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Premarital Counseling

How much time and money are you investing into your upcoming marriage?

If you are like most people awaiting the big day, then you are already spending a lot of time and money planning for your wedding ceremony, your reception, and your new life as a married person. I am always amazed at how much money and time couples spend on the smallest details of their upcoming nuptials. According to a recent survey done by The Knot Inc., the average cost of a wedding was around $27,000. Keep in mind that these numbers do not include the cost of the honeymoon. Needless to say, the average couples are spending thousands of dollars on their weddings. The same survey revealed that the average bride spends an average of 11 hours per week planning the wedding three months before the wedding. That is roughly 132 hours spent planning a wedding and we all know that most couples start planning a wedding long before their wedding is three months away.

So now that we have discovered how much money and time couples are spending on the details of their wedding, how much money and time do couples spend on premarital counseling to ensure that their relationship will be a happy and satisfying one that will stand the test of time? The sad reality is that many couples are still foregoing premarital counseling altogether. When couples do attend premarital counseling, the cost is only a small fraction compared to the rest of the wedding expenses. As far as how much time couples spend on premarital counseling, it can range anywhere from 2-15 sessions or more depending on the program or how many issues need to be addressed.

Why are you deciding to get married?

Everyone has their own unique reasons for wanting to get married, but here some reasons that most couples have in common:

  1. They want to experience love and romance.
  2. They want a permanent and committed relationship.
  3. They want unconditional love- someone who will stick with them through the good times and the bad.
  4. They want to start a family (with or without children).
  5. They want stability (emotional, spiritual and/or financial).

Are you putting your time and money in the right place?

All five of the reasons listed above are related to the marital relationship, the emotional closeness, and the commitment of two individuals to each other. Notice that none of the five reasons are related to the wedding or the ceremony itself. The wedding ceremony can be part of what draws people to want to get married, but it is usually not one of the main reasons. My point is that most couples are spending an incredible amount of time and money on the wedding ceremony and very little time and money, if any, on their relationship. After all, isn't that the most significant part of marriage ?

Most likely you already know that on average, 50% of marriages end in divorce in the United States. When you decided to start planning a wedding, you were hoping that the impending marriage would last a lifetime and not end in divorce. So why not spend more time and money on making sure that divorce will not occur in your marriage? Why not take some steps to ensure security and longevity of your upcoming marriage to the most important person in your life?

Premarital counseling can help you to protect your lifelong investment.

If you are preparing to get married, then you owe it to yourself to spend some time with your significant other in premarital counseling. Comprehensive research on the effectiveness of premarital counseling has shown that couples who go through premarital counseling gain a 30% increase in overall relationship quality and interpersonal skills (Carroll & Doherty, 2003). The same study also showed that the positive effects of premarital counseling can happen immediately within the relationship.

Have you ever known a couple that has been happily married for a long time? I am talking maybe 25 years or more. Those are the couples we admire. They always seem happy and content. Sometimes they barely speak because they already know what each other is thinking. When they do speak, they smile, laugh and reminisce about the good times they experienced together. If you want a marriage like the couples I am talking about, then you have to do what they do. You have to make your marriage a priority just like they do. Premarital counseling is the perfect way to get your marriage started off on the right track.

You have come to the right place.

My name is Nathan Comerford and I have helped many couples start their marriage off with a strong foundation. That foundation has enabled them to create and maintain a marriage that is deeply satisfying and that can stand the test of time. No relationship is perfect but, I show couples how to capitalize on their strengths and how to improve upon their growth areas. This allows couples to have prior knowledge of what obstacles they may be facing and how to overcome those obstacles.

I offer two different options for premarital counseling from which you can choose:

Option 1: PREPARE/ENRICH Premarital Counseling Program

I am certified as a PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator. PREPARE/ENRICH is the is the leading relationship inventory and skill-building program used nationally and internationally. It is built on a solid research foundation and significantly improves a couple's relationship. PREPARE/ENRICH is custom tailored to a couple's relationship and provides couple exercises to build their relationship skills. It is a customized couple assessment completed online that identifies a couple's strength and growth areas. It is one of the most widely used programs for premarital counseling and premarital education. It is also used for marriage counseling, marriage enrichment and dating couples considering engagement. Based on your assessment results, I will provide you with 4-8 feedback sessions in which I will help you to discuss and understand your results. Some couples choose to add more sessions in order to feel more prepared for marriage.

There are several goals of the PREPARE/ENRICH program. In order to achieve these goals there are exercises designed to help you improve your relationship skills. The program will help you to:

  • Explore strength & growth areas.
  • Strengthen communication skills.
  • Identify & manage major stressors.
  • Resolve conflict using the Ten Step Model.
  • Develop a more balanced relationship.
  • Explore family of origin issues.
  • Discuss financial planning & budgeting.
  • Establish personal, couple & family goals.
  • Understand & appreciate personality differences.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH, you can visit their website at:

Option 2: Customized couples approach for specific issues.

Some couples do not wish to take the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment and/or do not find it necessary to go through all of the agenda items of PREPARE/ENRICH. In this case, it is possible for couples to choose specific items that they know will be problematic in their relationship to discuss in premarital counseling. This approach may be beneficial for couples who feel they only have a few items they would like to discuss or come to resolution on before getting married.

If you want to protect your most important investment, your marriage, then call me to set up your first appointment. Remember, your relationship is the foundation and the most important part of your future marriage so make a commitment to start if off right.

Schedule an obligation-free discussion today. Complete the form on our contact page.

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