MIRI: Indian couples should consider pre-marital counselling to prepare them for a healthy and stable marriage.
According to teacher Vimala Devi, it is imperative for pre-marital counselling services, which are available in the Muslim and Christian communities, to be extended to the Indians to help couples have a smooth transition from courtship to married life.
She said pre-marital counselling was important because it provided a foundation for a stable marriage, which in turn produced mentally and emotionally healthy children.
“Indian couples mistakenly believe that they don’t need counselling before marriage and that conflict can be avoided. Simply put, pre-marital counselling can help Indian couples improve their relationships before marriage.
“Through pre-marital counselling, Indian couples can be encouraged to discuss a wide range of important topics related to marriage, such as finances, communication, beliefs and values, roles in marriage, affection and sex, children and parenting, family relationships, decision-making, dealing with anger and time spent together,” she said when presenting a paper at the Indian Cultural Symposium here.
In addition, Devi said pre-marital counselling services could help Indian couples to improve their ability to communicate, set realistic expectations for marriage and develop conflict resolution skills.
It could also help them establish a positive attitude about seeking help with their marriages down the road.
Unfortunately, she noted that Indian couples were not formally and profes- sionally prepared for the challenges of marriage and many of their problems stemmed from issues that were not discussed prior to the wedding.
“It’s a sad testimony to the lack of marriage preparation in the Indian community. When a couple announce their engagement, have we stopped to consider how much preparation and support they will need?”
Devi also called on the Indian community to consider pre-marital medical examination for various diseases and genetic risks.
She said this would be beneficial to both partners in a marriage and to the health of their offspring.
“In addition, the examination helps avoid the transmission of some diseases, especially hereditary problems. With the multitude of benefits offered through pre-marital counselling and screening, Indian couples in Sarawak should seriously consider accepting these services and live a well-balanced and successful married life,” she concluded.