Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Relationship Therapy

We just had our first pre-wedding counseling session last night — it was totally weird, and also kind of awesome… but wait, let me start from the beginning.

So, I have a lesbian aunt (well, actually, I have six… yes, six lesbian aunts… who says there’s not a gay gene?) Anyway, this particular lesbian aunt is also an ordained minister and Beau and I were pretty sure from day one of our engagement that we wanted her to officiate at our wedding. So, we called her up and asked her, but she was strangely non-committal. We later realized after several conversations with her that it was because she takes officiating at weddings incredibly seriously and wanted to make sure that we really wanted to have her style of officiating on our big day. As we’ve come to realize, her style seems really personal and really intense and we’re totally on board with it — however, it does involve several pre-wedding counseling sessions with her before the wedding, the first of which was last night.

Let me give you the general run down: she lives halfway across the country, so we did the whole thing via skype (by the way, when did technology get so cool?). Before our chat she sent us this list of questions to peruse:

1. What has changed (if anything) in your relationship since making the decision to get married?
2. Try to name what you believe you know best about her (what you understand most deeply about what makes her tick)
3. And what do you least understand about her?
4. How would you describe yourself in conflict?
5. How do you experience her in times of conflict?
6. When something good happens, what comes first to mind as a way to celebrate?
7. In your own words, what are the non-negotiable ingredients of a good marriage?
8. What elements or aspects of your answer to #7 do you think will be easiest for you to maintain? Why?
9. What elements or aspects of your answer to #7 do you think will be hardest for you to maintain? Why?

We found some questions super-easy (ahem, “describe her in conflict”) and others kind of difficult (we actually both had a lot of trouble coming up with non-negotiables). But engaging with the questions turned out to be a really fantastic exercise… even though it was kind of awkward when my aunt asked us about sexual fidelity near the end of our counseling session. Has anyone else done pre-wedding counseling? Are you a fan? I think I am.


N said...

I love how modern this post is with your lesbian minister aunt providing premarital counseling sessions via Skype. I also think those are some great questions :)

Ms. Grrrl said...

Yes, I feel very cutting-edge. The weirdest part was that we could see her but she couldn't see us (no webcam) -- very meta.

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Woah. That quiz is freaking tough. Though I guess marriage is, too, so it makes sense.

I also agree with N - love the modern.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful blog and inspirations.

Couples said...

Sorry for contacting you this way, but I couldn't find an email address. :( I am a researcher with the University of Virginia studying the experiences of same and different-sex couples as they plan for marriage and a family. I was hoping you might post a notice of my study on your blog. I won't take up a lot of space with details here, but please email me and I will be happy to send you all the info. Thanks for your time!
Cristina (survey.couples{at}gmail.com)