Post # 1
FI and I dont attend church regularly because of our work schedules and although we both agree we have lots of faith, some of the christian tenants dont necessarily fall in line with what believe as far as societal issues. So when FMIL said that their church pastor would marry us we agreed as it would be better than standing in line at the courthouse for a civil ceremony.
FI is military and unfortunately is deploying and will be gone during our actual wedding date, however we will have a vow renewal when he comes back.
But I digress.
What I really want to know is what happens in a pre marital counseling session. The pastor agreed to marry us if we do a few sessions with him.
What sort of questions will they ask?
I love FI and we have been together for sometime. We are very compatible and we have excellent communication but I have never gone to pre marital counseling and dont know what to expect.
Post # 3
@TexasSpringBride: Our pastor was a friend of a friend, so he had already “heard” about our engagement. I don’t like to open up to strangers (I had never met this man) and I was a little iffy. We had taken a survey before the meeting, yada yada, it really wasn’t that bad. He asked us about ourselves, our familes, and how we grew up. Then we went onto the survey & questions that we didn’t agree on he asked us why we chose our answers, etc. It was really easy, I was still teary eyed when all the attention came to me about why I felt a certain way about something, etc. He really acted like a moderator & just asks the why of everything.
If you guys are good at talking things through, etc, it will be a breeze, especially if there aren’t any huge issues in the relationship, like money, etc. Don’t stress, it’s really not a big deal & it does open your eyes to some things!
Post # 4
DH and I had pre marital courses with my pastor (who married us), we worked through a preparing for marriage book. We talked about family, faith, past relationships, future goals, what marriage means to us, expectations etc..Basically, it is to help you to make sure you are getting married for the right reasons, you are ready and are going into it with reasonable expectations etc..
I think it is a great thing to go through, even for non christian couples, so many people have un realistic expectations going into marriage, and many people take the commitment too lightly.
We also had to meet with the Pastor of the church we were married in, he just wanted to make sure it was a Christian ceremony, and that we knew what we were doing.
Post # 5
This is a second marriage for FI and myself. Im late 30’s and he is early 40’s. Im a veteran and he is active duty. Our previous spouses didnt understand deployments and there were other issues. We have both been divorced for years before we met so its not as if we are running into this blind.
We hardly ever disagree about things. If we get into an argument its not really an argument because FI doesnt argue and I dont like tension. So usually we find a way to resolve the issue quickly.
Post # 6
We are going to 2 pre marital counseling sessions with my Pastor but she asked if we wanted it and we agreed it sounded like a good idea. I have no clue what to expect and figured it cant hurt us right? Its like 3 weeks before the wedding and at her house. Pastor is a life lomg family friend so I will share anything with her.
Post # 7
@TexasSpringBride: Ours was very easy and quick. We aren’t very active church-goers, I’m more religious than he is, and we definiately are socially liberal, which can be an issue in some churches. We did an online questionnaire each, and then our pastor recieved the answers and we reviewed them with us when we met. He skimmed on the areas my husband and I were totally compatable in (family, finance, etc) and just helped us discuss the differences that showed up in other categories without being judgmental whatsoever.
Now, it may definitely depend on your pastor. Ours was totally fine with switching the “man and wife” parts to “these people/individuals” due to our strong LGBT supportive stance and other things, so he was more liberal. However, none of my friends have had a bad or uncomfortable experience with the 2 or 3 pre-marital sessions they’ve done, either, so I’d say that you have nothing to be concerned about. You may even really enjoy it like we did! 🙂
ETA- as for Qs he asked, the online questions were the indepth (and confidential) ones. Ex- I am close to my family or not, I feel like we will be good parents or I have concerns about different parenting styles/wanting kids, relationships with in-laws, relationship boundaries, etc. Those were compared by the program for compatability (ex- if we both say we don’t regularly attend church, or we both are fine with me doing the budget, we got a high compatability score). The pastor just pointed out that I selected more religious than him, or that we both recognized some in-law relationship differences, and talked with us about if we’d discussed this before, gave us some insights, and moved on. As long as I was fine with being in church more than my hubby, and we both knew that, the pastor was good and we moved on in the discussion. Nothing forceful or judgmental, his goal was to help identify the various areas that a couple should discuss and to give us the tools to do that in a relationship-building manner. It was great and very relaxed.
Post # 8
It all depends on the pastor honestly! I know with ours he asked us questions like how we dealt with finances and what our choices would be with things like children etc. Mainly it was more to see about where we were in life and if we had the same goals, wants, and aspirations. 🙂
Post # 9
We had my DH’s military chaplin marry us. Counseling with him was awesome, I really liked it. He focused a lot on us understanding what it will really be like to be married to eachother forever and to live together (we did not live together/have combined finances yet/share a schedule).
What we do for eachother to show our love (he usually takes the laundry downstairs for me, I will let him drive everywhere we go cause he llikes to).
What habits we can not stand of people in general to make us aware that we may have to modify owr own habits or get used to others LOL)
What we expect to do during difficult times.
How we view finances.
What we see chores being divided (“his” chores and “her” chores)
What we see for ourselves as independents and as a couple in the future.
How we plan on raising children.
Some of our worries/fears in life.
There was a lot more, I just can’t think of it off the top of my head. He also gave us a few books to use throughout our years together. They have already been useful!
Post # 10
I had a non engaged ex co worker do this with her then boyfriend.
Regardless of how religious you are (I am not), I think it’s a good idea. I think it gives perspective to the marriage you are entering into.
Post # 11
@TexasSpringBride: I was just going to post about this! We started pre-marital counseling today and are really really excited about it. It’s an excellent opportunity to delve in to and discuss the different issues that come up in marriage from practical and biblical perspectives. Our classes will go on for about 2 months (every other week sessions) and we’re covering things like finances, family, work, worship, communication, submission & leadership, intimacy, children, lifestyles, expectations, and conflict resolution. We know a few couples who’ve gone through it and everyone said it was a huge resource in preparing for marriage.
That said, I strong recommend it and I hope that your pastor really delves in to all of those dynamics of marriage. I have a friend whose counseling was condensed in to just one 3 hour session and while it seemed beneficial at that moment, didn’t really help them down the line. If you find that this is the case with your pastor maybe discuss how you and your fiance can delve further in to serious marriage issues? I think there are some good resources out there. Best wishes to you!