What is SYMBIS?

SYMBIS–Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts–is a comprehensive assessment tool both for couples planning to marry as well as those in the first few years of marriage. Developed by the husband-wife team, Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, the assessment provides insight into a number of key components faced by every marriage. A report generated by the tool contains 6 distinct sections, some of them more extensive than others:

  1. About Us–a brief but helpful summary about you as individuals in a couple (1 page).
  2. Momentum–an aggregate summary of how you as a couple are doing on all aspects of the report (1 page).
  3. Mindset–a measure of your individual attitudes toward marriage (1 page).
  4. Wellbeing–an exploration of your psychological and emotional health along with possible caution flags (1 page).
  5. Context–a look at the proverbial “baggage” each person is bringing into the relationship, specifically social support, finances and role expectations (3-4 pages).
  6. Dynamics–the most extensive portion of the report exploring your two distinct personalities and how they interact in the areas of Love and Sex, Attitudes, Communication, Bridging the Gender Gap, Conflict, and Spirituality (8 pages).


Here’s what we know for sure: 87% of young adults plan on being married eventually and 82% expect to be married for life. Did you catch that? Almost all young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 not only aspire to eventually be married, they plan on it.

And, perhaps more striking – in the face of a staggering divorce rate that most young adults have witnessed up close and personal– most still believe that when they marry, it will be for life.

Perhaps that’s why the pre-marriage population is so motivated. More couples want pre-marriage education than ever – and with good reason. It is “associated with higher levels of marital satisfaction, lower levels of destructive conflicts and higher levels of commitment.”

Here are a few more facts:

  • 76% of married couples say they wish they had pre-marriage education.
  • 86% of Americans over 18 say all couples considering marriage should get pre-marriage education.
  • Couples who do not receive pre-marriage education are more likely to see their problems as atypical and unsolvable.
  • 41% of divorced couples say lack of pre-marriage preparation contributed to their divorce.

So does pre-marriage counseling work? Absolutely. Research conclusively shows that couples who succeed gain the knowledge they need before they settle into destructive patterns that often lead to divorce. In fact, couples are 31% less likely to get divorced if they get some sort of pre-marriage training before they marry. Not only that, couples who participate in pre-marriage programs experience a 30% increase in marital success and fulfillment over those who do not participate.

Michael and I are certified SYMBIS facilitators and work together as a team to unpack the report with you bringing with us the advantage of both male and female, husband and wife perspectives. (We are also certified marriage mentors.) The SYMBIS Assessment serves as a catalyst for conversation turning each session together into a wonderful journey of discovery!


To learn more about SYMBIS Assessment and our facilitation process just use the brief form below to get in touch.