Marriage is a lifelong commitment to another person. It is often defined as both a physical and spiritual union of two people. You’re going into it with the purpose of growing with that person, settling down and raising children with them and spending the bulk of your remaining years with that person. It’s not something to be taken lightly. 

Some couples decide to get married because they believe in love in first sight. Others may feel the need to get married because they have a child on the way. Sometimes couples choose to get married after living with each other for years.

To get married in the Catholic Church in England it is recommended that couples participate in a Marriage Preparation course.

Here are a few of the benefits of marriage preparation classes: 

  1. They encourage couples to establish realistic timelines.
    One of the main advantages of taking a Catholic pre-marriage course is that it can help couples establish realistic timelines and goals for their life. It forces them to look at what they want to accomplish and how much time they should expect to allow for each goal to happen. Some couples want to have children right away but may not factor in their budget, which is especially important when they have wedding expenses and if they are buying a home or moving to a new area. 
  2. They help to identify and build conflict resolution skills.
    Most couples will get into arguments at one time or another. They can be about little things or big things. Sometimes people take disagreements personally and lash out at their partner. This can cause serious rifts in a relationship. At the Claretian Oasis the marriage preparation team seeks to help you reflect on your personal experiences of dealing with conflict encouraging you to identify tools and strategies to help you defuse problems and come up with mutually beneficial solutions. 
  3. They encourage couples to reflect on how they can communicate more effectively with each other.
    Communication is a critical part of any union. Many couples break up or wind up divorcing because of communication breakdowns. They learn how to give the other person time to say what’s on their mind and how to empathize. They are taught to avoid using defensive behaviour or gestures that can signal negativity or a lack of interest. These skills can help defuse arguments and help couples find plausible solutions to common problems. 
  4. They can help you focus on your relationship.
    One of the most important services our days offer is the opportunity they provide to focus on your relationship.  In midst of the preparation and all the practical arrangements that are involved in arranging a wedding it is easy to take each other for granted.
  5. It helps couples find their similarities and their differences.
    Many couples fall in love because they see something in their partner that they admire. They often find out that they have several things in common. They also eventually learn more about their differences. Some couples rush into marriage without really knowing much about their partner. Each activity gives couples time to find out more about each other. They get to share experiences and things that make them happy. The happier the couple is, the more they’ve usually found out that they have in common. It’s also important to learn about each other’s differences. Some differences can be stumbling blocks in a relationship. By learning about the things you like and don’t like about your partner before marriage, you can learn to cope with them and work on solutions to potential problems in advance.  Besides discussing hopes, goals and dreams, our sessions allow couples to discuss their expectations. These expectations can include things like household chores, plans for the future, finances, and family obligations. Getting these issues out in the open can help partners to better understand what they each think the other should do. It also gives them time to raise questions or concerns or propose ways to work together to achieve goals such as having children or buying their dream home. Talking things out helps couples to achieve their goals together and have realistic expectations for one another. 

These are just some of the many benefits that couples have experienced by attending a marriage preparation session. They give partners a realistic and optimistic view of their future. Couples learn to better understand and appreciate one another in a confidential setting. 

No relationship is ever going to be perfect. There will be good days, there will be great days, and there will be bad days. There are going to be days where you’re going to feel like throwing in the towel. There will be other days where you wonder why you even got married. 

Healthy relationships endure all that life throws at them. They are in it for the long haul. We hope that participation in our Marriage preparation day will help couples weather the inevitable storms and learn ways to strengthen their relationship over time. It can make a good relationship even better long before you say “I do.”

For information about our forthcoming Marriage preparation days and for making a booking click here.