Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We Passed!

If I have learned one thing throughout this wedding process, it is that things are complicated. K and I met, fell in love ten years later, decided to get married for a multitude of reasons, and figured that we’d have a beautiful wedding in a sun-filled church, per our values growing up and family tradition.

That last sentence is where things get tricky. K and I both come from a long line of south-side Catholics, which means we will have a lengthy, traditional wedding mass. To have said mass, we are required to go to a nine hour premarital counseling session. Yes, nine hours, which we completed last weekend.

Now, before you read further you should know that I don’t think it’s a bad idea to require counseling before marriage. With the divorce rate the way it is, and the amount of people that rush into marriage because they dream of having a wedding, I think it’s a good idea to have an outside party guide you through the tough questions. In fact, I was a little nervous as I pondered what “sticky” discussions we’d have to have before earning our PreCana diploma. K and I woke up bright and early, and arrived at a church in a nearby suburb ready to settle in for the next few hours.

The teacher in me is frustrated by how the day was actually conducted. We spent eight hours filling out worksheets, comparing our worksheets, and discussing what we wrote. EIGHT HOURS. They didn’t even give us lunch. We sat in a big room, with our workbooks, forty other couples, led by a “real life married couple” who didn’t seem to have any chemistry or interest in talking to each other, let alone us. While going through topics such as finance, children, communication, common goals, and housework, what truly surprised me about the whole experience was the number of couples who HADN’T discussed these issues ahead of time. There were couples having major discussions and seemed surprised by their partners’ answers. How can you get engaged, or be in a serious relationship without discussing these issues? Maybe I’m just old-fashioned.

Long story short, K and I reaffirmed that we’re on the same page, spent a lot of time sitting knee to knee without much to talk about (since we didn’t have any shocking revelations), and set some goals. We’re going to run a half marathon together soon, and I’m pretty sure Jesus called my lovely husband-elect to get me a puppy. 88 days until the wedding- now let’s not lose our index card that says we passed the class.

1 comment:

  1. Bob and I were married by a Methodist minister from the church my parents attend in Kansas City. She was awesome and we loved her. But that's beside the point. If we had lived in KC, we would have had to attend an 8-week course (2 hours every Wednesday) with all of the other to-be-weds in the congregation, where, I'm sure, we would have come to the same conclusions you did and would have been shocked and appalled by the number of couples who hadn't discussed such major issues as whether to have kids, or combine bank accounts, or move to Germany, or whatever. I've heard that's how it always goes.

    Since we didn't live there, we got to bypass the class and instead have 3 premarital counseling sessions with a bona fide clinical psychologist. We filled out some of those inventories and talked about our differences, but we both actually learned things, and it was kind of cool. I think that should always be an option.

    Sorry it was a boring day---and I'm even sorrier that they didn't feed you!---but congrats on passing! (and thanks for reminding me why I'm glad I'm not Catholic, thereby making the full mass a total impossibility for us)