A Year-Long Marriage Prep Course For Engaged Couples

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“Citing ‘superficial’ marriage prep, Pope Francis calls for year-long program for engaged couples”

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And, to be honest, I think he is absolutely right!!

A year-long marriage prep course will not only prepare people properly for marriage, covering all the major issues that we married folks tend to deal with, but will also serve to discourage impulsive marriages and shotgun weddings. 

Additionally, the reality and hard work required in marriage can be delved into and should help quickly weed out those who are getting married for dubious reasons or those who are not entirely interested in the commitment and immense sacrifices that marriage requires. 

Some people tend to romanticise the idea of marriage or just the wedding day itself, and instead of understanding that the marriage which comes after the wedding event requires work, dedication, and commitment.

The year-long marriage course will also help you weed out unsuitable people, including narcissists, predators and sociopaths, as it will expose a lot of their rotten personality traits.  

Someone I know ended her engagement with a guy with just 3 months to go to the wedding.  Unknown to her,  he was a covert narcissist and this type of narcissist is very hard to detect.  However, like all narcissists, when they are under pressure of commitment, the cracks start to show and they will often drop their mask. She and he were attending a marriage prep course and the pressure started to build on him, so he would pick random arguments and then disappear on her for days instead of learning how to resolve the conflict. 

You need decent conflict resolution skills if you want to be a spouse – you can’t just run away and hide or give silent treatment. Marriage does not work like that.  A person this immature is literally not psychologically or emotionally fit to be a spouse.

In the last argument they had, there was their fortnightly marriage class with the priest in the coming week.  As per his pattern, he picked a fight and then went silent on her and did not call her. She still attended their session with the priest and he was absent. He did not attend and to make things worse, he did not even contact the priest to tell him that he would not be attending.  

That right here indicates a lack of respect, not just for her, but for a person in a position of authority – the priest!! Lack of respect for people in authority (eg police officers, bosses, legal officials, and of course priests). If he could not even respect A PRIEST, he would certainly never respect, appreciate, love, or cherish her. The next time he decided to resurface, she immediately dumped him and called off the wedding, which was the absolute right thing to do.  

So if this year-long marriage prep course being proposed by Pope Francis were to be implemented, where would it fit in my stages of a courtship article? 

I would say, right after the engagement and betrothal. 

As soon as you get engaged, decide on the wedding date, immediately book the year-long marriage prep course to start as soon as possible, then go get betrothed. 

In my stages articles, I mention that the wedding should occur within about 12 months from the engagement, give or take a month or two. This would tie in perfectly with His Holiness’ suggestion.
Also, remember that we do not do long engagements here – an engagement is not a placeholder – we get engaged to be married within 12 months or less. 

Moreover, if people realise that it would take 12 months before they can get married, they will be less likely to have overly long engagements of more than a year where the chances of falling into the occasion of sin can occur. 

So I am with the Holy Father on this one!  Good call, your Holiness!! 

Also, see








Holy Spouses, Our Lady and St Joseph, model of marital perfection and spousal happiness, pray for us. 




The Wife Desired

Three To Get Married Fulton Sheen       


 ad Jesum per Mariam



3 thoughts on “A Year-Long Marriage Prep Course For Engaged Couples

  1. I agree that a proper time of getting to know one another very deeply is important, and that there are many narcissists and sociopaths out there. I guess my qualm would be for those of us who are older. For an older woman, a year could make a tremendous difference between having a child or not having a child.


    1. I don’t think so at all. A year is hardly anything and will not do that much negative impact to a woman’s fertility. Fertility declines gradually over years; it doesn’t just go away within 12 months.


    2. Being of older age is definitely NOT a good reason to rush into a marriage and this is why you should plan to marry within a year from engagement, rather than being engaged for years. If anything, this rule will protect you and be advantageous, not a hindrance.


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