Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Sacrement of Marriage

I know I told all of you I'd kind of be writing about my wedding plans and such as I through it but I haven't really been given a big chance until now (aka after the 30 day challenge). 

This Saturday Kevin and I attended and completed our Pre-Cana class (if that's what you want to call it), and boy does it feel good to cross that, anything for that matter, off the list. Luckily for us we are both Catholic. I don't mean luckily because I believe Catholics are better, but it prevents him or  I having to jump through quite a few hoops to get married in the church. Also, let me say that I am not the best Catholic, I don't believe in everything they preach (I'm sure more religions are like that) but overall I'm not a super religious person. I don't attend church each week, I don't pray everyday, and honestly I don't always live up to the Catholic moral code (I do try to most of the time). However, this Saturday wasn't nearly as bad (aka boring) as I thought it'd be. The class was 9-4 with a little engagement ceremony at the end where we got the certificates to let the priest know we had completed the class. 

I was happy to see that those presenting were not people employed by the church (father, bishop, nun, etc) but normal couples who had volunteered through their diocese to help out and present the topics. I was also pleasantly surprised as to how open they were regarding "inter-faith" marriage (one Catholic one non Catholic). Not sure why I had it in my head that most inter-faith marriages were thought of as a no-no in the church. I suppose they are not necessarily condoned but at least it's do-able as the other non Catholic to get through the process without getting a bunch of grief about it. 

The couples presented 4 topics: 
1) Communication 
          - I think this was one of the most obvious of topics. When you get married you definitely need to be able to communicate any kind of feelings that you may be having to your significant other. An exercise that we ended up finding useful (which is really the only one we learned lol) was to sit facing one another, think of something that's bothering you (in general not necessarily about your hubby/wifey) and communicate that problem and how you'd like to resolve it by only using "I" statements - I feel, I want, I can, I have, etc. You speak for 3 minutes (using only the "I" statements) to the other person without them saying a word. Yep, that's right not one word! Then after your 3 minutes they relay back to you what you said in a minute. It helps relieve feelings and it also helps the other person to work on their listening skills and you can work together to come up with a solution (if there is one). Communication is something that I know I need to work on as I am not the best an expressing certain feelings I'm having. I think I learned the most about myself and what I need to work on during this section of the class.

2) Family of Origin
          - it really does matter where you come from. I've always been one to know this but I suppose I never thought of it in the sense of how it could affect a marriage. The kind of place you were brought up in can really shape you as a person (are you affectionate or not so much, introverted/extroverted, etc). An example that was brought up was that the guy's (of the couple presenting the topic) family liked to drink whenever they had any kind of get together (not alcoholics they just didn't need a special occasion for a beer or two) while the woman's family never drank except on holidays. It was something they both had to get use to regarding each others families and really one another and their outlook on drinking.  It also brought up the subject of family traditions and how we compromise/continue to carry on those traditions with one another. How you were raised will also affect how you raise your family. 

3) Decision Making 
        - again I think this is obvious but I guess for all people it's not.  The couple that presented this was a good one as they were older (70's I'd say). They were both on their second marriage as both of their first spouses had past away at a younger age. So really a lot of decisions have been made by them as a couple and as individuals. As Kevin and I have been together for quite some time now and are living together a lot of the decision making has been made mutually for awhile. However, a good point that was brought up that I suppose most people wouldn't think about is that you do have to come up with the plan before you can talk to the other person. I'm not saying make plans, I'm saying you have to think out the plan in your head and THEN discuss with your partner. I guess I was always one to think that before you plan you need to have the initially do you want to do this, have this, etc discussion. 

4) Spirituality/Sacrament of Marriage
        - this was actually the first topic we had and honestly it kind of threw me for a loop. Growing up Catholic Kev and I both have known for a very very long time that marriage is a sacred unity.  It's just always been in the list and it's always been something that we both have held in a high regard. We all understand that marriage is important, but why? On the worksheet we had to complete there were some questions that just floored me and made me wonder if anyone would really answer the opposite way as what everyone else did. As an example on the list there were two different questions 1) As marriage is a sacred unity one of the elements is permanence. How do you intend on bringing permanence into your marriage? 2) Another element of marriage is fidelity. How do you intend to bring and keep fidelity in your marriage? Really! I mean isn't that the point of marriage is to permanently be with someone? Do you think people every answer is I don't blame to make this permanent or I'll probably end up cheating (in so many words). Doubt it, but those are kind of silly questions to ask, not that they aren't important but come on.

I'd have to say that through all the topics Kevin and I realized how much we'd already talked about many of the things brought up. We've recognized and accepted the areas that we need to work on and have committed to making changes for the better. Obviously this is a great thing for us. We learned a lot and both know we have a lot more to learn along the way as well. I think when we walked out of the class and back out into reality we became more confident as a couple.

1 comment:

Mary Brown said...

This is kind of a funny. When I ws married to my first husband we were one the "those" couples. The area that we presented to the couples was "Communication, Family Life and Children". Funny because we were the worst communicaters EVER!! We actually did this for about 15 years.

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