Annie and I are taking the marriage preparation course at her church. It is spread over three Saturdays, with a session every other week. The first two sessions are from ten in the morning until four thirty in the afternoon with the final session going from ten in the morning until eight thirty at night.
There are speeches by many married couples, activities, and prompts for conversation. There is also some religious aspect to the whole experience, but not as much as I was expecting once I saw the format.
Originally, when I was told we would be doing marriage preparation, I thought it would be Annie and I sitting down with another couple and going over our lives, what we may face, and discussing a variety of topics over the course of the three Saturdays. I figured Father Cull would be part of the process here and there, and that between them, they’d impart wisdom based on their experiences and allow us to ask questions we couldn’t ask anywhere else. Almost like pre-marital counselling. This isn’t what I walked into.
Upon arriving, I noticed there were around eight other couples attending, and around four or so couples leading the talks and interactions. They gave us a book with activities, and have talked to us about a myriad of different marriage related topics. We’ve gone over finances, children, communication, time management, and relationships with family and friends. Most of the leader couples have been married for ten or more years, but they did have one couple in to talk about the earlier years of being married.
The only issue I have with the format is that I can’t really express myself. The instructors don’t ask people direct questions because they don’t want to embarrass anyone. They share freely of their own stories, but sometimes gloss over what I would consider the most important parts.
For example, telling us that you have had disagreements and were able to talk them out, doesn’t really tell us how you made it through. Digging deeper, you have to discuss compromise, controlling emotions, and compatible fighting styles (not Mortal Kombat).
I constantly ask questions, despite being one of two or three non-Catholics attending. I am trying to get as much out of this experience as possible. Annie and I are fortunate that we’ve discussed a great deal, but I want to make sure we aren’t missing anything, and from time to time, I can’t help but want others to learn the things that Annie and I already have.
I have to admit, one of the best things about the course is sitting down with other couples that are coming up on their weddings as well. There is one couple in particular that Annie and I have really hit it off with and I’m looking forward to hanging out with them soon outside of marriage prep.
As of today, Annie and I only have the long day left on Saturday, November 16th. We also still need to sit down with Father Cull to discuss a quick quiz we did before the course relating to our compatibility and our feelings on certain topics.
I am hoping it will go well, and I hope that my involvement, constant questions and sense of humour isn’t bothering the other couples stuck dealing with my involvement. I am also super grateful that it wasn’t a course loaded with religious fluff about praying our way through any and all situation.