Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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.

4 comments:

kerry said...

Greetings! I've been reading your blog for a while since I saw it linked on APW.

I appreciate this post. I've been thinking about getting this book for a while since both my future husband and I have more than a slight aversion to meeting with a counselor to discuss premarital meanderings of the mind. Glad to hear it's worth it!

Ms. Bunny said...

I am seriously contemplating that book too. My FMIL gave us a book that's called something like "Ten Conversations You need to Have Before Marriage." I flipped through it a couple of days ago, and it seems much more didactic than conversational. The book acting more like a relationship coach than the jumppad to start talking about hard issues. And I want the second. So after graduating I'll probably pick up "1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married" since now I have to great recommendations.

Angela said...

same sitch! my brother is muslim, but is putting his beliefs aside to be the officiant for my fiance and i's wedding. my fiance is an atheist and so we need to avoid any religious stuff. i, too, was looking for something like a pre-cana for our "poor and in love" selves and was contemplating where i can get around all this without getting religion involved and not spending tons of $$$. THANK YOU FOR THIS SUGGESTION!

A Los Angeles Love said...

Oh yay! I'm so glad it's been helpful for you. And we find it just as exhausting-but-worthwhile. We only try to tackle about a few questions at a time now, but we've had such insightful conversations about our past and future we might ever have had otherwise. Even though we talk all the time.