When people decide to get married, the primary focus in the relationship often becomes the wedding. There are so many details to think about—the venue, the guest list, the food, the wedding party, the dress and tux…it's practically a full-time job, especially if you're going big.
Planning a wedding can be so time-consuming that a lot of couples neglect to prepare for the more important thing—their actual marriage. Most people understand that marriage is a long-term commitment, but many people go into it without a solid understanding of what that commitment entails and without preparing their relationship for long-term success.
That's the impetus behind Jimmy Knowles' (aka "Jimmy on Relationships") viral take on pre-marital counseling. Knowles' video titled "The Premarital Counseling I Wish I Had YEARS Ago" has been viewed over a million times on Facebook, and judging by the comments, he nailed what every soon-to-be-married couple needs to hear.
In the video, a couple is visiting with a counselor for premarital counseling. All three characters are played by Knowles himself, which is quite entertaining, but his counseling advice is spot on.
After asking the couple if they're excited about their wedding, the counselor says, "Yeah, it's meaningless. Your wedding—it has nothing to do with the success of your relationship. I'm not going to say it's a waste of $20,000, unless of course you get divorced a few years later, which 50% of people do. So your marriage is practically a coin flip."
That may sound cynical and pessimistic, but Jimmy the Counselor is anything but. His point is that people spent all this time and energy planning their wedding and almost no time preparing their relationship to last long-term. Then he goes into all kinds of reasons why relationships fail, from people not having healthy relationship models to toxic and problematic behaviors that they themselves might not even be aware of.
As he lays all of this out for the couple, they appear to be taken aback. And when he asks them what they're going to do that's different from people who end up divorced or in unfulfilling, unhealthy marriages, they respond that what's different about them is that they're "in love."
"Wrong," Jimmy responds. "Everyone's in love on their wedding day. Do you know why 50% of those marriages fail? Because they didn't know what love required of them—service, selflessness, sacrifice. Not one-sided. Mutual."
"They didn't have a plan to get things right," he adds. "And they didn't have a plan for what to do when things got hard and stressful, which they always do eventually."
Counselor Jimmy (who is not a real counselor, for the record) pulls no punches, but he delivers the reality of marriage in a way that both highlights what it requires and also what's really beautiful about it.
In less than 10 minutes, he manages to entertain while also dropping a crapton of solid truth and advice that would help anyone who is planning on getting married—or even people who are already married—strengthen their relationship.
People in the comments expressed their appreciation for the free marital counseling.
"As a child of divorce and someone who just celebrated our 20th anniversary, I wholeheartedly agree with every single word," shared one commenter. "Fantastic wisdom here. I can’t say we’ve never hurt each other in conflict, but we have the commitment and care to put in the work and grow through what we’re going through."
"This is really good advice," shared another. "We got married at 17, pregnant, no money with broken childhoods. I thought it was love that got us through all our traumas. But listening to this guy, I realize because we love each other, the talking, the intimacy, the respect and care we gave came naturally. Even now, after over 40 years together, we try not to take it for granted, we still show affection and support."
"This is how my marriage survived and thrived for 25 years, 1 week, and 6 days," shared another. "The day my husband passed away at age 49. A marriage really does take work, but it’s so worth it and knowing it’s a shared experience of love…"
You can find more relationship wisdom from Jimmy on YouTube,Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.