counselling.

Theology of marriage

According to the Bible, marriage is an institution established by God. The bible tells of how God created Adam and Eve and put them together to procreate and subdue the earth. The story of creation forms the greatest explanation of marriage from a Christian point of view, showing that it is a biblically instituted union with God in mind. Besides, it provides guidance on the conduct and maintenance of marriage. This includes keeping the marriage pure and undefiled. This involves both the married and unmarried people, where the married people are to remain faithful to their spouses while the unmarried people should abstain from any form of sexual intimacy before getting married. The bible clearly states that the marriage bed should be undefiled. Perhaps, the strictest rule in the Bible concerning marriage is that even the minds should keep it pure and undefiled. The teachings provided in the bible show that God established marriage and defined the way in which it should be ran.

Christianity has a lot of emphasis on relationships, being a relationship between man and God itself. There are different forms and levels of relationships, marriage being one of them. However, marriage should be the greatest form of them all. The love in marriage between a husband and wife is the same as to the love relationship between Christ and the church. A couple intending to get into marriage should seek to grow their relationship and friendship to the point of becoming best friends. The termination of marriage is impossibility and preparation should be a vital part to ensure survival. Building a healthy relationship will help to remain together until “death do us part”.

Another aspect of marriage from the biblical point of view is that the union of the two people in flesh makes them one. This complex theology explains the way the bible views the act of sex. In the bible, sex should be a union of two bodies to become one flesh. By participation in intimate and sexual relationship, one enters a binding relationship with the other partner. The Bible puts a lot of emphasis on abstinence outside and faithfulness inside marriage. From this perspective, marriage will seem to be a binding covenant that should last and sex is not just a physical act of pleasure. From this, sex is obviously a holy covenant, which is a preserve for marriage.

The allegory of the relationship between man and woman to that of Christ and the church is the greatest and most vivid description of marriage. In the bible, Christ gave his life for humankind, to save us from eternal condemnation. This was an extraordinary act of love through the sacrificing of his life for somebody else. Christ is the head of the church, and he demonstrated a strong love for the church even today. Likewise, love is the foundation of a family with the husband loving the wife just as Christ loves the church. In a similar manner, the wife should be submissive to the husband out of the great love that she has for him. This is the biblical stand on marriage (Sandra, 2008).

Premarital/Remarital Counselling & divorce epidemic in USA

Of late, there has been an avalanche of divorce cases in the United States. The number of people filing for divorce has been on the increase and for many people; marriage seems to be a form of trial and error. Even high profile people face this family problem, and prominent cases on divorce are in courts. It is extremely difficult to determine the exact number of the divorces that take place because of insufficient record keeping. Problems also arise when people stay together in informal relationships and “test-run” their relationship before getting married. This an actual marriage in which the involved parties do not want to take responsibility in marriage, and opt to stay together. Many people consider them as divorce when they fail to materialize as lasting unions. Therefore, the cases of divorce may even be higher than the documented records (William & Robert, 2008).

This trend in the number of divorce cases has led any people to seek counselling before getting into marriage. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of people offering services in marriage counselling. In most cases, the clergy with no professional training carries out counselling for individuals seeking to get married. However, the need for intense counselling has brought about the rise in the number of people offering counselling to stem the number of the cases that have risen (Wright, 1992).

A marriage will only be successful when couples prepare themselves from the initial stage. This serves to ensure that the new formed union lasts, and couples prepare to face the challenges that emerge. The role of counselling is extremely crucial in ensuring that the marriage will work and that no serious conflicts remain unresolved. Consequently, it is necessary for couples intending to get married to maximize on counselling in order to increase the chances of their relationships standing. People have realized this need, and in response, many are now seeking to have premarital counselling before they can engage in marriage. This has increased the even the number of people who are offering counselling services (Wright, 2006).

The high number of divorce cases has also put people on alert, and many want to salvage their marriage. It has become evident that one cannot just sit and hope that the marriage works well. Instead, it requires professional help. Divorce also involves a lot of cost in terms of lawsuits and tussle over property and children custody. Before couples result to divorce, there is always an attempt to seek help to save their marriage and these people always result to marital counsellors. Those who have divorced already and want to get into marriage again are careful not to take chances again. As a result, they want an intensive remarital counselling to ensure that all they address possible conflicts that may arise in the future. In addition, the people who have divorced and are remarrying have a first-hand experience in marriage, and thus know the importance of seeking professional help. In United States, the increase in divorce epidemic leads to massive acceptance of marriage counselling. On the other hand, lack of intensive marriage counselling could have led to increased rate of divorces.

Some potential problems faced in marriage and remarriage by the couple

Premarital counselling is a requisite for any couple that want to get married. Numerous challenges affect newly married couples, which counsellors address in the premarital counselling. Once to people find themselves together, their private lives are no longer the same, and they have to integrate someone else into their personal space. Management of family assets and money may bring problems, especially when they do not have the same values. As a result, there may be many arguments arising regarding the spending of money and when lacking. In addition, money-related stresses might lead to other problems like when one gets irritated quickly because of stress (Wright, 2006).

Children may be a problem when born because they tend to overstretch the parents and demand a lot of time. This also brings about increased responsibilities. In addition to those problems, when partners have busy schedules, there is little time for each other. Other likely problems include destructive habits developed by one partner and are difficult to change. The worst challenge is poor communication, which is often the fuse for most of the conflicts that occur. This is because when people do not communicate effectively, they tend to make many misconceptions and assumptions. Premarital counselling should help couples overcome these problems for any couple intending to marry (William & Robert, 2008).

There are unique problems that face people who are remarrying. These people have had an experience in marriage, and there are reasons that made them quit the relationship. Often, the experience may not have been pleasant. Therefore, counselling ensure the obliteration of the effects of the experiences before they bring fresh troubles into the marriage. In this case, the potential problem is the age gap between partners. This is possible because it is not the first marriage and could be occurring at an advanced age. When the age difference between the partners is remarkably high, there is a possibility that they may not interact effectively with each other. They may be living in their own different worlds and not have common interests. It becomes difficult for partners to enjoy lengthy time together.

Many remarriages often bring people together who may have had children in previous marriages. This brings about instant parenthood to some partners, those who had not had children. As a result, the task of parenting may become difficult when a parent encounters a child they have not known since birth. In some cases, the person may not have had previous experience bringing up the child. The stepparent is also in pressure to win the approval of the children, since there is always a fear of whether the children will come to accept the new parent.

The fact that the couple had experience in marriage may be another problem. This is because one will tend to draw comparisons and expectations from the previous marriage, a factor that could become a hindrance. One may try to compare partners and transform one to be like the previous partner. In addition, one partner may have had intimate, sexual relationship in marriage while the other one may not have the same experience. Such situations are difficult to adapt to and indicate the need for one to undergo remarital counselling. In this case, one should deal with such problems before they become a burden in the marriage (Wright, 1992).

Similarities and Differences in Premarital, Remarital & Postmarital Counseling

Premarital counselling is educative and preventive, while premaritally counselling seeks to address the needs of couples who have been in other marriages. On the other hand, post marital counselling refers to the repair damages that have already occurred in a marriage.

There are several similarities in the three outlined types of counselling. First, the motive of the counselling is to build a stronger union between the involved couples. This form of empowerment helps people understand themselves and their partners, and assist them to relate in a better way. Every counsellor in this case tries to iron out differences that nay exist by making the couples realize the areas of potential or actual weaknesses.

The focus of the counselling session is always on the couple, and the counsellor helps them understand themselves better. This is important because the couple should solve their own problems and not the counsellor doing that for them. The counsellor should try to help people realize the necessary solutions to their problems and the workability of their marriage. Once people know this, they are more likely to put more effort in making their marriage work (Wright, 1992).

There are differences in these three forms if counselling. This is because the persons undergoing counselling in each case have different needs and are at different levels of growth. For premarital counselling, the focus is on people who have not been married before and their attitude and view of life may be remarkably different. They may be having an unrealistic approach to life and may be in the hype of their relationships. As a result, they may not see the need for counselling since they have not had challenges in their relationship. On the other hand, remarital counselling deals with people who have ever been married and have experience in the relationship. In this case, the focus is not to deal with the initial problems of marriage but to tackle the one that may arise due to previous experience that the person may have experienced. It is necessary to understand the cause of the previous divorce issue appropriately (Wright, 2006).

Post marital counselling is more reparative than preventive. This applies to married couples who are experiencing troubles in their marriage. This is the main form of counselling that is in need today due to the many problems facing marriages today. The purpose of this counselling is to solve disputes and challenges that married couples experience. The aim is to identify the possible sources of conflicts and devise ways to deal with them. This is usually a challenge since it is curative than preventive. In many cases, people are reluctant to admit their mistakes, or they have already formed a hate relationship with their spouse. Therefore, post-marital counselling requires utmost care and caution while dealing with the clients because it could be the last attempt for some to save their marriages. It is possible to avoid this by ensuring that a comprehensive execution premarital counselling whilst attempting to prevent the escalation of problems during marriage (William & Robert, 2008).

References

Sandra, L. (2008). Essentials of Premarital Counselling: Creating Compatible Couples. London: Loving Healing Press

William, J. & Robert, F. (2008). Premarital Counselling: The Professional’s Handbook. New York: NY, Lexington Books

Wright, N. (1992). The Premarital Counselling Handbook. Indiana, IN: Moody Press

Wright, N. (2006). Now That You’re Engaged. New York, NY: Gospel Light Publishers

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