A gathering of ideas, rants, reflections leading up to the big day

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pre Marriage Counseling

Fi and I are being married by my Uncle John, a Presbyterian minister for over 40 years. It is such an honor to have him marry us. For one, he has participated in my parents and my siblings weddings. He also participated in his own children's weddings, and I am the last to get married of that generation. Secondly, Fi is not of a faith, however, he feels very comfortable with my Uncle John and his style. Uncle John did ask Fi and I to go through pre-marriage counseling if we wanted him to participate. So today we went to our first session.

I have been attending a Presbyterian church in town, and found a Pastor that is cool and that I like. Pastor Steve agreed to help us along with our counseling and any ceremony planning too. So today we met with Steve. Steve is cool and comfortable and I think Fi liked him well enough. We chit-chatted a bit and then got down to business. We took a test, we had to fill in bubbles and everything. We took a test from Prepare-Enrich to start with.

160 questions about finances, sexual issues, spirituality, family planning, our families, feelings, how we fight, how we make up...Fi and I both chuckled at the end because we haven't discussed finances. We have, but we have no plan for after we are married: joint accounts, separate? We haven't a clue. So at least the test pointed that out!

So Steve will mail in our tests and after a few weeks (ACT flash backs!) we'll get our results. We will go in to meet with Steve and discuss the test and how we "scored". Hopefully, if things are all good, we'll be done in a few sessions.

One thing I observed while taking the test is that how far Fi and I have come. There were a few "division of labor" questions regarding household chores and future parenting. Fi and I have been together for over 5 years and have lived together for 4. So we have already divided our labor. Fi does the kitchen, I clean the bathroom and vacuum and together we keep clutter down and do laundry. We split cooking evenly throughout the week. I coach on Tuesdays and have track on Wednesdays- he makes dinner. When Fi is in school, I pull a heavier load because his educational pursuits are important to me.

Same with the spirituality questions. I have faith. I'm not sure how to explain my views or beliefs beyond that. I have faith and I appreciate the sacred. Fi doesn't have faith and to his credit isn't false about it. We had a moment, maybe 3 years ago that will always stay in my memory. We were sitting on the back porch looking at the gorgeous sunset over the Catalina Mountain range which is our backyard. I said something like "looking at this makes me believe in a god, in a higher power" I was blown away by the beauty of it all. Fi looked at me, I mean really looked at me and said "you have faith. I do not". And that was it. That defined our differences. Since we were able to find our differences, we are able to come to an understanding. So when I came to a question about our faith differences, I knew we were okay.

Early this morning I read a post by my favorite non-wedding blogger Golightly about engagement envy. I had it bad. We've seen 6 couples meet, begin a relationship and get married in our 5 years together. I always wondered about how people viewed me. They always say when you know, you know. And we did. We knew that we are meant together for a long time. We never broke up and we continue to grow. But as I took this test this morning, evaluating us- our relationship...I learned that right now is our time to get married. We've figured out our chores, we figured out our faith differences. We know how to fight and lord have mercy we know how to love each other.

I walked into this pre-marriage counseling unsure and kind of annoyed by the task. But shoot, after 1 session, I am hooked. More importantly I am confident in my relationship and love for my Fi. That's a nice reminder 60 days before the wedding!

Note: A funny side note. After our session, I took my engagement ring and wedding ring in to be appraised (finally). So I came back to work with no ring on. My co-worker freaked out and yelled "after one session you broke it off!?!" :)


Blablover5 said...

Our minister actually let us take our little booklet home so we could talk about the answers on our own.

I liked that better than having them graded by someone. So we could then talk about what we didn't yet and what we had different ideas on.

It's also sad but we both read the same question wrong.

Linda said...

A friend of mine recommended the 5 love languages which I really liked. It really stressed the importance of learning your partner and listening to what they say and don't say.
I thought about pre-marriage counseling but decided against it since we're already seeing counselors for non-relationship related issues and felt that was enough counseling for now!

Emerson Beyer said...

SWEET! Pre-marriage counseling is awesome. Anything somebody can do to strengthen that foundation is a good thing. The test seems hilarious/ridiculous/fun, too!