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How doing a marriage course could just save your relationship

Whether you’re planning to get married or are already happily hitched, it’s a great idea to focus on your relationship. After all, we spend time learning to drive or training for a career, so why not set aside a few hours to invest in your future life together? Taking a marriage course could benefit you in any number of ways. Here are six to get you started:

Whether you’re planning to get married or are already happily hitched, it’s a great idea to focus on your relationship. After all, we spend time learning to drive or training for a career, so why not set aside a few hours to invest in your future life together? Taking a marriage course could benefit you in any number of ways. Here are six to get you started:

  1. They help you think long term. Weddings are wonderful, but what about the happily ever after? You may have 50 or more years of life together, so it’s important that you lay good foundations. Many courses look at the legal and spiritual significance of our marriage vows, which can be really helpful in understanding the commitment you are making, or have already made, to one another.
  2. They encourage communication. If you’ve ever planned a wedding you’ll know that communication is key! It’s important that you establish a pattern of talking things through and, perhaps even more importantly, listening carefully to one another. Good communication is key to a happy marriage.
  3. They explore conflict. Every couple will have disagreements from time to time. Some will be trivial, while others may feel catastrophic. If you’ve already nailed the communication section that will stand you in good stead for dealing with conflict, but as we all deal with conflict differently it can really help to talk through some of the best strategies for handling tricky situations where you don’t see eye to eye. Remember that you may not always be right!
  4. They help you manage expectations. What if one of you wants to travel the world and the other is desperate to settle down and have children? What if you expect your spouse to act a certain way based on your parents’ actions but they have had a very different model? What if you imagined spending all your spare time together and your partner needs a lot of space? A marriage course often provides a safe environment in which to explore any expectations you may have and to find happy compromises.
  5. They talk about sex in an open way. This may put some people off, but it’s important that we talk about sex, and preferably before we tie the knot. Again, there may be some preconceptions here. One partner may want to have sex every day, or to spend a long time cuddling afterwards. One may see it only as a physical act, without any great intimacy, while another might see it as an emotional and spiritual experience. Or if you’ve been married a while your sexual connection may have fizzled. This is a good opportunity to find out what God thinks about sex and to get things (back) on track.
  6. They give you tips on how to make time for each other. We’re all busy, but if we don’t spend time with one another our relationships are unlikely to thrive. A marriage course could help you plan how you spend your time together on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis. It might be that you need to make time after dinner each evening to discuss how the day has been, or to have a weekly or monthly date night without the children. Or perhaps you really value holidays and need to make sacrifices to enjoy some quality time away together. It’s really good to ring-fence time to spend together, and to prioritise this over anything else.

There are lots of marriage courses out there, so take a look at a few before you sign up. It might be that you take the course with a married couple from church, or as part of a large group of couples. You may choose to watch a series of videos with your partner and then spend time discussing them with people you both trust. Whatever you decide, give it your all and you will surely reap the benefits in the months and years to come.