Monday, October 20, 2008

Learning to Communicate

So this weekend Fiancé and I started Pre-Cana classes, a requirement to get married in the Catholic Church. Essentially for two and a half hours, we sit around and listen to the church's teachings on marriage and relationships.

We missed the first class a week ago because we were in Connecticut visiting family and because I ran the Hartford Marathon, so this weekend we had to stay after an hour. In class, we talked about family traditions and afterwards, communication.

A point that was brought up that we talked about last night - how to make September 11th different from September 13th. Makes sense. We live together (despite the Church's wishes) so the jump isn't going to be as big for a couple who didn't live together before getting married. So we were talking and one of the biggest adjustments I think is going to be realizing that he and I will become a "we" in all facets - how we present ourselves to the outside world, our families. Learning to communicate our wishes as a couple, for instance "WE decided we wanted to stay in DC for Thanksgiving as opposed to traveling to Vermont and Connecticut." Instead of, "well Fiancé didn't want to travel blah blah blah so I guess we're staying." Instead of his family and my family, it's our families, and us. Which, if you think about it, really is a big adjustment.

On top of that, another useful thing we learned was keeping problems between us. Not bringing family members and friends into our own feuds. I can relate to this as a boy I dated in college would often rant to his family about our relationship, thus they never warmed up to me and I always felt I wasn't good enough. Another example could be a certain family member (aka MOH) who rants to my mother about her boyfriend, thus my mother doesn't think the relationship will last and has a tainted view of her boyfriend.

I was a little nervous going into pre-cana because I was certain it was going to be all about the church's teachings on contraception and pre-marital sex, and anti-cohabitation before marriage (there are...certain things about the Church that let's just say....I don't necessarily agree with) but while there is that aspect to it, the other aspects - managing finances together, learning to communicate, and making your own family traditions - are very helpful. Three more classes, and lots of homework to do, but it's entirely worth it.

Anyone else here getting married in a church that has requirements like this? If so what did you get out of it??



Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had this requirement and I was so thankful in the long run. The biggest thing we got out of it were strategies for communicating regarding tough issues--like blending our families, in-laws, holidays, etc. Our minister didn't focus on the churchy part too much, she mainly tried to give us strategies for making marriage easier.

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:40:00 AM  
Blogger Miss Keswick said...

I'm Catholic and fiance is not (Lutheran / agnostic), so it's going to be an adjustment for him to do our Pre-Cana, but he's been very supportive so far, going with me to church every week, so I'm optimistic everything will be okay and it will really help our marriage. We haven't started our classes yet (first is this Sunday) but they're once every month. Do you attend the sessions and talk to a priest individually, too? We still have to ask one of our priests for that, I think. Everyone asks, "Are they going to tell you how to family plan and all that?" But I really think that the church does this for the good of the marriage and to help couples as marriage isn't always easy! Glad to hear it's going well so far.

Monday, October 20, 2008 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Only One Heidi said...

@ miss keswick - we had to meet with a priest to go over a FOCCUS test - basically getting us on the same wavelength with a bunch of things - how we plan to deal with families, finances, children etc...but we're done with those meetings till next summer when it comes time to plan out the ceremony and all that stuff.

our pre-cana class is for 5 weeks - so we're 2 weeks in (even though we missed the first) and have 3 to go then we get a little certificate to give the church and wham bam thank you ma'am we can get hitched. Well. Almost :)

Monday, October 20, 2008 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also in Italy we hade some 'classes' before the great day. Also in Italy a lot of couples live together already before getting married. So it is quite strange to attend those lessons if you think you already have faced the problems thet want to face you.
Aniways it was howfull to listen at the 2 guide-couples. They want show you a veru realistic couple menaging the daily problems of a family.

Monday, October 20, 2008 2:46:00 PM  
Blogger Mrs. in May said...

We signed up for the day long pre-cana conference. FH and I have crazy work schedules and never can get on the same page (I have a job where I travel ALOT and he has a million nighttime meetings all over the place). I wished we would have been able to do it just the two of us but this day long event with other couples may work out too. Hopefully we get in! We had to mail them a check and just wait to hear back.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 9:25:00 AM  

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