For most couples getting married is one of the biggest decisions they will make in their lives. It is something that deserves and needs a lot of thought, a lot of discussion and when it comes to the wedding day, a lot of planning.
Each year thousands of couples get married in Ireland. The majority of these marriages begin with some form of official ceremony with Church ceremonies being the most popular. Despite recession and difficult financial times, couples continue to commit themselves to each other and the majority of them choose Sacramental marriage as their preference.
In 2007 ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Service engaged the services of Amarach Consulting to undertake a research project entitled ‘Married Life the First Seven Years’. A total of 712 couples were interviewed which represented 100 couples married from each year from year one to seven years.
Though all couples experience difficulties and conflicts at different points in their marriage, the evidence from the report suggests that strong and effective problem solving and coping mechanisms are in place to deal with these issues as they arise.
To summarise the key findings from the study:
- The vast majority of modern married couples understand marriage to be a lifelong commitment.
- Marriage is a sufficiently rewarding experience such that 9 out of 10 would recommend it to others.
- The traditional family arrangement of children being raised by both their natural parents is the one preferred by almost all married couples in the survey.
- Co-habitation is an increasingly common occurrence before marriage for couples, and is seen as a stage leading to marriage rather than as an alternative to marriage.
- The incidence of severe marital difficulties in the first 7 years of marriage is relatively rare amongst those couples surveyed.
ACCORD has been involved in preparing couples for marriage and in offering a counselling service for those experiencing difficulties in their marriage for over fifty years. We have a total of 55 locations throughout the island of Ireland (see map for details).
For those of you visiting our website who are planning to get married we offer you our sincere best wishes for the future. We hope that our website will assist you in your planning and that you will visit the site again in the future to avail of information and material which you may find interesting and valuable in support of your marriage.
The course was a very positive experience - after the two days I am even more excited to marry J and to embark upon the commitment we will make to each other. - O Dublin
It makes you stop and think about your marriage and family life, and realise there is more to it than all the flowers and frills. E. Cavan
Getting to talk to other couples going through the same as you while planning a wedding was a great experience for me. - J. Wexford .
The course was without a doubt inspirational. It reminded us of the reasons behind getting married and provided us with plenty food for thought about married life and what it will have to offer - both good and bad. I laughed a lot throughout the duration of the course & certainly took away a lot to guide us through. C. Derry
I was skeptical, but it was actually a great learning experience for us both - to discuss topics we wouldn't ordinarily discuss in a serious but yet relaxed environment. L – Galway
The course was informative and fun and enabled myself and my fiancé to discuss important topics whilst always enjoying. I enjoyed the activities and group work, the closing and prayer at the end was really beautiful. Cl – Co Offaly
Great credit to the facilitators, very practical course- and the day flew by. Nice to meet other people preparing too A Waterford
The presenters were excellent. They shared experiences from their own lives honestly and openly. J. Galway
I found that I actually gained something from it even though I am with my partner 15 yrs. I think no matter how long or short couples are together there is something to be gained. D. Dublin
Would recommend this course to anyone doing it on the following, we were made at ease as we did not know what to expect. It was very professional and confidential. Over all we found it very interesting. L G. Co Meath
Fun environment. Good mix between individual and group discussions. - A M. Co Clare
I would like to say it highlighted certain areas that we need to work on such as communication as I like my smartphone, but overall I found the course very informative and fun. - L. Cavan
The facilitators were friendly and approachable. Everyone was made feel at ease and there was no pressure on couples during the course. The course content was relevant to marriage and life after the big day. L. Donegal
Had heard a few mixed reviews from different couples. Not as daunting as we thought. The facilitators were lovely and made you feel at ease. Made us more aware of the Sacrament of Marriage and that it's just not all about the day itself. – C. Mayo
It was very detailed. It made myself and my partner think of things that we wouldn't normally think about. It was good to think about life after the big day. – A Co Louth
Just don't panic about going to the course it’s not boring it's really enjoyable and you meet lovely people. You don't have to speak aloud or anything - G. Co Louth
Nice to focus on each other and not just wedding planning for a change - S M Cork