Premarital counseling leads to insights

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Talking to your pastor or priest about married life can be awkward, especially when it comes to discussing sex. But in my experience, premarital counseling can be an extremely refreshing experience and arguably one of the best things for a relationship.

During every counseling session, my fiancée and I learned something new and interesting about each other. New discoveries are not a regular occurrence after four years of dating and a year-long engagement. This experience reignited the sense of excitement we shared in the beginning of our relationship — what she calls “the tinglies.”

Something we learned is that marriage cannot survive on “the tinglies” or even true, unconditional love.

A relationship founded on love alone is likely doomed to fail, but a relationship founded on trust will last … well, ‘til death do we part.

Here’s why.

It’s true love can be unconditional. No matter what my fiancée does, I’m going to love her. At this point, my unconditional love for her is (strangely) beyond my control.

Trust, however, is extremely conditional. If the one you love decides to lie, cheat or steal, trust is lost. When one person damages the partner’s trust beyond repair, the couple will probably split.

Though the couple might no longer trust each other, the love is unconditional — and that’s why it hurts.

The loss of trust does not have to be caused by cheating, it can be as trivial as lying about minor issues over a period of time or not keeping promises.

We learned about a variety of other issues, including children, church life, money and careers.

Thanks to counseling, we have insight into our future married life and have an idea of what to expect. Despite my hesitance to go, in the end the experience was rewarding, valuable and surprisingly fun.

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