A couple of weeks ago, Dude and I attended a marriage preparation course. It’s a course that’s recommended by the Registry of Muslim Marriages, for couples who are planning to take the next step in their relationship. It’s a way to assess if you and your partner are ready to take on the responsibilities as a husband or wife.
The class covered 5 topics over the 2 days; communication, conflict resolution, finance, sex and keeping the romance alive after marriage. They also covered the Islamic POV/method with regards to all the topics. I found the classes to be most informative and that two days were not really enough to cover everything that the counselor had prepared, so we skimmed over some parts and did other parts in detail.
The course stressed that as a couple, we both come from different families, with different habits, traditions and dynamics which may cause problems, so the best way is to identify what those differences are and to work on them before they become a problem. It was interesting to see how different Dude’s family interaction is with mine, but it was not something that was clashing. When it does clash, that’s when communication is important, and problem solving.
The problem solving techniques that were taught in the class are still very abstract to me as it’s not something that we’ve put to practice, yet. I think that when the time comes for us to use it, what ever we learn will be clearer.
Most of what was covered under the finance section of the class was basically a recap of what Dude and I had talked and discussed about. I’m glad that what was taught in class showed us that we’re on the right track. They showed us a video of a couple who decided to have a grand wedding. Unfortunately, the amount that they spent on their wedding had placed them in debt to bank that would take them 5 years to fully pay off. It was scary to think that you start out your married life with a debt, even before you buy a home. Knowing how expensive weddings can be, Dude and I both agreed that we were going to make our wedding as simple and as small as culturally possible, as there are some cultural things that cannot be dropped.
The sex and romance part of the class was rushed through as there was barely time left to go in detail. In short, it’s a sin (according to Islam) to not pleasure your wife. A wife is encouraged to give in to the husband and romance after marriage is important.
There are some things that I do have a problem with, like obedience. The way that it’s taught, is that the wife is to give in every time. It raises my hackles up because it’s telling me that I need to be a doormat and that I don’t have a choice in anything. I don’t think that’s what the religion is about, since almost everything about it is about choice. So I hope, I’m just misunderstanding what was being said in class and it’s not something that I must do blindly.
Anyway, I really, really encourage everyone who’s going to or planning to get married, to go for the course, be it the secular ones organised by Marriage Central or those with religious affiliations run by churches or those, like mine, that are recognised by the ROMM. It’s extremely informative and I know that it’ll help in the long run.