Apr 11, 2008

The Marriage Course

Merl and I are currently attending The Marriage Course, which our church is running/facilitating.

When we first got married (7 years ago) we read the book associated with the course and found it extremely helpful. Lots of very very good advice about listening and communication and prioritising your marriage (like actually making it a priority to spend meaningful time together). Also good stuff about in-laws and love-languages and all that kind of stuff.

But 7 years is a long time ago, and although we have read the book, we don't own a copy, and our skills get rusty. So, despite having 'marriage night' written on our calendar each week and us both making the effort to keep that evening free from outside interruptions, we have not been making the effort to get off the computer or put our book down and actually talk to each other. Neither of us are big 'date' people - we are just as happy to sit home with a mug of hot chocolate - but we haven't really been doing that either... To be honest, we've even been using our 'marriage nights' as the evening to do our monthly budget spreadsheet! Now that is not fun and meaningful time :)

This course is the right thing at the right time for us. With our 2 small girls being such a big part of our family we really do need to make the time and effort to express to each other how much we love each other - otherwise we have just ended up communicating about nappies and dinner and laundry and returning library books and dishes and bills and all the other mundane things that make up our daily existence.

If you are married (or equivalent) I would highly recommend getting along to a course near you. It is run in heaps of countries over the world, and although it is delivered in a Christian context, the actual content of the course is just solid good common sense - applicable by anyone regardless of faith convictions. There is no group discussion time or anything dire like that - you and your partner go, get a candle-lit table for 2, some coffee and cake (supplied by the host church), watch a DVD, which is a recorded version of the live seminars held at Holy Trinity, Brompton, and whenever the DVD is paused for you to converse with your mate, the music is turned way up so you can hear each other, but not what anyone is saying at any other table. There is a workbook which is supplied and contains course notes and space for you to take notes and all that kind of stuff.

We had the 2nd session on Wednesday evening, and it's been great.

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