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Council Services:

Pre-marriage courses

Marriage Care, a leading provider of relationship education for couples preparing for marriage for over 65 years, has received extra funding from central government, via the Department for Education, to extend its service to couples getting married in civil ceremonies.

The aim of this initiative is to provide more couples with an opportunity to prepare themselves better for marriage, which will increase their chances of building a strong and lasting union.

Research shows that the highest divorce rate is in the early years of marriage and that good preparation helps couples make it through those vulnerable early years.

Marriage Care offers FOCCUS, Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study: a research based inventory developed specifically for couples entering into a committed relationship such as marriage. It is intended to help the couple own and shape a marriage preparation process for themselves by giving them a profile of their relationship, a “self diagnostic” of their unique issues, challenges, strengths and realities. The process is as follows:

  • The couple contacts Marriage Care and is assigned to a trained and accredited facilitator who sets up an online session for them and a follow-up face to face meeting with them.
  • The couple completes the online questionnaire and meets with their facilitator to discuss the report generated from their responses.
  • It is not counselling; it is a process that facilitates couples in their listening, sharing, problem solving and planning.
  • It is not intended to be a test and a couple cannot fail it.
  • The couple is encouraged to discuss important issues they may not have addressed already and learn about themselves and their own unique relationship.
  • They evaluate for themselves their readiness for marriage.

Feedback from hundreds of couples who have taken it is overwhelmingly positive : “Every couple should do this before getting married” “We learned so much about each other even though we have been together for 10 years!” “What I learnt could have saved my first marriage”

Cost: couples will be asked to make a contribution towards the cost of providing the service.

For further information call 0800 389 3801 or visit the Marriage Care website

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Last updated: 30 June 2016

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