In order to prepare for that, Mr. C and I signed up for pre-cana classes, which are also required to be married in the Catholic church. Pre-cana is the Catholic church's marriage preparation classes that combines talks about religion, faith, God, and how all of this intersects with your marriage. Mr. C and I signed up for two eight-hour sessions. This past weekend we had our first session, two hours from where we live. At first, we were bummed that we would have to spend a beautiful Saturday driving four hours and spending another 8 hours with a priest, but our experience was wonderful.
Although the pre-cana class is a Catholic-based class, Mr. C and I did not find the sessions to be overtly religious or preachy as we originally feared. Rather, we had a great time hearing stories from different couples (one who had been married for 46 years, another who had been married for 22 years) and advice from a Friar, who had a background in marriage counseling prior to becoming a friar.
Mr. C and I also were really happy to realize that many of the topics discussed were things we have already talked about, whether it's communication styles, defense mechanisms, and strengths and weaknesses. Although we openly talk about these things as needed in our relationship, pre-cana was a great opportunity to focus on these things in our relationship and talk about them outside an argument or disagreement. Sometimes, at least in our relationship, we only focus on our communication skills (or faults) when they are absolutely needed or when we realize we're yelling at each other, and not getting anywhere.
I highly recommend some sort of pre-marital counseling, classes, or conversations with your partner. Here are some topics that we focused on that we found to be particularly helpful:
- Communication styles
- Life priorities (marriage, job, kids, friends, schedules)
- Making time for each other (always have a date night!)
- Focusing on your relationship (don't forget to check in and see if your partner is happy)
Although our wedding day is important, thrilling, and definitely worth spending time, energy, and effort into planning, the marriage that we will hold on to at the end of that is what we'll really have forever, and that is worth far more time, energy, and effort to maintain, sustain, and hold onto.
Have you done or are you planning on doing any pre-marital preparation?
And because this has been an entirely wordy post, here's some pictures of Mom and Dad Busy Bee's puppy J-Dog, because she's pretty adorable: