An article I’d written for now-defunct Jane Magazine on Couples Therapy
“Couples therapy before you’re married?”
“Hell, no. You don’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”
“If it’s not easy at twenty-six, it won’t be easier at thirty-six because life only gets harder. If you have to see a therapist before marriage, you shouldn’t be getting married.”
“Yeah, but some religions make you–”
“That doesn’t count. Then, you’d only be going because it’s part of the pre-marital process. It’s not that you need it. The people who have to work their shit out with an objective, trained ear, however insightful, are doomed.”
It seemed a bit narrow-minded for my taste. I sat quietly thinking it over. Were early problems in need of professional help really a sign? Or is it just good business to exhume all your issues and sensitivities up front, so you both know exactly what you’re signing into? I suppose you could do that anyway without that strong need for therapy in place. And I guess that’s what it comes down to. If you’re in a situation where one of you can’t budge, where you’re at odds–where you want to be engaged and he’s not ready, or where he thinks a Vegas bachelor party weekend of hotel room lap dances and "champagne room services" is a given and all you want to do is withhold–then maybe it’s just a sign that everything else moving forward will be just as difficult. Just as stubborn. And you’ll deal with power struggles ’til death do you part.