Sergei and I are taking a marriage prep class through our local church. It is a prerequisite to being married there, and I think it’s a good idea overall anyway. Especially considering both of us are on the second go-around. It’s weird, because you would think that we’d already know everything about marriage considering we’ve “been there, done that”, but I think that actually you are twice as cautious entering into marriage the second time around. We both know that it’s not all wine and roses and sugar-coated happiness. Marriage is hard. It’s having someone in your space 24/7, and having to make a conscious decision to respect and care for another human being, even when they’ve hurt you and you don’t even want to see their face.
The book our church is using for our class is Preparing for Marriage by Dennis Rainey:
(image courtesy of Amazon.com, where this book is $10.19)
It is a good book. It asks a lot of hard questions, and it has space for you to write your responses. The idea is to read the chapter, write down your answers to the questions and your fiance do the same, and then you share your answers. So far we haven’t had any big surprises, but it is interesting to read a question and think “oh I know just how my fiance is going to answer this”, and then actually hear them read their answer. Even if it’s what you expected, it’s still very validating to hear them say it.
I highly recommend this book, but it is based on a Christian perspective and Christian ideas. And if that is not your way of thinking, there is another great book I can recommend. I actually saw it on Oprah a few years back and gave it to my good friend as a shower gift and she and her fiance answered the questions together on a road trip they went on. I think there’s a lot of the same questions but without the Christian angle. 😉
It’s called The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say “I Do” by Susan Piver:
(image courtesy of Amazon.com, where the book is $10 now $4.49!)
The good friend I gave it to absolutely loved it. She and her now-husband had been dating quite awhile and had one of those “I think I know it all about him/her” feelings going as well until they read the book together and it opened up some undiscovered territory for them. I have this book but I haven’t gone over it with Sergei yet, but we probably will.
Have you done any marriage-prep classes or read any similar books with your mate or mate-to-be?