I am not affiliated with any organized religion and don't really have any attachments to a certain belief system. Our ceremony will be completely non-denominational except for maybe a ritual that we found that has roots in Wicca. So there are no classes that we need to take or meetings with a church pastor we need to complete before we can marry but I have to say that I have always been intrigued by some of these pre-marital weekend "boot camps" people go on. In the midst of the invitation making and the dress shopping, I think it is so important to really sit down and talk about what it means to be married and what each person's expectations and needs are. As much as I want to have these conversations with my future husband sometimes I just don't know where to start or what questions to even ask. Though we may not necessarily need it, I recommended maybe going to a couple's therapist. Bill was totally on board but we couldn't really afford it. Then I saw this book recommendation for 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married from A Los Angeles Love and bought it hoping it might spark some conversation. Though he thought it was a stupid sounding book (the book he insists not the idea), Bill agreed to humor me. We started in chapter 1 - Growing Up in a Traditional Family - and we only got through 8 of the 20 or so questions in an hour. And we were EXHAUSTED by the end of just those few questions. I fell asleep right away for the first time in days. It was really interesting to each talk about our upbringings and families and what we thought worked and what didn't, what characteristics of our parents' marriages we do not want to have in our own and what we admire and hope to bring into our own. The traditional female/male roles is a subject that I think about quite often but these were questions I had never thought to ask even myself about my own parents. It's so strange to have to think about your parents as a couple and not as parents. Our answers would turn into long discussions and, I think, we learned a lot about each other and ourselves through just that short exercise (Bill no longer thinks it's a stupid book). I am excited to get through the rest of the book but I don't think we'll even be able to finish it before the wedding! I recommend it or something similar to any couple in a committed relationship. It is a great tool for learning more about your relationship and for learning how to discuss, sometimes touchy, subjects with one another.
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