Imagine you’re happily coupled up in a wonderful relationship that you find satisfying and fulfilling. Now, imagine that your partner tells you they love you, but they’re no longer in love with you, or that they’re seeing someone else, or that they want out of the relationship. How might you feel? Worried? Upset? Devastated? Betrayed? Confused? Angry? Brokenhearted? Now, imagine that you’re naturally anxious or depressed but you are in a relationship with someone who can calm you in the storm, will have your back and support you, can bring you back from the edge, and can understand you even in the midst of your emotional pain. If relationship distress can have a negative impact on our emotional and physical health, can’t it be possible that secure relationships can have a positive impact on our emotional and physical health? Research and revolutionary science of romantic love is now suggesting that secure bonds are vital when we are struggling.
As a couples and marriage therapist, there is one area of the field that I wish was more popular: premarital counseling. I cringe a little bit inside every time I hear a couple say they don’t need pre-marital counseling because: “we never argue,” or “we get along so well,” or “we agree on almost everything,” or “we are just so happy already.” While that may be true, premarital counseling can be very effective in setting the tone for how resilient your marriage is when those tough waves come rolling in. Premarital counseling can help you prepare for your marriage, and not just the wedding. The wedding lasts for one day, but the marriage is intended to last forever.