Engaged Couples Rarely Discuss Sex, Finances Or Other Issues Before Wedding

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In the euphoria of engagement and hubbub of wedding planning, brides and grooms avoid authentic conversations about the issues that eventually lead to almost half of all marriages ending in divorce.

The estimated 2.3 million pairs of American brides and grooms who will wed this year will spend, on average, $20,000 on their ceremonies and receptions -- a large expenditure to create a memorable and festive event that will last for only five hours. Few couples, approximately three in 10, will participate in any form of premarital education. According to Ted Beasley, founder of YourPreMaritalCounseling.com, a few open and simple conversations between the bride and groom about difficult subjects can increase their chances of not becoming a divorce statistic.

A review of 23 longitudinal studies found that premarital counseling reduces the risk of divorce by 31 percent. Marriage preparation, whether it is in the form of counseling with a therapist or clergy member or simply in the form of the bride and groom reading a book together, creates the most important habit of a successful marriage: communication. "Engagement is actually the perfect time to talk about all of the hard subjects. You're already committed to the marriage. There are obviously no deal-breakers, so why not be honest about some of your areas of disagreement?" commented Beasley.

Over the past 15 years, Beasley has officiated over 100 weddings and counseled thousands of couples with relationship challenges. "You would be surprised how little conversation has taken place between these two people who are about to make the biggest promise of their lives," said Beasley. "They rarely feel comfortable airing their concerns about personality differences. They have not communicated their sexual expectations. And the ultimate taboo is money. Few couples agree in advance on a budget or even who will keep the books."

Many couples are either too stressed or too optimistic to make time for marriage preparation. There is not the requisite pain in their relationship which drives so many married couples to a therapist. Miquele Dunkeley, a graduate of Beasley's premarital counseling, was surprised at how unprepared she and her husband, Mark, were for marriage. "You spend countless hours planning for the perfect wedding, the perfect memory. Ted helped prepare us for the day after the wedding, when the marriage began. My husband and I dated for 5 years before we got married and I never realized how many topics we had never discussed."

Most researchers agree that conversation alone is not enough to preserve a marriage. The most effective premarital programs are skills-based, teaching couples strategies for communication and teamwork around highly-charged relational issues.

YourPremaritalCounseling.com is the sole distributor of the Marriage Starters Audio Workshop in both CD box set or digital download MP3 formats. Ted Beasley's premarital counseling program is unique in that the audio format, combined with the accompanying workbooks, allows the engaged couple to participate in skills-based preparation in a private setting, away from the prying questions of a stranger.

If you'd like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Ted Beasley, please contact him at 512-779-0675.


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