When I was in college, I never dreamed this is where I would be in my thirties: running a pre-engagement and premarital coaching business with my husband. Wow! This was certainly not in my original plan. ~smile~
In college, I wrestled between social work, psychology, and marriage counseling; and, during my senior year, I entertained the idea of going to a different graduate school for a master’s degree in social work. However, it occurred to me that if I left Liberty University I may never see Eric again. We were just friends at the time but I was totally in love with him (and trying to deny it)!
Thankfully, I stayed where I was currently attending college, chose the Marriage and Family Therapy program, and finally got my man! ~wink~
Small Seeds Planted Along the Way…
Ever since I was a tot, I have been interested in relationships. I was heartened and intrigued by how my grandparents would give each other a morning bear hug before Granddaddy left for work. Another core memory is of my neighbor and mentor, Miss Betty, getting visibly excited when her husband’s van pulled into the garage.
“Yay! He’s home!”
It touched my little-girl-heart and I knew I wanted a marriage like that someday.
As I got a little older, ladies, even ladies my mother’s age, began talking to me about their problems and relationships. It made me feel on top of the world. Additionally, I developed a great interest in understanding why people act in the peculiar ways they do. I wanted to hear everyone’s life stories from beginning to end. In fact, one of my old co-workers said I drove her crazy analyzing songs from the radio – trying to figure out what the songs were about and what the artists were going through when they wrote them.
So, there you go. Relationships and psychology – my two loves. Marriage counseling seemed like the logical choice, right?
Enter Eric… stage right. We met during our junior year of college and I listened to him talk about his desire to work with premarital couples and how he believed God had called him to be a counselor when he was sixteen. I even remember him telling a friend he hoped God would send him a wife who also wanted to work with couples. I was sitting there thinking, “Um, hello?! I am right here. What is wrong with picking me?”
It took him a year or so, but he caught on eventually. ~wink~
A Different Path Emerges
After we began graduate school, we got married and continued studying for the next four years; but, it was not until our internship that we discovered the joy of working with premarital and pre-engaged couples. If the idea of pre-engagement counseling is new to you, you are in good company. It was new to us too – new and tremendous!
As we worked with dating couples who were seriously considering marriage, but not quite ready to get engaged, we realized this is the best time for couples to get pre-marriage counseling! Up until that point, we (along with most of the churched United States) thought premarital counseling was a post-engagement affair; but, thankfully, we soon discovered that couples in the pre-engagement stage are typically less stressed, less afraid of discovering problems, and more objective about their relationship than couples who are mere months from the altar. (Even in my experience, once Eric and I got engaged, there was no talking me out of it!)
(However, if you are already engaged, it is not too late! We still strongly recommend solid premarital counseling and work with engaged couples too! It is worth the time and investment!)
Thus, our internship thrust us into a different direction than we had planned and we are so glad it did! We have had the pleasure of working with so many amazing couples. We enjoy hearing each of their stories – how they met, fell in love, and came to this pre-marriage crossroads in life. Along with hearing their stories, we have been blessed with the chance to help them work through relationship challenges and grow emotionally. I love hearing clients say, “These sessions have helped us grow closer together!” Music to my ears. There is nothing like walking alongside a couple as they invest in their relationship, learn to communicate more effectively, and strengthen their bond.
It Is Time for Another Blessing Giveaway!!!
In honor of our Year of Blessings this year, and our love of helping couples, we are having another drawing! Between today and April 8th, if you send us a relationship question, we will enter you in a drawing to win a free one-hour coaching session with Eric and me! And even if you do not win the free session, we will still be happy to respond to your relationship question! Make sure to tell us you want to be entered into the drawing when you contact us to be eligible!
We look forward to hearing from you and please tell your friends to send in their questions as well so we can bless them too!
We want to wish you and your loved ones a very Happy Easter. May we always remember our Savior’s sacrifice and seek to honor Him with our lives all year.
What relationship questions do you have for us?