Saturday, October 18, 2008

the 4 early sunday morning sessions

and we finally completed our premarital counselling sessions in church!
when we were informed of our 11am-sunday-sessions, boipren and i had to readjust our weekend lifestyle otherwise known as the grand life of extreme couch potato. we would be asleep until lunch, alternating between the occasional quick bite and tv time. then after lunch, boipren would drop by the condo, i would be scrapping or watching tv, he would be surfing the net or playing with his laptop. then around 5, we would leave for church and attend the sunday vesper service.
we started with our first session on august 3 and we were both late - not a good first impression for our counsellors elder peping and tita liway. they were worried that if we started late we would not be able to make the most of our 1-hour sessions. during the first session, we talked about our family backgrounds, the dynamics of our relationship and why we wanted to get married. i think at that time, when i told them that we would have arguments and fights every week, they were wondering why we were even getting married. they reminded us how we need to put God in the center of our marriage, comparing Him to the center of the triangle and the two of us at opposite ends. the closer we get to the center which is God, the closer we are to each other.
during the second session, we we were early, which i think made up a bit for our previous tardiness. and also i think their impression of us improved a bit when they realized that despite our different temperaments and outlook, we actually share the same hopes and dreams for our future. they asked us to take a quiz separately on our perception of the roles and responsibilities of a husband and a wife. and surprisingly (not for us), we agreed on all the important points like:

  • i agreed to support my husband's decisions and not to say "i told you so" even if it doesn't turn out well

  • he agreed to continue courting me even after the wedding (yey scrapbook stuff!)

  • we both agree that we will get our own place when we get married, living with either of our parents is not an option. after all, part of us being ready for marriage is financial readiness which at the very least includes being able to provide for our needs.

  • we both agree we didn't want to take on jobs that would require us to be apart physically for more than a month. don't get me wrong, i admire couples who are able to subsist on seeing each other a month or two in a year and living on phone calls and chats for the rest. it's just not me, i am not a long-distance-relationship gal, and lucky for me, neither is boipren.
during the third session, we talked about our conflict management strategies to help us understand how each one of us approaches a a conflict. we were also asked to prepare a budget, separately of course, and compare if we have the same views on how we allocate our money. it wasn't difficult to come up with the budget as boipren and i have already discussed how we will do the budget even before we started with the sessions.
and finally, during our last session, we took a personality quiz (i am an infj and he is an entj/estj person). most of the things that were said about our personality were correct but i think what we found most helpful was getting a clearer picture of our strengths and weaknesses and the adjustments we need to make when we get married. we ended around the second week of september as we had to skip some sessions when our counsellors were out of town and i had to leave for japan.
we both learned a lot from those sessions (and we actually fight less now - either we improved on our communication or we've gotten more patient and slower to anger or we're getting too old to fight), and although this is not a guarantee for a happy marriage, this is something that can help us get started on the right track. we still have around 7 more sessions to go for this other young couples seminar we are attending twice a month at church, i will talk more about that in another post. but for now, let me leave you with a picture of our certificate of completion (my secure mode is on full gear so i blurred our middle names in case unscrupulous folks might use it for scams, better be paranoid than sorry right?). anyway, have a great weekend ahead everyone. :)

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