As I mentioned in my late Friday Finds post, Joey and I had a jam-packed weekend which included our marriage class. Since our schedules are so packed, we decided that the best thing for us would be to pick one that was only one or two days and squeeze it in. We found a perfect one that was Friday evening and all day Saturday at Our Lady of Grace in Scott Township. I was nervous as heck going into this class. I had heard so many horror stories about them. The topics include faith, finances, parenthood, natural family planning, and sex. Yep, you heard it right. Sex. I was not extremely excited about the prospect of talking about sex with a priest. I mean, how awkward can it get?!
I was surprised when we got there on Friday night. There were about 25 engaged couples. It couldn’t be too invasive with that large of a group there. In reality, the weekend was really nice. We had beer and wine on Friday night, an awesome breakfast and lunch provided on Saturday and it wasn’t intrusive at all. We discussed generalized questions within each topic with our small table of people and the married couple serving as the leader of the discussion.
Just because I am converting to Catholicism, doesn’t mean I push it or any religion on anyone. I do however, think that Joey and I benefited a lot from this weekend. Let me tell you why. Joey and I were forced to talk about certain topics such as communication, adjustment to marriage/living together, finances, parenthood, faith and sex. As we went through the questions asked during the small group discussions, I realized the importance of each topic.
Finances can be the main source of stress and divorce in the first years of marriage. Sit down and discuss how you can combine your financial techniques to make both of you happy. Parenthood is another topic that is extremely important to discuss prior to marriage. Despite what you would think, there are way too many people out there who have not discussed whether or not they want children. I am well aware of Joey’s plans to sell any little girls we have so we can be sure to have only boys. Just kidding
I don’t think I really need to go into more depth on the sex topic and luckily they sent us to a private spot to discuss this one on one rather than having to do it as part of a group. But the key was to make sure you have similar ideas on sex. Discuss it when you are not about to hop into bed. You’ll both have clearer minds.
Many couples are now considered inter-faith. Does it mean that you shouldn’t be together? Definitely not. It just means that you need to discuss how each other feels about their faith (or lack thereof) and be supportive of each other no matter what the differences. If one of you is Jewish and the other is Christian, find a way to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas together. And if you don’t know much about the other’s religion, take time to learn about it. You’ll have a better understanding of where the other stands.
When I look back at the discussions during this two-day experience, I can see the one topic that was recurring through any discussion. Communication. That really is the key to any successful marriage. If you can’t communicate with each other, you will never be able to truly resolve your problems.
The whole point of this post was not to tell you that you should or need to take part in a marriage class. It was to simply tell you that these are important topics and whether you do it in a class or sitting on your couch at home, you should discuss them. Let’s get that divorce rate down!