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Impromptu MN "wedding prep" course

(22 Posts)
BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 12-Jan-14 21:22:16

I am getting married in 4 days. Being non religious (and in a bit of a hurry) we decided to go for a registry office. I know that some churches require couples to undergo a "Marriage prep" course before they are allowed to marry there, and am slightly disappointed/curious to miss out on this.

So what am I missing? And can MN give me any pointers to start me off on married life? grin DP has returned from his stag do today and has gone to bed early so I'm bored, humour me!

Nojustalurker Sun 12-Jan-14 21:26:03

My friend recently had to do one of these course. They had to think about how they would divide money eg would they have a shared account ect. Did they want children, how many, how would they raise them.

Sorry I think this is more practical then you had in mind.

CMOTDibbler Sun 12-Jan-14 21:32:21

Talk, talk, and talk some more. Unless you are very talented, neither of you are mind readers so unless your say 'darling, do the washing up' or 'I'd like a lie in please' the other doesn't know.

And, if you aren't happy, then this is especially the time to talk about it

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 12-Jan-14 21:48:16

No, I'm quite nosy curious to hear what is in them, if it's practical that makes sense.

Ooh yes CMOT we talk a lot, although DP has in the past had to remind me to talk and not hide in the toilet crying about something I should be talking about blush

bookishandblondish Sun 12-Jan-14 22:01:51

This has a description

CMOTDibbler Sun 12-Jan-14 22:05:04

My other thought, is that people go on about 'date nights' 'couple time' etc. This does not go anywhere near replacing 10 minutes a day of nattering about how your day has been and whats coming up.

KateAdiesEarrings Sun 12-Jan-14 22:06:27

Lots of questions around values - what motivates you? what is important to you? how do you judge if your life is successful? what were your parents' relationships like and how do you think that example has impacted on you? if you have dcs will you both continue to work or one be a SAHP? if the latter then how will finances work etc? have you experienced illness? how do you think you would cope with illness? how would you want your partner to cope with your illness? etc etc etc

ToffeePenny Sun 12-Jan-14 22:08:26

Ours were very good. Basically each week we had a topic to discuss and the priest (Catholic) told us he didn't care what we said in front of him, it wasn't some test of religious behaviour to pass, just that we had the conversation between us.

Topics I can remember were:
-What are your expectations from one another if you find you are expecting a disabled child.
-What will you do if one of your parents requires live in care.
-How would you propose to cope/deal with an affair, a gambling problem, or a long term medical issue e.g. Depression.
-How many children do you wish to have and when do you expect to have them. How do you expect them to be cared for during the day (SAHP, crèche, grandparents/family, nanny etc)
-What family planning you plan on using.
-How will you divide household chores, both before and after having children.
-What are your feelings on relocating abroad if financially necessary, where do you see yourself retiring (city, country etc)

We held back in front of the priest on certain topics (no way was I discussing family planning when the only one officially sanctioned involves some sort of cervical measurement before dtd in front of a celibate 72 year old) but we always went for coffee afterwards and really talked it through. It was surprising how many things we had strong but contradicting views on; we still hold the same views but know where compromises would have to be made.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 12-Jan-14 22:10:58

Oh, interesting. It's stuff that has come up for us as a couple, so I suppose that in that sense the course is not necessarily anything important that we missed. My friend did one and she happened to mention something from it - they had done a "men tend to think about situations like X whereas women think about them like Y" bit which I'm not sure I agree with in principle but it had helped her.

I love a good course blush loved NCT classes, although I did them with XP. Planning to drag DP along to some form of antenatal classes if/when we have more DC.

ToffeePenny Sun 12-Jan-14 22:13:01

And money. Lots of money ones.
Would you (if a SAHP) expect full access to a joint account or a monthly 'housekeeping' allowance?
How much do you expect to earn in future, how much do you expect your partner to earn?
How much is a reasonable amount to spend on your extended family at Christmas, birthdays etc
How much would you give /loan to a relative/ friend in need without telling your partner?

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 12-Jan-14 22:13:18

Wow Toffee, some strong topics there. Not sure that we've actually discussed all of those, but then we have also been through some stuff together that we would never in a million years have thought to discuss or considered would happen to us, and yet we have come through it.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 12-Jan-14 22:13:41

Referring to your first post. Although money is a good point.

GarlicReturns Sun 12-Jan-14 22:16:24

Ours was crap grin The Rev failed to hide his horror at my being older than HTB, and went on and on about whether we (I) could have children. He was so keen to view our relationship as poor, it goaded us into acting like a real couple - our relationship was poor but he didn't know either of us personally. We lied prolifically about our churchgoing activities, promised to have any children baptised CofE, and all pretended the meeting had been helpful. We got tea in china cups.

Have a lovely day, Bertie flowers

GarlicReturns Sun 12-Jan-14 22:18:31

Toffee, yours sounds good!

whereisshe Sun 12-Jan-14 22:18:56

We didn't do a marriage prep course, but having now been married for 8 or so years I think the following is important:
- understand each other's conflict resolution style, and where it comes from (usually involves understanding how arguing works in the relationship role model eg parents)
- understand what "good" looks like for living, imagining looking back on life at 90 - what matters, what doesn't
- understand triggers from childhood - what formative (good or bad) things happened to each of you and how did you feel about them

I know courses like this tend to cover smaller things too, like housework etc. I think it can help to talk about what roles each person had in the relationship role model (parents or whomever) and what you think about them.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Sun 12-Jan-14 22:21:28

Ooh brilliant thinking/discussion points whereisshe. I suppose the problem with the last one is that most of adulthood seems to me to be figuring out that for yourself - so not always possible to reflect on before a marriage.

KateAdiesEarrings Sun 12-Jan-14 22:39:21

whereisshe you just reminded me of another question we were asked - how do you show love? I think there's 5 different approaches to showing love and if you have a different approach from your dp then you could feel unloved. Once you understand their approach then it helps to smooth that difference.

whereisshe Mon 13-Jan-14 03:40:58

Bertie true! But it's part if what I like about being married smile - it's a relationship that you spend more time on so you get the chance to dig a bit deeper into yourself and grow / evolve together as well (cheesy but true).

Nojustalurker Mon 13-Jan-14 06:46:02

The one my friend went on was a group session. It was not run. Y a priest I don't think but it was roman catholic. I believe it was run by a husband and wide, who chatted for a bit to the group and the couples talked together separately about the issue.

I believe counsellors do non religious version of the course.

mmmuffins Tue 14-Jan-14 19:01:20

I'd really like to do a course like this with my fiancee, but we aren't religious, anyone have recommendations of a well-run course (in London?)

Lweji Tue 14-Jan-14 20:19:16

Actually, if you ask the churches (or whatever) you may be able to participate in one of those courses after getting married.

It's not necessarily too late, but it may be a good opportunity to discuss issues before you become too emotional about them.

I'm just thinking, though, that the courses should not be run by happily married couples, but also divorced people. It might be very enlightening.

Tupperwife Wed 15-Jan-14 12:03:15

This book

We had been together for a while, and lived too far from the venue to go through the 'chats' that our priest would have usually done. So we were basically commanded to get this book and work through it together. It was the first time we'd actually spoken deliberately about finances, children, illness etc and it was good to know that we were more or less in agreement on all the important stuff.

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