Make Premarital Counseling Mandatory — What Do You Think?

Mandatory Premarital Counseling -- What Do You Think? Lindsay Madden Photography

A group called Kids Against Divorce has lobbied for a bill called the Colorado Marriage Education Act to be added to the ballot. The bill would require couples to complete 10 hours of prewedding counseling in order to apply for a marriage license and would include tax breaks for couples who continue to attend counseling after they’re married, reports The Denver Post. If you’re marrying for the second or third time, the requirement would go up to 20 or 30 hours.

The proposal is obviously controversial. On the one hand, those against the bill wonder whether the state should be involved in a couple’s decision to get married. There’s also typically a fee associated with nonreligious prewedding courses, which may be an obstacle for some couples. But on the other hand, counseling often helps couples (even those not facing relationship problems) and can equip them with skills to work through issues once they’re married and bring up important conversations ahead of time. While some religious organizations require couples to go through counseling in order to be married in their house of worship, there are options outside of religious counseling, like a licensed therapist. Read some thoughts from other real brides, then take our poll on premarital counseling below!

“We did it and I am so happy we did.  It’s not like we really learned anything new about each other (we’ve been together for almost nine years), but it made us talk about things that we maybe wouldn’t have brought up before and really communicate about things we did and didn’t want.” – BMoreBride6

“We had our first session last night and it was great! Our counselor was awesome and my fiance went from super-stressed about it to totally relaxed and didn’t want to stop talking.” – debmonn

“No, we haven’t and won’t. I think that we have a good enough line of communication that we can just discuss what we need to. I do think it can be valuable though to open up those subjects to couples who may have a hard time doing it themselves.” – swhite2012

Want more? Of course you do!

> Is prewedding counseling for you?

> 5 conversations to have before marriage

> What your wedding fight says about your marriage

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  • 01/22/14 at 06:01

    Reblogged this on Livingstone Rose Weddings and commented:
    I think this should be a standard requirement. Statistics show that couples that invest in this are less likely to divorce.
    Also, if it’s a thing of cost, reduce the budget somewhere else and pay for it!
    I think a couple who is not willing to invest in their marriage that is meant for life, but pay thousands for a wedding day is not ready to be married.

  • 01/23/14 at 06:38

    I think pre-marriage counseling is great! It’s important to have an open forum of communication as a foundation for your relationship.

  • mbross3
    01/26/14 at 02:12

    I don’t think it should be required, but definitely encouraged (perhaps with a tax deduction for doing it at all–etc.). Adding one more way in which the state can have a say in someone’s marriage makes me uneasy. Obviously counseling is a good idea, but requiring it before marriage could make the entire option of marriage impossible for a mother who works say- two or three jobs to pay to keep her children fed and clothed. Where is she supposed to find the extra time or money to do go to counseling?

  • DeAnna
    01/26/14 at 09:22

    I’m catholic so we have these classes that we are required to go through before we can get married in the church. I personally think it’s a great idea which is why we’re doing it. But, I don’t think it’s anybody’s business to tell people they have to go to these classes. Sometimes things just don’t work out & no amount of hoursIn classes is going to change that.

  • steebsthegreat
    12/06/14 at 09:58

    My parents (and many other couples I know) went through premarital counseling as Catholics and still ended up getting divorced. Also, f you haven’t discussed major topics that are typically addressed, maybe you’re not ready to be getting married.
    And the fact that there’s a fee associated with non-religious courses is unfair to those couples that are choosing to have a secular wedding!

  • amps1989
    12/07/14 at 02:45

    I don’t think it should be required because I truly believe it is up to no one but the couple to decided if they should get married or not. However, I do believe that it should be strongly encouraged, especially outside of the church. I think there is a negative stigma about couples’ counseling and it deters young couples from taking advantage of it because they think there needs to be a “problem” in order to go.

    I do not believe my finance and I have “problems” but we go at least once a month and love it. When I mentioned it to him, it was a place we could go to talk about anything, even before we had problems, this way if we have problems in the future, we would already feel comfortable talking about it there. To be honest, our relationship has grown stronger and we have worked on a few things that although were not problems now, would eventually become problems.

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