Premarital Counseling: Important Areas Relating To Communication To Consider

I share some personal experience, and examples of typical "hot spots" in the communication process, and free premarital counseling wisdom and advice.

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Category: Therapy

In this writer’s view, one needs to examine interpersonal communication from an overarching perspective before attempting to contextualize the premarital scenario.

It is important to note that two persons coming into each other space, as it were, is very different from a dating relationship. Hence, numerous adjustments have to be made in terms of identity and personality. So what does communication have to do with identity formation? According to Stewart (2012), “Ways of talking create power” (p. 250). In other words, the way one communicates is more often than not a clear indication of key personality traits. For example, in my ministry I have counselled persons who sought to use the excuse of their boisterous behavior as a family trait. “Oh, everyone in our family speaks loudly.” In most of these cases, they use loudness and anger to cover inner fears, anxiety, low self-esteem and insecurity.

In relation to the premarital and marital contexts, the presentation of the module clearly posits that “Communication is the lifeblood of a marriage” (Parrott and Parrott, 2006, p. 79). Hence, there is a learning curve that entails gaining an understanding of each partner’s style of communication. According to Parrott and Parrot (2006) “Everyone grows up with a unique set of communication “rules,” and marriage forces two people with different sets of rules to renegotiate them” (p. 79). Given this observation, the wise counsellor should advise premarital couples not to become involved in placating, blaming, computing, or distracting (Parrott and Parrot, 2006, pp. 81-82). In this writer’s opinion, empathetic listening encapsulates the nuances of warmth, genuineness, and empathy to which Parrot and Parrott allude.

In conclusion, this writer contends that numerous “hot spots” in the communication process can be circumvented through what Worthington (2005) terms pre-counselling interventions. (p. 75). Moreover, the author unveils tremendous nuggets in the form of the acrostic:

LOVE. It communicates the following communication guidelines: “L= Listen and Repeat, O = Observe Your Effects, V = Value Your Partner, E = Evaluate Both Partners’ Interests” (p. 79).

These guidelines can be extremely effective in the illumination of what this writer prefers to term “dark spots.”


Can you say what you mean and understand what you hear? (2013) Retrieved April 09, 2013

Parrott, Les. & Parrott, Leslie. (2006). Saving your marriage before it starts. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Stewart, John. (2012). Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication. (11th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Worthington, Everett. L. (2005). Hope-focused marriage counseling: A guide to brief therapy. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic.