Pre-marital Counseling

I’m so glad you are considering pre-marital counseling to get your marriage off to a healthy start. You will receive the wisdom of 40 years of research on what creates masters and disasters of marriage. I provide counseling via Zoom. I do not see people in-person.

Why is pre-marital counseling so important? For marriages that end, half of them occur during the first seven years.

Second marriages have an even higher divorce rate than first-time marriages. Third-time marriages have an even higher divorce rate than second-time marriages. The average couples waits six years before seeking marriage counseling. That’s a shame. So much hurt could be prevented.

According to Dr. John Gottman, four behaviors predict a divorce with 93% accuracy at 5.6 years after the wedding. Watch my video: “Four Horsemen: Don’t let them ruin your marriage.”

Emotional withdrawal and angry attacks predict later divorcing – an average of 16.2 years after the wedding.

When you give yourselves the gift of pre-marital counseling, you will build a strong foundation from the very beginning so you can avoid the misery that leads to broken marriages.

Here’s a metaphor: If you want to dance well together, each of your needs to learn your individual steps, and you also need to know how to move gracefully together across the dance floor. You also need to know how to help your partner regain balance when he or she stumbles. When you both learn the same dance steps, your relationship gets so much easier.

Here’s the thing to keep in mind.

No matter what the topic you are discussing, you need to maintain a strong emotional bond, even during conflicts. Learning how to sustain this emotional bond is the most important thing you must learn as a couple. If you do not figure this out, trouble will brew.

Watch this TV interview with Benita Esposito to learn four things you should avoid in your marriage.

Read the following webpages.

10 Tips to Sustain Emotional Intimacy During Conflicts

Marriage Testimonials

Blog articles on marriage.

The Counseling Process

We’ll begin with an assessment from the Gottman Institute or from Prepare/Enrich.

It’s a research-based assessment that provides specific insights about your relationship. You’ll complete a questionnaire that covers 30 categories including communication, conflict resolution, finances, and spiritual beliefs, your personality, family of origin, and relationship dynamics. You’ll celebrate your strengths as a couple and use them to gain momentum in the growth areas of your relationship. It will also reveal blind spots.

You’ll receive a copy of the assessment which primes you to have meaningful conversations as you continue to grow as a couple and as individuals.

How effective is Prepare/Enrich?

With 4 Million Couples and Counting … research shows that taking the Prepare-Enrich assessment prior to marriage reduces your risk for divorce by 30%.

We will also use Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Research has proven these methods to be highly effective.

The number of counseling sessions depends on the your current skill level as a couple and how much you want to learn.

Recommended Reading

  • Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson. Based on Attachment Theory
  • Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, 2015 revision by Dr. John Gottman

Want to get started? 

Contact me, Benita A. Esposito, for a complimentary 10-minute Discovery Call.

I look forward to talking with you soon.

Warm regards,
Benita A. Esposito, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia and Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in North Carolina