What I Do Not Tell Pre-married Couples

Love struck couples awash in neuro-chemicals triggering the pleasure centers of the brain are rarely in a place to think clearly about the future. So I have high praise for those who invest in pre-marital counseling. We discuss things like expectations, conflict resolution, communication, money, sex, fidelity, and grace.

C. S. Lewis, author of A Grief Observed

C. S. Lewis, author of A Grief Observed

But there’s one thing I do not mention, a quote from C. S. Lewis, “…bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love. It follows marriage as normally as marriage follows courtship” (A Grief Observed, page 58-59).

I coach pre-married couples on the stages of marriage but have never included bereavement as one of the stages. This is a deliberate choice on my part. What star struck couple needs to be reminded that, unless they die simultaneously, one of them will die first leaving the other alone, bereft, and bewildered?

I heard yesterday of an 80 year old man who finally retired and his wife died the following week. He’s now in the universal bereavement stage.

Why do I not include this sobering truth in my work with pre-married couples? Because I get energy seeing the joy of young (and old) lovers. I get no pleasure raining on parades. They will figure it out eventually.

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