1. Be honest with your counselor. Whether your counselor is a licensed professional or a pastor, always be honest with him/her. Its important the counselor understand your relationship to its fullest. If there are underlying concerns or issues, counseling is the time to meet them head on. You certainly don't want to allow deception to creep into your relationship. Always get things out and on the table.
2. Share your fears. Being nervous or scared is normal when you're deciding to marry someone and spend your life with him/her. I was not honest about my fears about marriage and becoming a wife. I was scared about the future and leaving my parents, but I didn't voice it. Looking back now I should have been more up front about the normal fears that I experienced.
3. Religion is a factor. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist, there are elements of these religions that set a foundation for marriage. I have met several couples and been friends with couples that are either different religions, or one cared more about religion than the other. Marriage is not the way to convert your significant other, and your faith affects everything from raising kids, to celebrating life events, to dealing with life circumstances. Talk about your faith and do what you can to incorporate those beliefs into your marriage. It will be stronger for it.
4. Budget. Budget. Budget. Money was a hard thing for me to talk about. When we went to pre-marital counseling, we hardly talked about finances, and I think my marriage suffered. If you are spender or a saver, if you have no debt or $40,000 of debt, talk about this in pre-marital counseling. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard my friends talk about their finances and be shocked when their spouse divulged the amount of debt they were in. Talk about this way before you walk down the aisle.
5. Let's talk about sex. Sex is still a taboo subject for some people and sharing it with your counselor or pastor can be very difficult. Don't skate through this subject just because its uncomfortable. Aside from finances, sex is the second primary cause of divorce. Sex affects everything and everything affect sex. If you are in a hurry to get between the sheets with your significant other, you are not alone. Lots of couples who have waited are excited to embark on this new exciting journey, but everyone's expectations are different. If you and your partner are sexually involved, then be honest about it, and talk about it just as you have everything else.
If you went through pre-marital counseling and have any tips, comment below!