Pre Couples Counseling

I STRONGLY encourage pre couples counseling.


As we go through our lives, often we grow in our consciousness, in our awareness of who we are, what we value, what we enjoy, etc…. Sometimes a lot of this is done through painful breakups and long painful relationships. To help you get started in a relationship, of course I invite you to come in for a few sessions to sort some final things out, but if that’s not what you’re ready for,  I do encourage you to look at these 12 super important considerations to make before you enter into a relationship. Here they are:

1)      When you are bickering, snipping, arguing, fighting BEFORE you enter into either living together, commitment or marriage. These events happen. And. They’re showing a difficulty in ability to deal with conflict, and often, there are underlying values that are being challenged (See Reason #6)

2)      When you’re still not sure about committing to them, you have some “sense,” whether a hunch, intuition or insight, that somethings “off” about committing to them. I’ve worked with men and women who’ve, through therapy, were able to look back and remember that they genuinely weren’t sure about the marriage.

3)      When you feel that you’re still not able to fully communicate with your partner. This includes talking about intimacy & sex. If you’re not able to talk with your partner about your dreams, your hopes, your aspirations, you’re probably not able to talk openly about your intimacy and sexual needs and desires. These are super important topics to be really clear about, not only with your partner, but with yourself.

4)      When your partner nips at what they consider to be your flaws or weak points,  or when your partner, or you, are sarcastic towards each other. Sarcasm is often described as a sense of humor, but when it’s aimed at your partner, those are like arrows that hurt with each hit. Sarcasm is often unexpressed anger.

5)      When there’s something about your partner that you just honestly don’t like, and that something is big enough that you honestly keep focusing on that, and it’s going to bug you for the rest of your life. This could be anything really, but it happens. Whatever it is, it’s about coming into acceptance of this aspect of your partner. If it’s SO big, then it’s time for you to consider talking with someone about it.

6)      When there’s a significant age different, cultural difference, spiritual differences.  These areas are HUGELY important in every relationship.. Age differences could be power/control differences, it could reveal differences in understands and cultures that may be too much to endure. Cultural and spiritual differences often reveal the deeper values that we have, the world views that we express. If these differ too greatly, there could be rocky roads ahead. If you and your partner share similar core values, the age, cultural, and spiritual differences can be worked through.

7)      When there’s been a pattern in your or their past relationships that is showing up NOW, in THIS relationship. This may be telling you that you or your partner (or both) have some unfinished business happening. A pattern, and I’m talking about a pattern that doesn’t work, that’s coming up again, may be giving you an opportunity to finish and take the learnings from the pattern. Patterns could be old unresolved issues from the family in which you grew up, and as long ago as that might have been, if the pattern is still there, there’s something to learn from here.

8)      When your partner, or you, has a history of past “serial” relationships, or, simply if your last LTR (long term relationship) didn’t work. A serial relationship could mean that I’m uncomfortable being with myself, that I’m not comfortable being alone, so much so, that I’ve got to be in relationship. This could have long term effects on the relationship.

9)      When both of you have a HUGE sexual charisma and energy together, but it’s uncontained, and while the sex is awesome, the communication in the rest of your relationship, if you’re really honest, sucks. A lot of people won’t talk about this, but, it’s real. There’s a significant opportunity here to see what this all means. Most importantly from a therapy perspective, sex shouldn’t be the foundation on which any intimate long term relationship should be built.

10)      When you or your partner is recently sober from drugs/alcohol/sex/other addictions, and you don’t have that/those issues. One of the issues here is the sensitivity to the needs of the other. If I’m just recently sober from sober from something, I’m going to be re-wiring my brain. I’ll be taking a fresh look at life and may be reevaluating my deeper values. When I’m doing that, I might find that my partner and I don’t share the same values.

11)      When you or your partner has a chronic disease and you, or they, don’t. If you haven’t discussed this, you’re relationship is being built on secrets, and that’s super unhealthy. This isn’t, in any way, a good way to start a relationship. Counseling or Therapy to talk about this, to bring this up, might be supportive of you, and for the relationship, to bring a deeper level of honesty into the relationship.

12)      When you, or your partner has certain sexual or other expectations about how a relationship should look, and you haven’t talked with each other about these expectations. Again, this stuff happens. From “We’re married now, let’s do it 3x/day,”  “Sweetie, did you know that I like to do XXX in bed?” or even “Oh, I don’t really like sex….” to “My partner should have dinner ready for me when I come home.” Without talking and knowing what your and your partner’s expectations of a relationship are, there could be rocky roads ahead, so talk about this stuff, or learn how to talk about it with a counselor or therapist.

13)     Ask yourself this question:  What do I WANT from this relationship? This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT question to ask yourself when getting into any relationship. Sometimes the best intended relationships only last a short time. Sometimes relationships last for some spiritual/metaphysical reason, and once that reason is done, the relationship ends. And sometimes with an intimate relationship that ends, begins an genuine friendship that will last a lifetime. Sometimes knowing the answers to the 12 points that I’ve listed above

This is a LOT of information. It can be a LOT to integrate or digest. So think about it, let it go, and know that Pre Couples Counseling can be just a few sessions to sort things out, especially if you only need some clarifications and some goal setting. If you and your partner have a little bit of a “higher conflict” going on, it might take little longer. Regardless, pre couple counseling is an investment in you and your relationship.

Jim Michael
424 235 0614