Planning a wedding can be hectic, but don’t forget to plan for your marriage too! Care for the Family are hosting one of their Marriage By Design courses on 13th May and I had a chat with Traci who is the national representative for Care for the Family Isle of Man, to find out exactly what couples can expect on the day.
What is Marriage By Design?
Marriage By Design is a 1-day pre-marriage course. It is for anyone planning to be married or anyone recently married and within their first year. There is no group work – each couple is given a workbook with relevant activities to go through together. The topics are opened up by 2 trained facilitators who talk about their marital experiences and then give the couples a chance to work through the activities. We play loud music for ambience and so couples can talk comfortably without being overheard. We include many comfort breaks with yummy delicacies and lunch is also provided. All in all, it’s a great day out for the couple to just chat and also to have a ‘date lunch’ together.
What can couples expect on the day?
The couple can expect to talk! According to the feedback that we get each time we run the course, they can expect to talk about things they hadn’t thought about before. They can expect a very warm welcome with facilitators who have been married for a while and who will share their relevant good and bad experiences with them. They can expect to laugh and be entertained at times too. Couples do not need to engage with other couples if they don’t wish to. There is no pressure at all to talk to anyone other than your partner. They can expect to have a lovely day out.
Why do you recommend the course?
I recommend this course because I am a trained facilitator myself and have presented many courses with my husband and each time we present the course we are reminded about the concepts and our marriage gets a ‘dust off’ which is a great thing for us. We apply the principles daily in our marriage and they work. We also did a pre-marriage course before we were married 25 years ago and although we don’t remember all of it, the bits that stood out for us have definitely helped us over the years. We continue to invest in our marriage each time we can and we feel that is part of why we are still married, it definitely isn’t because it has been easy! So I guess what I am trying to say is that I recommend this course from personal experience.
What feedback have you received from couples that have already taken the course?
The majority of couples are surprised that they talked about things they hadn’t thought of to talk about and they were glad of the time to be able to discuss these potential issues. You can read some feedback on our website here.
Do you run any other courses or have any other resources that couples can use?
On our website, we also promote and advertise a course called Prepare/Enrich. This is a much more in-depth course based on extensive research and psychology. It is an inventory which both couples complete and then there are 3 sessions led by a trained facilitator and they go through the inventory results and help the couples tackle areas for growth in their relationship. I have done this course too. It was rather revealing and is very accurate and very helpful in identifying growth areas in your relationship – and we all have them!
Our other marriage resources include a monthly podcast on iTunes which can be accessed here. We have a set of DVDs for marriage enrichment which can be done as a couple at home or as a group. More information on those can be found here and we have books and brochures available in our office which is located at 13 North Quay, Douglas. Our office is open Monday – Friday from 10am – 3pm and anyone is welcome to come and browse our resources or even have a chat if they want to.