Bellevue Family Counseling, LLC


1601 116th Ave NE, Ste. 102

Bellevue, WA  98004

pre-marriage counseling

Up your odds to having a healthy marriage for the long haul

When two people shift from being acquaintances, friends and then to lovers and partners, an interesting dynamic begins to take place.  As we get to know someone, we share our deeper thoughts and emotion.  As the other person listens empathetically it feels good. We begin to build trust through that vulnerability, which is the recipe for building love.



As the love bond develops, we begin to believe that this other person can be there for us, we matter to them, and they care if we are hurting.  Life is good!  What also happens is that the relationship becomes a more integral part of our life, even our survival.   When there is an incident, a breach of some sort (a critical comment, a decision that leaves us feeling unimportant, or perhaps we cannot get our partner to engage with us) we believe the love bond is threatened and this becomes dangerous to us.  We may frantically look for proof that the other person may not care about us or we cannot depend on them.  We go on red alert and move into distress.

How we cope with these moments of distress, and some can be quite small, is how we contribute to the positive or negative cycle in a relationship.  Pre-marital counseling at Collaborative Couples & Family Counseling utilizes the idea that when two people are not feeling connected and/or they are fighting a lot, there is a negative cycle happening, fueled by the emotional stress or anxiety.  Pre marriage counseling is about learning each other’s “raw spots” that can launch emotions, fuel coping reactions and push our partner away.  Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy is ideally suited for this work because it deals with the underlying beliefs and emotions that drive the negative cycle.  Working through the process we can, often quickly, shift that cycle to a positive one and strengthen the secure connection between partners.