Say “I Do” to Premarital

by Yvonne Chase on July 22, 2011

Today on Twitter, the question was asked to singles; would you seek counseling or classes to help you prepare for marriage? Have you already taken classes or attended sessions? My answer was YES and YES.  We prepare for everything else, don’t we? Why not prepare as much as we can for the biggest commitment of our lives?


Many years ago, my significant other and I signed up for premarital class.  We talked about marriage and it was his idea to sign up because he’d never experienced such a thing and thought it would be great for us.  Our teachers Glen & Marie at our church The Brooklyn Tabernacle were a couple who had been married 30+ years and had faced many challenges.  They were told they couldn’t have children even though they desperately wanted to.  Marie’s OB/GYN put her on some serious hormones that made her grow hair like a wild bear.  She had to wear a turtleneck in the maternity ward to contain the massive amounts of hair growing out of her neck.  YIKES!  Today, they have two children.  The visual of her description of that experience and the toll it took on their marriage is still etched in my head.

They shared personal financial management tools.  I still remember the Envelope System; one large 8×10 envelope contained labeled #10 letter sized envelopes with amounts of money for everything during that month after the major household bills were paid: haircuts, newspapers, classes etc.   At the end of every month, Glen & Marie sat down to review their budget and divvy up money for the next month.   The knowledge that I gained about marriage from Glen & Marie is priceless.  I still have my manual from way back when.


We talked about sex; attitudes and beliefs about sex.  Sexual pleasure is Gods idea.  Sexual fulfillment is a process.  Open and honest communication about the sexual relationship is necessary…money; debt, budgets, co-signing, confusing needs and wants, who will write checks when paying bills, buy or rent home, tithes and offerings…in-laws: leaving, cleaving and becoming one flesh…role expectations, household chores, children, crisis and so much more.  You name it, we talked about it.  They were 100% transparent and left no stone unturned.  By week #5, my guy had totally shut down and I was sitting in class solo.  He completely froze and refused to talk to me.  I was so into the class that I stayed and completed the 8-week process.

Glen and Marie suggest taking premarital classes BEFORE you buy an engagement ring or make any sort of financial investment in a wedding.  According to them, many couples who sign up to premarital have already planned the wedding and forgot to plan the marriage  The date is set, church is booked, major deposit has been plunked down on the reception, invitations are sealed and stamped and the bride and groom have one last fitting before they meet each other at the altar.

According to Glen, premarital is where you really learn about your relationship and your intended.  If we’ve seen it once, we’ve seen it twice.  Problems come up in premarital that need to be addressed…that require putting the wedding on hold or calling it off but couples move forward because the financial investment has already been made and end up in our office six months later in tears wanting a divorce.

My guy finally came around 9 months later to explain himself.  He said that class scared me.  I felt like you were more ready than I was…I couldn’t handle it.  I wasn’t ready.  Premarital can send you to the altar with the confidence and wisdom you need for the journey ahead or save you from doing something you’re not quite ready to do.  Either way, it’s all good.

Something to think about…

Related posts: Expert? Not So Much!

© Copyright 2011-2012, Yvonne Chase. All rights reserved.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Wayne Strobel July 27, 2011

Marriage is a lot of work. I agree with you 100%. We spend so much time preparing for everything else. There ought to be some sort of exam you have to pass or something before you get married. Good stuff! Well said.

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