Post # 1
Aside from meeting with your officiant a few weeks or months before that wedding, how many of you are attending counseling sessions that are 6 weeks (once a week) or more? Our church offeres free counseling and has us read and complete a work book. Has anyone ever gone throught this?
Post # 3
My fiance and I went to a group premarital counseling session for like 5 weeks. Then we also did one on one premarital counseling.
The group one was pretty enlightening. My parents were never married so I had no idea what marriage looked like. I’m glad I went to it.
Post # 4
We were required to do 3 hourly sessions (plus more if we chose to) to have our wedding blessed by our pastor, but since DH is military, we had a very long session, like 2 hours. But just one. I didn’t really get much out of it, but we have a slew of paperwork and notes to refer to should we ever decide to open up a workbook. Honestly, for us, it wasn’t anything new or enlightening for us. He discussed things with us that we’d already discussed years ago. I wish I could say we had a really great experience with it, but we were both relatively “eh” about the whole thing. He’s a nice guy, I really liked him and he was very friendly and chatty. It just wasn’t for us I guess.
Post # 5
My Fiance both come from families that have had lasting marrieages. My Mom passed away 7 years ago in May and I am proud to say that I use my parents as role models as does my FI. However, both of us have been married before. We are both divorced and our ex’s have since moved on.
This time around he and I want to make sure that we are doing things the way God has planned as we both were not looking for that when we married in the past. We want to do what we can to ensure that He is the center. Unfortunately, we know how distructive it is to NOT have Him be the center of our marraiges.
God has given us a second chance to make things right!
Post # 6
What branch of the military is your honey in? Mine is in the USMC.
I’m sorry you didn’t get much out of it. My FI and I have been talking about it because of past experiences. We also want someone to give us insight on what God expects from us and our marriage. Our church has group functions were food is served and usually a book is a topic of discussion.
Post # 7
@MexicanMami, DH is Army, but he’s getting out soon. Yippee!
Yeah, i was really hoping we’d have some enlightening moment about the whole thing (i really wanted to, despite all the horror stories i heard from friends about their church being too intense) and yes, we got some great paperwork about it, but in general, we felt that our communication skills were so good after everything we’d been through (deployment, years LDR, etc), there wasn’t a base we hadn’t covered or a stone unturned. Basically our pastor told us to just keep doing what we were doing, because it was working for us and he felt like we clicked well. We thoguht the test he gave us was interesting. We scored just about where we thought we would regarding all the topics and then he talked about some potential pitfalls we could face (for instance, i’m more of a social butterfly than he is, and he said that that can cause a strain) so we’d talk about that, but honestly it wasn’t anything new to us. Then again, it was only a 2hour session so it’s not like we got into anything nitty gritty. Hopefully your church leader will be able to give you some good information and lead you to some good verses so you can dig in, pray about it, and figure out how to tackle your marriage in regards to God.
It sounds like yours is more of a fun, open-ended group session, though which would have been a neat experience in hindsight.
Post # 8
We did premarital counseling for… (stopping to count them up…) almost 18 months out of the 3 years we dated. Heh, yeah. 🙂 Both of us come from some interesting family backgrounds (parents on both sides were victims/witnesses of family abuse, alcoholism, mental problems), and my FIL is a counseling pyschologist (not our counselor though, that would have been weird), so it made sense to us.
We didn’t work through a book, but we did exercises like genograms (basically a family tree with more dirty detail, like “Aunt Hattie was an alcoholic, Grandpa Joe had a mistress”, intending to show what sort of patterns we might have to overcome in our marriage), practicing communication and active listening techniques, practicing anger and emotional management techniques, talked through individual hurts from our past that affected the way we were treating each other, talked about and worked through the difference between dependent/co-dependent/interdependent relationships, etc. It was AMAZING. I loved it, and almost every session we left with a deeper understanding of each other. Even the sessions when we didn’t talk about a lot of important relationship stuff, we just hung out with our counselor, talking and sharing and learning from him and his 30+ year marriage to his amazing wife.
I once talked to a recently engaged acquaintance about our experiences, and she said, “Oh, FI and I don’t need counseling, it’s not like we have PROBLEMS” in this really self-righteous tone, seeming to imply that you had to be on the point of breaking up to go see a counselor. I don’t think that’s true at all. Counseling can be an amazing PREVENTATIVE to problems, just like you go to the doctor for a yearly physical or you go get the oil changed and tires rotated on your car. You don’t wait until you’re in the last stages of a deathly illness or your engine has ground dry before getting that kind of help. Or if you do, I’m not sure that that makes you the stronger person. 🙂
Post # 9
We did it, it was great, I’m so glad we did, we get along very well but it was nice to add some wisdom and other tools to use when something does come up.
Our Pastor went through the basic marriage structure, and the roles husbands and wives play in the marriage. It was so good to hear it outlined exactly what God intended marriage to be.
@December some people just don’t get that it’s a preventative, not always a treatment. Our pastor actually told us, your probably not paying much attention to me since your all love sick, but my sessions have a lifetime guarantee so in two years when you really need this stuff, make sure you come back.. haha I just thought it was funny, but we did get a lot out of it, and i’m sorry that friend didn’t “get it”
Post # 10
My fiance and I are required to attend 3 weekend counseling sessions. We also have to take a compatibility test. :S Im a little nervous leading up to that. I think the counseling sessions will be good for us if not only to to learn more about our church and become more comfortable with our pastor.
Another thing were doing is going through the book 1000 Questions for couples… I would HIGHLY recommend it! There are, as the title suggests, 1000 questions and they range from funny and harmless to more serious items. It has been a fantastic growing experience. I also think this book will help us prepare for that compatibility test. We have already learned so much (even though we have been together 4 years already)…we keep learning more!
Post # 11
O another suggestion, read together Love and Respect, I posted about this under the Books section if anyone is interested.
Post # 12
We just started. 2 sessions of 2 hours down and 2 more sessions to go. The workbook is helping us clarify expectations and unspoken rules and go, ‘really?’ but most of the stuff we know. The best part is that our counselor will be our pastor for the wedding and he will be able to personalize the wedding. I’m excited to see the pastor/counselor and his wife each week and I know the support is genuine and they want the best for our marriage.
Post # 13
In Tennessee, if you have at least 9 hours of premarital counseling, they greatly discount your marriage license. The pastor that’s marrying us already requires some counseling, so we are going to go for the 9 hours. We’re planning on dividing it up into three 3-hour meetings. I’m a bit apprehensive he’s going to ask us “hot button” questions about our beliefs and sex life and things like that, but I’m looking at it as a way for us to grow together. We are going to have a “meeting” together to discuss how we are going to talk with him about different things together so we can always have a united front – that in and of itself is going to be a good way for us to bond!
Post # 14
- Wedding: January 2010 - Trinity Presbyterian Church/Harrison Opera House
At the PCA church we’re members of, we did pre-engagement counseling. I was ready to break up the mister at that point, I was really frustrated that our relationship didn’t seem to be going anywhere. I think that doing the pre-engagement counseling was really helpful for the mister. One week, we had to get input from our friends and family about whether or not we were ready for marriage. I think that getting that feedback was really important. Since we already did the pre-engagement counseling and read through “Holding Hands, Holding Hearts,” we’re doing an abbreviated pre-marital counseling. Our pastor too said it was a preventative measure and it was best to bring up things like children, money, future dreams, etc now, before we got married and realized we had to overcome huge incompatibilities. Overall, the sessions have been good. If we were doing long pre-marital counseling, they’d have us read the book, “When Sinners Say ‘I Do.'”
Post # 15
yup! I htink it’s absolutely necessary. Took a premarital class at church for 5 weeks, and have been meeting with the pastor a few times thereafter.
Post # 16
Haven’t done it yet, but planning to!<span style=”white-space: pre;”>