For many, the holidays are a romantic time for giving or receiving a promise, a commitment, or a ring—anything that takes a relationship to the next level! According to a recent report from Statista’s Research Department, 19% of all proposals occur in December—more than double that of any other month (July comes in second at 9%). These same statistics show that about 41% of all proposals will occur around the holidays between November and February. In fact, Ross of the popular wedding planning site, theknot.com, refers to these four months as Proposal Season.
Decisions such as what kind of ring to purchase, when to set the date, where to have the wedding, how much to budget, and more may seem top priorities. Yet couples invest far more in those relatively brief months of planning which leads to a single day of celebration than they typically do in what everyone hopes will be a long and happy life together. Thus, consider one more investment before you start to plan for your wedding: Couples counseling.
Dollars and Sense
As most marriage and family therapists will tell you, the best time to start marriage counseling is before you pop the question or accept a proposal! Investing in couple’s therapy now will likely cost less than the engagement ring, let alone the wedding. Devoting time and resources in preparing for the life-long part of your partnership will help you to know one another and yourself more deeply as you prepare for life after the engagement, ceremony, and reception have passed. As Bruk reported of one recent survey, around 20 percent of all engagements will be broken prior to the wedding. Adding to the financial and psychological burdens this creates, research by Stow demonstrates how broken engagements of men and women more closely approximates that of divorce than it does to break off a dating relationship. Thus, pre-engagement counseling is ideal, yet seeking therapy at any point in a couple’s relationship can give great benefit.
What to Expect in Couples Counseling
Marriage and family therapists working with couples will often begin with an intake session to learn more about who you are, what you are looking for in and from your relationship, and what examples of marriage you have observed or experienced. Many therapists will recommend assessments, such as Gottman’s Relationship Checkup, PREPARE/ENRICH, or others. An individual session with each partner may also be helpful before counseling as a couple begins. The number of sessions to expect varies widely depending on the couple, their life experiences, the therapist, and the goals each partner sets.
At Emerge, we offer options to best meet your needs and budget—whether working with a licensed professional or a marriage and family intern supervised by one. Give us a call at 303-322-9000 to learn more!
Bruk, D. (2018, May 15). 20 percent of all weddings are called off—here’s why. Retrieved from https://bestlifeonline.com/engagements-called-off-break-up-stories/