Issues in Premarital Counseling

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Steve has asked his girlfriend Nadia to marry him. They dated for a year after meeting in college at a fraternity party. Nadia has been sexually intimate with one other boyfriend, while Steve has had multiple partners. Both are American, but Nadia’s grandparents are originally from Egypt. Despite different religious backgrounds (Steve is Methodist; Nadia was raised as a Muslim) and cultures, they have a lot in common and both sets of parents are very happy about their engagement. As part of their preparation, they have begun premarital counseling. As Steve and Nadia’s counselor, you know that a discussion of sexuality will be important to their marital success.

-Describe the important aspects of sexuality (such as arousal and response, intimacy, contraception, etc.) that Nadia and Steve need to discuss. Remember to consider psychological/emotional as well as physical factors.
-Include a discussion of at least 1 theoretical perspective that you have learned about in this course (e.g., Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, Masters and Johnson’s work, etc.).
-What risk factors pertaining to health can you infer might be present from the scenario? What can the couple do to minimize these risks?
-How will you show cultural competence during your sessions (i.e., what cultural issues should you consider)?




Before entering into the union of marriage, it is important that Steve and Nadia discuss and understand the various issues regarding their sexuality. This is imperative if their marriage is to succeed.

To begin with the physical aspect of their sexuality, a discussion of Masters and Johnson research regarding the issue is in order. As Steve and Nadia’s counselor, I would not fail to remind them that Nadia’s arousal would be the same during sexual intercourse, regardless of whether it resulted from clitoral or viginal stimulation. As suggested by William Masters and Virginia Johnson, Steve and Nadia should be innovative in their search for sexual satisfaction after marriage and must not be held back by past beliefs – like for instance, the earlier held notion that vaginal lubrication was centered in the cervix only, hence the basis for the understanding that arousal was clitoris centered.

I would also be quick to explain to Steve and Nadia that love is highly emotional and like suggested by Robert Sternberg, it has three major components – intimacy, passion and commitment (Sternberg & Weis, 2006). Given the fact that Steve and Nadia have dated for a period of at least one year, it is rather obvious that the intimacy and passion part of love is highly and easily defined between them. However, as their counselor, I would insist that they strive to remain close and attached to each other to keep the force binding them strong. Regarding commitment, I would not hesitate to point out that it will necessarily be an uphill task. Given the fact that Nadia has been intimate with another boyfriend in the past – and that Steve has had several partners – both parties must make a firm decision to remain with each other and plan to accommodate each other in their future lives.

The fact that both Steve and Nadia have been sexually active in the past – with Steve having intercourse with several partners – implies an inherent health risk, especially regarding sexually transmitted diseases. It is important that the two individuals get tested to rule out such possibilities. To minimize such risks in future, Steve and Nadia must commit to themselves and must not be sexually intimate with any third parties. Failure to do so would not only pose health risks, but would also threaten the stability of their union…………………………