Pre-marital counseling available to WT students


It takes months of planning, days of organizing, hours of budgeting and it all begins with a simple yes.


Many view the college years as those for hooking up, checking out or creeping on Facebook profiles, but for many students at West Texas A&M University and other campuses across the U.S., they are participating in something counter-cultural—saying I do while in college or shortly after graduation.


“I know that wherever life takes me, I will be happy with this guy,” Katie White, recent WT graduate, said. “We share the same dreams so I love coming home to talk to him.”


WT, in particular, harbors a special hope for newly engaged couples. Counseling services offers both pre-marital counseling sessions and a pre-marital seminar for engaged couples or couples seriously considering marriage.


“I think counseling is always going to sound weird to a newly engaged couple,” White said. “There is something about learning that even in the tough times, stick together, because as humans we are always changing. Who I was five years ago is not who I am now and counseling prepared me for that. That’s why people should go.”


The Great Start Pre-Martial Seminar is a Twogether in Texas Marriage Initiative for pre-marital counseling approved program, and upon successful completion of the eight hour course couples are eligible for waiving the marriage license fee.


“It [counseling] was the best decision because we were asked questions to discuss with each other that we hadn’t talked about,” White said. “This ranged from how we handle money, how many kids we would want, and mainly the deal breaker questions that would get us thinking ‘do I really want to marry this person?’”


Not all couples engaged at WT attend sessions offered by the university, but still participate in pre-marital counseling.

“Besides getting money off your marriage license, they also taught us how to see the other’s prospective,” Kari Hollis, senior Marketing major, said. “I recommend it and others would benefit from it. Marriage isn’t a one way street. You have to be selfless and be able to see things through the other person’s eyes.”


The seminar addresses topics like communication skills, affair-proofing a marriage, conflict resolution and increased relational intimacy.


“We learned in our sessions that not a lot of people have had those conversations until they get into sessions or a marriage,” Lauren Coffman, WT graduate, said. “I think these conversations are necessary to make sure you and your future life partner are on the same page, and to help avoid severe confrontation down the road. A free pre-marital session(s) can help bring up these questions, and start the conversation between an engaged couple. It will help students better their relationships, as well as raise awareness of possible future issues.”


Lauren said yes to her then fiancé, now new husband Gecovey Coffman, in Dallas, Texas on a trip to see Maroon 5 in concert. The two had been talking about marriage, and Lauren was suspicious of the trip in the first place, thinking a proposal might arise. Gecovey took her ring shopping the day after the concert to help conceal his proposal plan. He had already purchased a ring from a local jewelry store before he took Lauren to Dallas. The two had dinner and then walked around the hotel.


“We were walking outside and I stole his suit coat, since I had forgotten a jacket,” Lauren said. “Gecovey says he panicked because the ring was in his chest pocket. When we walked outside to leave, he asked me if I knew that you could see underneath the large lit ball on top of the building.”


When she walked over to look at what he was pointing out, Gecovey got down on one knee to propose.


“It was a very sweet and simple proposal, but perfect for us,” Lauren said. “He knew I loved being in the city and that I would want a place we could back to through the years and say this is where we started planning the rest of our lives together.”


Lauren and Gecovey decided to wait until after graduation to start planning a wedding, but some college students are married during their college years.


“I wouldn’t call one choice necessarily easier than the other,” Lauren said. “I think if a student was not holding a job during their secondary education that would be the “ideal” for wedding planning. However, I think holding a part time job & being enrolled in school or holding a full time job make for an equally difficult time crunch in the wedding world.”


Upcoming sessions for this semester will be held on March 7 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and for more details call (806) 651-2340.