Top Four Questions About Premarital Counseling

Dr. Tim AllchinFor Those Seeking HopeLeave a Comment

Our counselors meet with a lot of married couples in difficult situations. I’ll confess a thought that sometimes goes through our minds is: “Why did you get married??” We probably wouldn’t ask that question out loud, but any experienced counselor will tell you it’s crossed their mind.

A common denominator in many of these cases is that the couples had little or no premarital counsel. Many couples, families, and churches spend great time and energy preparing for the wedding day, but few adequately prepare for the marriage.

We want to challenge churches, counselors, and even caring friends to make sure that couples who desire marriage are prepared for the realities they will face.

Here are four of the top questions we hear about premarital counseling:

1. Who needs premarital counseling?

Since marriage is the most important earthly commitment that most people make during their lifetime, it’s important to make sure that one’s marriage partner is committed to the same values and direction in their life. You would think that most couples have this settled before they get engaged, but many find themselves with doubts, and others are simply hoping the red flags subside over time.

Also, you don’t have to be officially engaged to take part in premarital counseling, pre-engagement counseling is often very helpful as well.

Good premarital counseling prevents marriages that are doomed for failure and prepares others for a lifetime of faithfulness.

2. How do I find and choose a premarital counselor?

It’s common to think that a licensed marriage and family therapist would be most qualified, however, the research doesn’t back that up. Good premarital counseling success rests most on your connection with your counselor, the duration of the counseling, and your willingness to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

You can find good premarital counseling from many pastors, biblical counselors, and even wise older couples who have a track record of a faithful family. Just because someone is a professional counselor doesn’t mean they have the wisdom to give effective premarital counsel.

The best premarital counseling is not pre-packaged, but personal. Find a counselor who you want to be honest with and who will help you unpack biblical principles about family and marriage and plan your future wisely.

3. Do I need premarital counseling if this is my second (or third, etc.) marriage?

While it makes sense to think that you have learned lessons from your marriage that make premarital counseling unnecessary, our counselors haven’t found this to be true. That doesn’t mean you need the standard premarital process though.

The process of blending a marriage and family in a second or subsequent marriage isn’t easier, it’s harder. The divorce rates for second and third marriages are higher, and the need for preparation is even more crucial.

4. How long does premarital counseling take?

There is no set answer to this question. We recommend that every premarital couple have multiple sessions over a few months, and we’ve seen the best success with 8-10 sessions.

If your relationship is complicated by past relationships or difficult personal dynamics, it may be smart to commit to more sessions. We may also suggest individual counseling to work through difficult personal patterns that are having a detrimental impact on your relationship.

In counseling, we encourage couples to bring their tough questions so they can begin to practice healthier patterns of relating within the premarital process. New habits rarely form in less than 6 weeks. 

We offer an 8-session package for this very reason that takes most couples 3-4 months to complete.


Whether a couple has doubts and uncertainty about their marriage or they feel nothing but excitement, premarital counseling is for them.

This is the time for couples to be challenged to embrace wise expectations, receive tools to resolve conflict before it starts, and build a connection for support into their lives.

Our counselors would love the opportunity to help. Express your interest in our premarital counseling by filling out this form.

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