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   Home  > Tips

Trained for Marriage?

Where have you learnt about marriage?

As the 20th century came to a close there was much debate about whether to include marriage on the school curriculum and eventually the government decided that it should be.

Only a small percentage of couples getting married seem to bother to take any course or training for what lies ahead. Do they stop and think what married life will mean and what skills they will need to make it successful and fulfilling. For most of us it seemed just the next logical step in our growing relationship. For some it’s an exciting decision that gives them joy and hope – the thought of sharing the rest of their lives together.

Perhaps you think you haven’t had any training for marriage, but actually your training started when the midwife slapped you on the back and gave you to your mum to learn to suck. We began to learn to relate to others when we were born. In the communities of our family, our school, our playmates, we learnt what it meant to “relate” to others. We watched marriages around us, our parents, friends and work colleagues, we read magazines and newspapers, watched soaps or films and formed our understanding of what marriage was all about. By the time we walk up the isle or stand in front of the registrar, we have our own unique set of expectations of what married life will be like. The trouble is we often haven’t actually thought about what they really are.

But for all that how well equipped are we to make it work? If you’d driven a car for a few years would you then assume you could climb into a juggernaut and be able to drive it safely? When we start a new job, we often have to go on an induction course. When we buy a house we have it surveyed, plan the decor and where the furniture will fit in. If we are planning a holiday to some far flung destination, we usually take the trouble to find out about where we’re going, learn a bit of the language and the local customs and laws, so we can make the most of our visit. Yet when we get married we usually assume we know it all, especially if we have been living together. The valuable investment of time we put in to make the wedding day memorable and special is not matched by the effort we put in to make sure the rest of our life together will be special and fulfilling too.

A wedding is a day, or perhaps a few weeks if you count the honeymoon, but a marriage is a lifetime. There’s a lot of wisdom available through books and courses, on how to make your marriage work and what you can do to find mutual happiness and fulfilment. You can find out about them on this site. Why not make an investment in your future and spend some time on learning skills and laying foundations for the future.

“Marriage is not about finding the right partner, but about learning to be the right partner” Anon.

Tip by Kate

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