We expect a lot out of new drivers. Yet all of us with a driver’s license have gone through the process. First, we learned the “rules of the road” in order to get a driver’s permit. And then we spent a fair amount of time “practice driving” with a responsible adult setting in the passenger seat.
Many of us took “Drivers Ed” and had a professional monitor and critique our driving abilities. Finally, we took a state-sponsored road test and if we’re lucky enough to pass the first time (I wasn’t), we got our drivers license.
Why don’t’ we expect the same level of assistance entering into such a major and life-changing event as marriage?
Yet, we don’t.
The fact is that it’s a lot easier to get a marriage license than a drivers license. Often soon-to-be-married couples spend far more time managing the details of the wedding – from vendors to table seating and everything in between — than they do looking at their relationship.
The engagement period is a perfect time for some premarital relationship coaching.
The questions might be: How do we begin premarital counseling? What’s involved? How much does it cost?
I recently had a discussion with Dr. Lindsey Hoskins, a Bethesda Maryland couple and family therapist and learned of her great premarital coaching package. As Dr. Lindsey wrote in an email:
We use a premarital counseling program called Prepare/Enrich, in which couples complete an online assessment to describe their views on a wide range of issues that commonly come up in marriage — finances, sex and affection, dealing with friends and family, leisure time, etc. Then the results of the assessment are used to guide the counseling, focusing more time and energy on areas where the couple has a lower level of agreement.
We also spend time at the beginning doing some skill building in the areas of communication and conflict resolution. Our standard package includes five 90-minute sessions plus the online assessment and all hard copy materials; the price is $795 or $895 depending on which therapist a couple chooses to see.
Again, the cost of the assessment and five 90-minute sessions is between $795 to $895. That’s just a bit more than the cost of a wedding cake.
Amide all the wonderful excitement and planning, shouldn’t your relationship get the attention you’re providing to the planning of your wedding day? Your marriage is your driver’s license for life . . .
Please understand that I have no relationship with Dr. Hoskins and there is no financial or other benefit to this recommendation other than that of helpful advice.