A Pre-Marital Assessment for Pre-Engaged, Engaged, & Newly Married Couples!
Because of the unique timeline of our dating relationship and engagement, Mikey and I were not able to go through months of premarital counseling before tying the knot. However, we both highly valued the intentionality of addressing and talking through important marital issues with a mentor figure. We wanted to find a way to do so that was somewhat formal – even if it didn’t quite look like traditional pre-marital counseling.
Mikey and I are immensely blessed to have parents who pour into us and give us wise council. Through many transparent conversations with our folks, it’s safe to say that Mikey and I had many unofficial pre-marital sessions. About a month before we got married, though, we took this a step further. With Mikey’s folks, we walked through a pre-marital assessment called SYMBIS – Save Your Marriage Before It Starts. His parents had used this pre-marital tool to mentor other young couples in the past, and I am SO grateful they did so with us as well. If you are pre-engaged, engaged, or newly married, I encourage you to check this out!
What Is SYMBIS, & How Does It Work?
According to the SYBMIS website, it’s “the world’s most practical pre-marriage assessment” that “helps create successful marriages before they start.” It begins with individual assessments that you take online. You and your significant other will take an assessment ON YOUR OWN to ensure accurate results, and this information will be combined to create a 15-page report. You’ll then have a facilitator walk you through the material so that you get the most out of your counseling process. You will have the option to either request a facilitator in your area, or you can ask an existing mentor to check out this video demo so that they can become a certified SYMBIS facilitator and lead you through it. Trust me, having a trained facilitator walk you through the material enriches the experience all the more.
What Kinds of Things Does the SYMBIS Report Include?
The report consists of 15-pages that has each partner’s results side by side. I don’t want to give everything away, but some of the content includes:
- Your individual attitudes toward marriage
- Your individual well-beings, including various “caution flags” to be aware of based on personal struggles, perceptions, etc.
- (For example, one of my caution flags was “unrealistic expectations.” Being a dreamer and a romantic, this makes sense for me!!)
- Your individual attitudes toward and experiences with finances
- Your expectations of marital roles
- Aspects of your personalities and how they relate/differ
- Various strengths you each bring to the relationship
- How you each view, give, and receive love in practical terms
- How to potentially deal with conflicts that arise
- Your individual spiritual lives
What Makes SYMBIS So Great?
SYMBIS cultivates important conversation and provides eye-opening insight. It masterfully combines a wide array of material applicable to attaining a healthy relationship. Not only did Mikey and I walk through SYMBIS before getting married, but we now have the ability to pull our packets out any time and look back on all we learned.
We did exactly that about five months into our marriage. Flipping through page after page, we laughed reading potential conflicts that turned out to be all-too accurate… We were also reminded of some really neat ways to continually cherish one another based on our unique personalities. We loved looking through our packets together once again, and will continually do so throughout our marriage. That’s one of the beautiful things about SYMBIS – you can tuck it away for months or years at a time, but it will always be there when you need a little reminder or when you simply want to reminisce.
What’s My Biggest Take-Away?
As I’ve said in a previous blog, love is a choice. You can surely choose to love someone no matter what the results of any compatibility test are. However, I believe compatibility is more important than many realize nowadays when choosing to do life with another person. This pre-marital counseling tool is not a perfect assessment by any means, but it provides a strategic, concise way of delving into some of the crucial aspects of compatibility.
SYMBIS has so much to offer to any couple who longs to grow and understand one another better. Eight months into our marriage, Mikey and I are seeing the ways in which this assessment provided accurate and helpful insight. I would recommend SYMBIS to anyone who is dating seriously, engaged, or newly married – I promise you won’t regret it! You can save your marriage before it starts, and you can save it after it starts too.