As I mentioned in Saturday’s post, this past weekend my BF and I did a full two days of premarital counseling. Well, not just any premarital counseling, Catholic premarital counseling. Obviously this means it had a Catholic slant to it, but despite that it really did touch on a number of subjects that I think any engaged couple should talk about before saying “I do”.
Although I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this little retreat, I will say that I am so glad my BF and I did it. Of course we didn’t really have a choice, you need to either do this weekend session or go to a bunch of night classes in order to get permission from the Catholic church to get married.
But honestly, we would have done some form of premarital counseling even if we weren’t going to have a Catholic ceremony. We saw it as an opportunity to make sure we really are ready for marriage and to avoid any surprises like “You want that many kids?”
First off, I just want to give my future hubby major props for being such a good sport. He doesn’t have a cell of Catholicism in his body, and still he agreed to do this counseling weekend with me and gave every activity his full attention and best effort. Coming from a non-Catholic background and being put into a room full of 30 Catholic couples can definitely be nerve-racking, but he was up for that challenge the full two days.
I, on the other hand, was a complete mess the night before the retreat. I’m what you would call a cradle Catholic, meaning I was born into it. Although I do believe in God and all the fundamentals of Christianity, there are a ton of things the Catholic church is against which I am not okay with such as gay marriage and contraception.
Also, I used to go to church every Sunday, but ever since I moved out on my own 3 years ago, I’ve only attended church on major holidays. The main reasons for that are because I felt I deserved a bit of a break (23 years of steady church-going is exhausting!), I wanted to sleep in on Sundays for once, and I didn’t want to go to some big, new church where I didn’t know anyone all alone.
Because of these things, I knew I’d either be judged by some of the other couples or there would be a few awkward conversations. And sure enough, I was right!
For instance, whenever someone asked me what church I attended I’d either try to change the subject by explaining “Well, my fiancé isn’t Catholic actually” or I would fib and say I was in between churches at the moment.
At one of the meals my BF and I were asked how we met right after hearing about how one couple met at some Catholic college and another couple met at a Catholic spiritual retreat. I told them we met at a party then tried to change the subject again. Meeting at a New Year’s party completely sh**-faced off of Beefeater gin is not something you want to broadcast to a bunch of bible-thumpers.
Lastly, and probably the most awkward part of the weekend, on the first day when we had to sign in and get our name tags, we noticed that each person’s name was accompanied by their home address. After a thorough check my BF saw that we were the only couple who obviously lived together. Though, to be fair, there was one couple at the weekend who was pregnant, so I guess we weren’t the only black sheep in the group.
So, for the most part we kept to each other. I have nothing against anyone who is full on churchy, hell I used to be one of those people back when I was a freshman in college. But that’s just not my life anymore. I’ve made a lot of choices that I know are looked down upon by the church, but at the end of the day I don’t have any regrets and my BF and I’s relationship is way stronger than it was before we slept together or lived together (just sayin’).
In tomorrow’s Part 2 post, I’ll actually talk about what we learned at the weekend, and what we’re going to completely ignore (natural family planning any one?).