In the run up to marriage, naturally many couples get wrapped up in the excitement of planning the big day. However, it’s also wise to take some time beforehand to discuss each other’s expectations for a life together.
One way of doing this is by attending a marriage preparation course. The aim of a marriage preparation course is to give couples an opportunity to take time out from the hectic planning of the Wedding Day and focus on how things are between them, to affirm what is going well and to name the areas of their relationship that might need some attention.
What is discussed on the course?
The marriage preparation course highlights the core elements of relationships and concentrates on exploring these elements in the company of other couples preparing for marriage. The course offers practical information on how to achieve personal, couple and family goals.
The emphasis at all times is on the needs of the couples. The course is designed to allow couples the time to explore their own individual relationship, their understanding of the various elements that make up their unique partnership and to celebrate their particular commitment to each other. During the course couples enjoy an atmosphere that is respectful, confidential and fun. At no time will any couple or individual be placed in a situation that will cause embarrassment or distress.
Trained facilitators will introduce a variety of exercises which will help to open the door for further reflection, discussion and learning. Some examples are:
- Writing down personal aspirations for your married life and sharing them with each other privately. This can be anything from career hopes to expectations of being a parent or values you would like to pass on and instill in your children.
- Discussing opinions on topics you feel may lead to greater understanding in your relationship.
- Role-playing by the course facilitators of typical situations that often bring couples into conflict. By doing this, your facilitator can help you figure out ways to handle conflict and communicate more effectively.
Benefits of the course
Perhaps most importantly, this is an opportunity for couples to acknowledge what is good in their unique relationship and celebrate the journey of discovery which began when they first met. It is also a time to gain insight into potential conflict areas stemming from different viewpoints on important topics such as parenting, commitment and lifestyle. If such issues surface in the future, you’ll be better equipped with the knowledge and experience gained on the course to address them together as a couple more effectively.
In short, taking the time to attend a marriage preparation course displays your commitment to your partner and your marriage. It will provide you both with an opportunity to learn more about each other and will also give you additional skills and knowledge that can enhance your marriage.
ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care Service provides Marriage Preparation courses for couples getting married in the Catholic Church. Call us on 01-5053112 or visit our Marriage Preparation page for more information.