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.
I was quite surprised by the course, I had heard from various friends that had done the course that it was quite rigid and old fashioned. We found the facilitators easy going and approachable and made the course enjoyable. We found ourselves talking about parts of the course and raised questions that we hadn’t talked about before. A and M Cavan
The facilitators were fantastic and I have to say my partner and I most definitely got the opportunity to discuss new topics/issues that we might not have even thought about prior to the course T Carlow
Myself and my partner where very doubtful about taking the course I we thought there wasn't anything we needed to learn but we left with a lot of knowledge and learned to deal with any of the modules we learned from how to deal with them if they ever happened in are marriage. J G Antrim
To be honest I was a little apprehensive about completing the course and had heard some negative comments before. However myself and my fiancé were very pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We feel we took a lot from it and it has totally cemented to us that we are doing the right thing – S. Antrim
So informative for people who want a Catholic Marriage. All the advice about communication/conflict management I will use in the future. I was so emotional, in a good way, when the prayer at the end of the course was said. Really makes you think about your journey in marriage and it’s not just a destination. I gained loads from this course as did my partner. Thank you. L. Kildare
Extremely important topics covered during the course. The workbooks and exercises were very meaningful and really helped us as a couple to realise where we had many common values but also highlighted topics where we had different opinions. The course showed us that communication was paramount for us to work as a couple and to have a strong marriage. We both really learned from the course and where delighted that we picked the Accord course .C Dublin.
I would highly recommend this course for any couple entering marriage. C. Kildare
As a couple we were very nervous going to this course but the course instructors made this a relaxed and enjoyable experience one which I think has brought us closer as a couple. Even though we have been together so long there was so many things we realised we never discussed and we so happy to see we were on the same page about a lot of things. I think this time spent at the course gave us time to reflect on us as people and as a couple and with new understanding the confidence to really talk about things and to see past the wedding day to the marriage and time we will spend together. A. Cavan
Overall me and my partner took more from the course than we thought we would cannot thank facilitators enough as they made the course fun. M Derry
We both were not sure about the course and really it was something that needed to be ticked off the list but in reality it turned out great, we really enjoyed it and it was great to see how aligned we were in terms of our thoughts on each topic! So all looks great for the future! A Wexford
Very helpful preparing for married lives brilliant feedback advised for each other as a married couple - C. Cork
I think it gives a stepping stone on your path to married life. Gives a different look on things. - D Tipperary
The course makes you really think about your relationship but for many it may be too late to change your mind as venue etc are booked, the course was really helpful but maybe it could be done in the early stages of relationships and commitment decisions. For me I found the course really helpful for myself and my partner. It reaffirmed that we were making the right decision and there were helpful tips to lead us to a successful and happy marriage - K Sligo
They made you feel relaxed from the start we were nervous but that all faded from the first 10 mins. M. Galway
I really enjoyed taking part in our previous marriage preparation. It was practical, useful and relevant to modern day living. The facilitators were friendly and approachable. I can honestly say we both learnt a lot and benefited from the course. H Dublin
The course took me by surprise really - wasn't sure what to be expecting - possibly was expecting it to be more religious - but was pleasantly surprised with the course content and found it delivered in a very easy to understand way - and realized there are so many more elements to marriages and that you need to give them all attention at different times - the course was presented in a fun manner with nothing forced onto you. C. Louth
It started a lot of conversations between me and my partner. We are together 17 years and would have talked about everything at some point but things change over time and our expectations had changed somewhat so it was good that we had the chance to talk through them C. Dublin
We are still reflecting upon what we gained at the weekend and we believe, we have a better understanding about our future together and are ready to embrace it. Thanks for providing us with food for thought. Everyone was fantastic and truly enlightened us in a positive way! W. E. Monaghan
I think this course is very worthwhile; it was good to have time out to just think about our relationship without interruption –G. Dublin