Giving Marriage Advice: Leading a Marriage Prep Weekend

Toby and I have been married for nearly three years. So we’re pretty much experts in the field (I think I just heard my mom spit out her coffee while reading that last sentence). I’ve written about this before, but I always get excited about crushing young couples’ dreams about marital bliss. And we get to do it again this weekend as we’re leaders at a marriage preparation course.

No, wait, that’s not why we do it!

When we got married in 2010, my church required that we complete a three-day marriage preparation weekend.  Toby was actually game for it while I was dragging my feet as we walked into our former high school for the weekend course. We had been dating for five years and we already knew everything about one another. I’ve smelled his farts and he’s heard me sing. What else is there to uncover? More importantly, what were we going to get from “God Camp”?

Umm…how about a big slap of reality?

We got so much from the weekend as it forced us to ask one another some challenging questions. How did our childhood affect our approach to love? Who will handle the finances? Where will we send our children to school? Wait, you want children?!

We liked it so much that the next year, we forced the marriage prep organizers to allow us offered to become leaders for the course.

This will be our third year leading the course and prior to the weekend, we always review our discussion we will give to the group, which is about expectations of marriage.

Selfishly, we lead the course. It forces us to sit down (together) and talk about what’s going on in our lives. This is especially important as we barely have time to shower, let alone communicate our feelings about not having the time to shower.

I always open the presentation as such:

You think your marriage will be this like:


Marital Bliss








But you may end up feeling like this:

Wedded Bliss?

Am I right?! I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who laughs in the room while Toby rolls his eyes.

Anywho…last night we reviewed our discussion and once again we changed the content to show our lives today. Rather than keep the content the same, we want to showcase the reality of how expectations change throughout a couple’s marriage.

We talk about: children, having our separate social lives, adaptability and growing up with or without religion in our lives. But each of those components have changed since we said I do. We lay it all out there to the group giving them a glimpse into our fabulous lives. Nothing fancy, but we simply share our story.

We’re not naïve enough to think we help these couples, but we do hope it forces them to talk about their own expectations about their marriage. Or at least about how they’ll make time to shower later in life.


What are some ways you re-connect with your partner?

Do YOU have time to shower? If so, what’s it like?


4 thoughts on “Giving Marriage Advice: Leading a Marriage Prep Weekend

  1. Nick and I loved our time at marriage prep and have told others going into it that you get whatever you put into it. If they ever need another couple.. we’re game. Ok, I’m game but Nick would be too… I think haha.

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