Pre-Marital Counselling: Prevention is Better than Cure

All couples have differences and disagreements, but often couples come to counselling when their relationships have fallen apart and the damage in the relationship can hardly be repaired, and even after they have separated. Pre-marital Counselling, therefore, is important in preventing the breaking down of a relationship/marriage.


Pre-marital Counselling is to prepare couples to learn each other’s expectations of a marriage before entering their married life. Pre-marital Counselling will help the couple to look at their relationship closely, their relationship challenges and explore their potential issues in the future.

Some of the areas that will be explored, but are not limited to, are:

  • Exploring your relationship’s strengths and growth areas and learning the skills which help your relationship grow stronger
  • Exploring each other’s expectation on relationship roles and responsibilities, whether it be domestically, financially, sexually, or spiritually
  • Exploring your family of origin, family culture and its impact on your expectations
  • Exploring personal and relationship history and its impact on your relationship
  • How to handle your differences and disagreements
  • Exploring your potential problems, including relationship with the in-laws
  • How a healthy relationship is supposed to look like
  • How to build a healthy family life


There are 3 different approaches of Pre-Marital Counselling:

1.   Prepare-Enrich Program

This is a resource that is based on research, and has been used by over 2.5 million couples over three decades. This program uses an Inventory Questionnaire, which the couples fill in. The couple then works on their areas of growth based on the results of their Inventory Questionnaire. This program normally takes about 6 sessions, depending on the areas of growth that need to be dealt with.

2.   Educational Program

This is a program that prepares couples for their future married life and teaches them what to expect, such as learning the different stages of marriage, how to set healthy boundaries, how to communicate better, how to resolve conflicts, learning negotiation skills, how to deal with in-law issues, the preparation of parenting, etc. This is done through a teaching method that involves participation in certain exercises. At the completion of these exercises, the couple’s differences and difficult issues are further discussed accordingly. This program takes 6 sessions.

3.   Counselling Approach

There are some couples who have some unresolved issues in their relationship prior to their married life. These unresolved issues may stem from their individual past life or their current relationship. Counselling is recommended for these couples before more damage is done to their relationship. The length of this counselling approach depends on how severe their issues are and how long they have the issues.