Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pre-Cana session 2

I'm a little late today on the post! Tuesday night was session 2 of our 5 week Pre-Cana classes. Everyone is very shy and quiet in this group, and Chris and I are no exception, but it makes the evening a bit awkward. The wife did most of the talking, and her husband would interject little stories or words of wisdom here and there. She took us through a packet on this week's theme of "Communication." As I learned from my mother when I was a teenager (probably even earlier than that), and as I learned again this week: Communication is the most important factor in a marriage.

We talked about fighting; about not keeping your feelings pent up inside you to let things fester; about explaining your feelings with your partner; and about the difference between a "clean fighter" and a "dirty fighter". 
  • You're a "clean fighter" if you keep to the issue at hand, are objective, keep it impersonal, listen, are honest, don't exaggerate and rely on facts. 
  • You're a "dirty fighter" if you don't listen, don't pay attention, spend your time thinking about what you want to say, interrupt, get defensive, attack, drag in other issues, exaggerate, and try to win rather than compromise. 

I'll admit, Chris and I are a little bit of depends on the fight. And both of us could probably benefit from reminding ourselves to be clean fighters. Then, two couples volunteered to partake in a mock fight, to show how to settle an argument...which was funny, but highly least it broke the ice a little bit.

Then we talked about the 10 rules for a happy marriage.

10 Rules for a Happy Marriage
1. Never both be angry at the same time.
2. Never yell at each other unless the house is on fire.
3. If one of you has to win and argument, let it be your mate.
4. If you have to criticize, do it lovingly.
5. Never bring up mistakes of the past.
6. Neglect the whole world rather than each other.
7. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.
8. At least once each day, say a kind or complimentary thing to your life's partner.
9. When you have done something wrong, be ready to admit it, and ask for forgiveness.
10. It takes two to make a quarrel, and the one in the wrong is the one who does the most talking.

This is NOT to be confused with these 5 rules for a happy marriage:
1. It's important to have a woman who cooks and cleans
2. It's important to have a woman who can make you laugh.
3. It's important to have a woman who you can trust and doesn't lie to you.
4. It's important to have a woman who is good in bed.
5. It's very important that these four women never meet one another. Otherwise you're screwed!
Haha, that was NOT taught in the pre-cana class, I just found that online. Anyway, we were there for about an hour and the couple told us many stories, both good and bad, about their marriage together and how they've worked through many hurdles.

When we left Chris said “I feel like everything they tell us is just common sense.” Honestly, I agreed with him. But isn't that sort of the point? First of all, everyone can benefit from some reminding and brushing up of even common sense facts. It brings facts that you take for granted for knowing back into perspective. Second of all, we're lucky that this is common sense for us. It means that we get it. We know what we're jumping into and we're ready for it. People get married all the time who don't think this is common sense, and then learn it the hard way. So I'd say it's a good sign that this class is reaffirming what we already knew to be common sense.

Don't forget to vote in Wednesday's Wedding Poll!!


SG to SP said...

I have to disagree with the never go to bed with an arguement unsettled rule. I know for me I usually need a night or day to really calm down and be able to talk rationally and objectively when I'm really upset. It's amazing what a good night's sleep can do. However I think you need to be at a good stopping point and agree to pick up the discussion again the next day and not just leave it hanging. Good tips!

Saying I do said...

Good point! I'm the same way, too. sometimes, I'm just much calmer in a better frame of mind the next day. Thanks for visiting!

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

Agreed. My fiance is the best at just letting me have my own space to settle myself down... Sometimes that's not what I want and I just want to fight it out right then, but usually that's not the best thing! Sleeping on it often gives me time to chill!

steph c said...

I totally agree with the last part of your post.. what is common sense for you both is sadly not common sense for many other people. Regardless, it's great that you guys seem to be having such a wonderful experience at the Pre-Cana class, if only to reaffirm what you already know!

Mom said...

Interesting topic.They claim it's not how often you fight but how well you fight.And you're right-it is all common sense until you're so stinkin' mad there's no room in your brain for common sense. Which is why I too like a good night's sleep to rethink everything.

Rebekah said...

Most of these are common sense and that's good that it reaffirms what you already know. My husband and I sometimes go to bed after having a disagreement, because it helps to gain perspective and calm down. We can be calm while going to bed even if our issue hasn't been resolved, but we are completely the opposite of each other so sometimes that's good for us. But we ALWAYS talk about it. Even if it's left until the next day.

Bicoastal Bride said...

Those 10 tips are great, and the five tips are too funny! I think a lot of it is common sense, too, but you'd be surprised how many couples I've known who were totally clueless. I think it's a sign that you're definitely already in a good place. said...

I disagree that its common sense just based on the many terrible couples I've seen. You just may be ahead of the game. I completely disagree with #7. Sometimes a good night's sleep puts stuff into perspective and its a lot of pressure to settle things right before you go to bed just for the sake of having things settled. I hadn't really thought about #10 before. I think that it automatically makes the woman at fault since women generally are more talkative more than men. HA HA. I would change it to: The person who becomes increasingly more emotional in an argument is probably not being heard by their partner. Listening skills are most important.

I laughed out loud that it was about communication but the Catholic woman did most of talking with the husband interjecting a few words. That's the kind of communication I'm talking about! ahahha