Post # 1
We are two sessions into our premaritial counseling and frankly I am a little disappointed. I don’t think we are “digging deep” into anything. Just talked about waiting for intimacy, how to deal with separations, ideas on child rearing. Can anyone tell me what their sessions were like, how many they had, etc.? Maybe I am just expecting too much.
Post # 3
I’m not engaged yet, but we did PREPARE/ENRICH counseling because I’m certified in giving it and had a free scoring for becoming certified. I found it to be completely focused on the relationship: communication, values, how to argue well, family dynamics, etc. etc. You can find a facilitator by going to http://www.prepare-enrich.com and searching in your area. A lot of the facilitators are priests/pastors, and there are varying versions of the assessment based on the couples’ religion, relationship status, cohabitation or not, and children or not. The number of sessions varies and there are lots of exercises to do together. It was much much more in depth than what yours sounds like. If you have any questions about it, feel free to PM me. 🙂
Post # 4
I was disappointed in ours as well. I think it really depends on who is runing them, because I know of other people who got a lot out of their counseling. Not us, though. We talked a lot about listening skills, dealing with conflict, dividing chores, etc… all important things, but since FI and I have been together for over five years we had mostly figured out that stuff on our own already. We only met three times and it was conducted in a group setting, with the other couples that are getting married that month. The counseling is required by the church we are getting married in (not our home church), and they mandate that it must go through their own counselor.
Post # 5
Ours was fantastic! We met with an older couple (the parents of a good friend of ours) once a week, for 14 weeks (which is way longer than most pre-marital counseling programs go; we actually finished the last few sessions after the wedding). We went through a book (and accompanying videos) called “Intimate Encounters” by David and Teresa Ferguson (I’d highly recommend the book, even outside of a counseling setting). It covered a lot about our emotional needs and how we help meet each others needs (without demanding that our own needs be met), walking through our family history and how that affects our marriage, learning to practice cofession and forgiveness regularly, avoiding some of the typical marriage “games”, SEX (ha!), and a lot of other really deep yet really practical stuff. I’ve actually gone back and reread parts of it several times since we got married and still found it really practical and applicable.
Post # 6
Ours was great. We had, I think, 8 weeks of 2 hour group sessions and then a weekend retreat so we covered a wide variety of topics. It was taught by a deacon and his wife who helped start the program and have been married for some time but were young enough to still relate to us.
It’s part of a family ministry that has been going in the area for the past 8-9 years.
Post # 7
I haven’t had my premarital counseling yet. But if I were you, I would make a list of things you want to go over with your counselor. That way you can make the most out of it. It would’ve been nice for the counselor to think of things themselves that are invaluable in a marriage… but you’re not getting that 🙁 So next best thing, you decide for yourself and let the counselor explore those issues with you and your FI. 🙂
Post # 8
We did the Prepare to Last classes with our pastor/officiant and his wife. It was a group of about 8 couples, for 8 fridays in a row. Each person had a workbook and every week was a different topic. Communication, marriage expectations, intimacy, finances, etc.
Before the classes started, we had to take an evaluation online separately (under the same account) and it showed us sort of a compatibility (I hate using this term) map, but showed us where our differences were and what our strengths were as a couple.
I feel like we learned a LOT from the classes, and they were pretty enjoyable too! We also had an assigned “date night” every week from the program, and they were fun!
Post # 9
We had 5 one hour sessions. He covered a list of topics (communication, commitment, children, finances etc.) We basically sat and listened. He gave us the paper with the topics for the session on them so we could discuss things in detail when we got home. We were very disappointed. We thought there would be more interaction at the sessions.
Post # 10
We had one 4 hour session (normally it is split up but we got married at a church that is a plane ride away from where we live so in order to do their counselling, we had to do it in one long session).
Honestly, we really didn’t get anything out of it. DH and I had already had all of those “deep” discussions long before we got engaged. Our counselor actually said that we were one of the most prepared couples he’d seen in a long time and that he could tell we really deeply knew and understood each other and our differences in perception, emotion, communication, etc.
Post # 11
We have had 4 sessions of premarital counseling and I am loving it! During the week, we are go through the book/cds “Preparing for Marriage God’s Way” by Dr. Wayne Mack. We do the work on our own and then meet with our pastor once a week to chat about some of the topics. He asks us the tough questions but we feel completely comfortable with him. He encourages us, tells us funny stories about his marriage, and talks us through the tough issues.
The part that I find most rewarding is when FI and I go through the workbook. We sit down at a table and independantly do our workbook, once we are both finished, we talk about what we wrote down. It has forced us to talk about issues that go unsaid. It has helped us to grow together so much in just the first 4 sessions. We have 10 more and I’m really looking forward to it!
Post # 12
We had weekly sessions over 2 mths that followed the book Preparing For Marriage and it was GREAT!
My FI and I were already on the same page with alot of things but God really used the time to prepare and heal our hearts from past things to be more prepared for each other.
As we commited the time to going back to God and stay pure toward each other God totally redeemed parts of our hearts and since the Wedding it’s been clear that God has totally surrounded us and or hearts are more prepared for the things He has for us than ever before =)
Post # 13
Ours was great we filled out surveys online seprately and based on our answers the pastor outlined our differences in ideas and expectations for everything from houswork, to sex, parents, to having children, communication to concernes, work life, time alone time with friends hobbys.. Everything it was great and after going our communications skills got so much better and we are able to solve the few issues we have more efficiently and in a more loving way.