The average American couple pulls out all the stops for their dream wedding. In fact, the average wedding cost in the United States hovers around a whopping $28,000 to $33,000. This includes the almost ceremonial splurging on high-quality, professionally-shot wedding photos, which alone can cost between $2,000 and $3,000. These figures clearly illustrate that when it comes to crafting a beautiful wedding day, most couples are willing to spare no expense.
Yet, when faced with the prospect of investing in couples therapy or marriage counseling — a measure that can ensure the health and longevity of the relationship — the same couples often balk at the idea, viewing it as an unnecessary luxury. Why this stark difference in attitudes?
Aesthetics Over Substance
There’s a curious trend that seems to pervade our collective approach to marriage: we’re often more concerned with how things appear on the outside, rather than how they function on the inside. Many couples are all too willing to invest thousands into one-time items like an engagement ring (which can cost an average of $5,500), a wedding dress (ranging between $1,000 to $2,000), or a grand reception. It’s all about creating a day that is outwardly perfect, even though these are just fleeting moments in the grand journey of marriage.
Yet, when it comes to ensuring the long-term health and happiness of the relationship — the internal workings of the marriage — many are reluctant to spend on something as vital as couples therapy. This therapy often involves working on important elements like improving communication, managing conflict, and fostering emotional intimacy — all of which contribute to a solid marital foundation. But more often than not, the value of these aspects is underestimated, if not outright ignored.
While the thrill and excitement of a wedding day — with its celebration, joy, and creation of lasting memories — are indeed important, we must ask ourselves: what about the joy of a lifetime spent together in harmony? What about the peace that comes from a relationship free from resentment? What about the bliss of being truly understood by your partner, and understanding them in return?
These are the gifts that couples therapy offers. But are they being appreciated as they should? Or are we prioritizing the aesthetics of marriage — the superficial, fleeting aspects — over the true substance of it? If so, it seems we may have our priorities backward.
The Ripple Effect of Couples Therapy
It’s important to remember that a marriage extends beyond the couple. It influences the family that they create and nurture together. Research suggests that children from high-conflict families are more likely to experience emotional problems than those from low-conflict families. Couples who participate in regular therapy not only benefit themselves but also foster a healthier environment for their children. In a sense, investing in couples therapy is an investment in your children’s emotional well-being, as well as your own.
The Bitter Pill of Couples Therapy
No doubt, couples therapy is a significant investment, but it’s an investment in your future, your emotional health, and your family’s happiness. The initial financial cost may be a hard pill to swallow, but compared to the cost of not investing — the potential of broken homes, emotional turmoil, even the harsh financial reality of divorce — it is a small price to pay.
The True Price of Love
As we move forward, we must start prioritizing the health of our relationships over the allure of a single day’s extravagance. After all, when all is said and done, it’s not about the cake, the dress, or the photos. It’s about the love, understanding, and mutual respect that you share with your partner. And that, in my professional and personal opinion, is truly priceless. Remember, a healthy, happy marriage is the most beautiful picture you can ever hope to capture.
Request a free consultation with Kairos to learn more about how we can help you achieve a healthy marriage, from the inside-out.