Dr. Wallace: My fiancé thinks we should start couples therapy since we’re now on the right track to getting married, but I don’t see the point. He’s the guy who’s always on the lookout for new ideas, and in that genre I think that’s probably overkill for us. All the times I’ve heard my friends talk about going to couples therapy, their stories tell me they really need it. Some of the stories I heard even made me wonder why therapy would be considered a better option than just leaving the relationship immediately.
In my case, things are going pretty well in our relationship. We don’t have more arguments or fights than the average couple; in fact, I feel they are far fewer and more minor in scope than most. Not to mention, therapy sessions don’t come cheap, and with a wedding on the horizon, we need to save all the money we can.
Do couples really need premarital counseling to have a successful marriage? – Not big on therapy, via email
Not big on therapy: As with most things in life, it depends. Different people and couples have different experiences and perspectives on this issue. It’s not a bad thing at all to consider premarital therapy. However, this is absolutely not necessarily a prerequisite either.
Based on your letter, I would advise you to have a deep and candid conversation with your fiancé about why he thinks this is a good idea. Ask him to be specific, then discuss the topic with him without judgment. He may provide you with new information about your relationship, or on the other hand, he may just be curious about what premarital therapy is all about.
Once he gives you his logic, then you will be able to either agree with him or stick with your initial hunch. Consider his request sincerely. Maybe you can consider looking at this as an initial way to compromise with each other, and one way to compromise would be to agree to a single limited profitable session to see where things go.
You plan to spend a lot of time with this man, so work with him to find a path you can agree on. How a marriage begins is often how it progresses from the beginning.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he won’t be able to answer each of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at email@example.com. To learn more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read articles by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.