1. What are the benefits of doing a marriage preparation course?
It gives the couple an opportunity for the couple to understand each other a little better on a range of subjects. The questions are designed to promote discussion and understanding. Very often attendees are relieved to tackle a subject head on, often stating that prior to doing the course they had avoided the subject. We never know our partner completely. Anything that helps and promotes understanding is a good thing.
2. What do people usually get out of doing this course?
A lot! Because it is a private and confidential session, they can speak freely to an experienced counsellor. They can (and do) learn techniques of communicating better. We would explore their vision for the future and what both want for the future. They are also free to share their fears and anxieties. It is a very happy time but also a time of some trepidation. There are personal and family issues to be discussed and resolved and legal changes in status to be discussed.
3. Do I need to do anything to prepare for this course?
As with most things in life you will only get out of the course what you put in! Come along in a positive frame of mind. The session is very flexible so please be prepared to enjoy the experience. The theme of the course is expectations and change. So you might like to think about those themes when filling in answers to the course questions.
4. Should everyone do this course?
We think so. We are entering into the most important partnership of our lives. Preparing for this life changing experience needs to be taken seriously. Speaking with an experienced counsellor who will have counselled hundreds of couples offers the couple an opportunity to tap into all that experience. He/she will be able to pass on some hints and tips that just might save some heartache along the way. The counsellor will also give reassurance about 'normal' problems that just about everybody experiences and how to overcome those problems.
5.What does it entail?
We send you a series of questions and ask you to answer those questions individually and when completed send them back to us. The counsellor reads the answers and all three people then go through the answers and discuss them. The only people in the room is the couple and the counsellor. This is NOT a group session. The answers give the counsellor a very good 'feel' for the couple.
6. I want to do this course but my other half isn’t interested, what should I do?
Use this refusal as an opportunity to discuss his/her fears and anxieties. Maybe he/she feels that it is unnecessary as being in love will be enough to see you through. That may be true. You may be interested in doing what we call our 'Relationship Health Check'. This is a two hour stand alone session to check through what you do well and what could be improved. Like our marriage prep course this is not counselling but a talk with an experienced counsellor. We all need some help in this complex world.
Tony Moore, Counsellor, Relationships Ireland.com
About Relationships Ireland - Founded in 1962, Relationships Ireland is one of Ireland’s leading and most well-established organisations providing a range of services to couples and individuals experiencing problems in their personal relationships. Their services are provided to all sections of the community, irrespective of marital status, sexual orientation, religion, gender or race. For more information about our services, please check out www.relationshipsireland.com. For more details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01 678 5256