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Most recent posting below. See other articles in the column to the right.

Marriage Counseling, Before The Wedding?

You feel like you've known each other all your lives even though you've only known each other a few months or years, maybe even just a couple of weeks. You look into each others eyes and see kismet or fate. All starry eyed and dreamy you start planning for happily ever after.

Ok maybe you aren't just being starry eyed. Maybe you have been living together for a while and truly believe it is time to make the union a legal and formal bond. That is absolutely wonderful! No matter what anyone says, there is something special about being married to each other and not just living together.

Today, in some countries the government will not require the couple to undergo any marriage seminars. In most religions and in countries that do not have divorce however marriage counseling is actually mandatory before couples can get married. After all in these countries or faiths, marriage truly is meant to be for life. That being the case, everyone wants to make sure that the pair goes in with their eyes wide open and not covered by rose colored glasses.

Marriage is no joke. It can be fun, exciting, sweet, passionate and absolutely wonderful. It can also be a lot of work. Keep in mind that you are adjusting your life to another person's; someone who you love but is still different from you in a number of ways. Marriage can be a rude awakening for some. It isn't only about the gown and the ceremony and saying, "I do".

Face it folks, we don't always, in fact more often than not, we don't listen to our parents. They may or may not be good examples of how marriages work. They may or may not be together so you may not have a real picture of what is involved, just the glamorized ideal that movies and books show to the general public.

There are organizations like Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WME) that try to give couples a real look at being married. They have special courses such as the evenings for the engaged where a couple meets regularly with an affianced pair in the WME or "encountered" couples home. The WME couple will discuss various things that the affianced pair may or may not have thought about yet. For example, what is the significance of money in the relationship? Is money supposed to be pooled and shared or should it be only the male's income that is spent since he is the breadwinner or head of the family?

How about work? Should the wife continue to work if the husband is earning well enough to support them both? Would they prefer that she stay home and become mother and wife full time? Why?

These questions may seem trivial to some but in the long run, these can be major issues that can lead to separation or divorce. It is best to discuss these matters before any vows are made not after. It can save you a lot of heartache. Why not find out what are the available marriage counseling groups in your area? What have you got to lose? They may even help to make your good relationship great, possibly everlasting.

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