Marriage is seen as one of the most exciting times in any individual’s life, and couples often get caught up in the storm of preparations. Couples look forward to sharing their life in perfect harmony with the person they are in love with. Premarital counselling can be a significantly overlooked tool for engaged or newly married couples to use in assisting them in having this fulfilled and rewarding married life. Divorce rates are continuing to increase over the years and this unfortunate outcome can be allayed if couples were to be given the correct tools to overcome the inevitable challenges of marriage. The most common reasons for divorce include infidelity, issues around money, lack of communication and constant arguing. Very often these issues arise due to the couple’s expectations being unmet and which then lead to general feelings of dissatisfaction within the marriage.
Despite the fact that not all couples will experience the complicated issues that lead to divorce, any married couple will tell you that the first few years of married life is the hardest. Commonly referred to as the “honeymoon phase”, this is an important adjustment period in which the couple learns all about the annoying habits and previously overlooked character flaws of their partner. Arguments arise and tempers flare and if the couple is able to make it through this difficult period, it can eventually lead to that so-called, almost mythical state of marital bliss.
Premarital programmes assist this process and provide the couple with the tools to overcome these inevitable obstacles. If couples are made aware of each others expectations, it can go a long way in preventing future arguments and feelings of resentment. Couples who attend premarital programmes are given the safe space in which to voice their concerns and become aware of their partners needs. These needs are often never addressed or may not even be consciously known to the individual. When these needs are left unmet, however, they can lead to what appears to be petty arguments, but which are in fact the result of the individual feeling unloved, lonely and misunderstood.
The idea of premarital counselling can be daunting to many couples as well as not being seen as a matter of urgency in light of wedding preparations and other priorities. But evidence has shown that couples who attend premarital counselling report higher levels of satisfaction within their marriage as well as being far less likely to get divorced. Premarital programmes can also be viewed as an opportunity for the couple to build a stronger bond and learn about their partner on a deeper level.
Islamic Careline offers both a manual as well as an online premarital assessment. Our manual assessment consists of an in-depth questionnaire that addresses areas related to each individual’s outlook on leisure, family, finances, upbringing of children, communication patterns etc. One feedback session is required for our manual assessment. Our online prepare and enrich assessment is prepared by FAMSA and is on par with international standards. This online assessment addresses similar topics to our manual assessment but consists of 4 feedback sessions. Both assessments address areas of growth and assist in strengthening and enriching the marital relationship. Our online assessment provides couples with lifelong tools that can be used to address any challenges that might arise within the marriage as well as help to strengthen the bond of marriage. For more information on our premarital assessments or any of our other programmes, please call Islamic Careline on (011) 373-8080.