On August 13 - 15, Frenchie and I were busy taking a marriage preparation course. This was put on through Catholic Family Services here in the city and a requirement for us to complete in order to get married in our church.
Frenchie groaned about going, but I think he actually enjoyed bits of it.
Our facilitators were a married couple going on 36 years of marriage. They have 5 children and were very real with us. They didn't at any point sugarcoat marriage and how hard it is. This was refreshing.
August 13, Evening "What you Bring To Your Marriage"
We went through Myths about marriage, Truths about marriage, and did a quiz on self-exploration in giving and receiving love. The questionnaire was filled out from how you like to receive love and how you think you partner prefers to receive love. Once you're done, you compare your answers. Frenchie and I were pretty close to knowing how the other wants to be loved.
We also filled out a Marriage Time Capsule. What is your vision of marriage in 1 year, 10 years and 30 years. We matched up pretty well with each other in how we saw our life in the future.
August 14, Morning: "Enhancing Your Relationship"
I think we both enjoyed this segment of the course a lot. It went through our different ways to communicate and how we deal with conflict. We also got to see the phases of marriage. This was a hard part to take but it was very enlightening. The phases of marriage aren't all bliss. There is conflict, there is difficult times and the point is that you work through it together, knowing there is something to work for.
August 14, Afternoon: "Financial Management"
We both found this part of the course incredibly boring and redundant. For us, we've been living together for 3 years and our finances are combined already. We both have a pretty good handle on the money thing, but I did see the point of this section being in the course. So many people have no idea how to save or what to do once they are both financially responsible together.
August 15, Afternoon: "Values and Blessings of Marriage"
There was no morning on the Sunday so we started just after lunch. This section would be what I call the "Catholic part" The rest of the course could be for anyone preparing for marriage. This focused in more on what Catholics believe about marriage. First we went through that marriage is a Sacrament, a covenant that reflects Gods promise to us.
One thing I found interesting was drawing a parallel between Jesus' approach to respect and how it should be applied in marriage. He was very firm on using "how can I help you?" and that is something we should use in marriage as well.
All in all it was a good weekend. Frenchie and I learned a little about each other, affirmed some things we already knew and had a good time together. I would highly recommend a marriage preparation course (religious or not) to anyone getting married. It was something everyone can learn from.