License to Wed - Part 1

We had a plan, we would go late.. Really late. That way we would reduce the ill effects of this prolonged torture. The torture I speak of is a series of lectures spread across three days that purportedly prepare one for wedlock. There goes two perfectly good weekends that I’ll never get back. Now these are not just any ordinary lectures, no, that would be bearable. These were the most incredibly boring, highly annoying, ridiculously redundant one-sided discussions about the ‘gift’ of marriage. The end result of which had a fair number of us re-considering our decision of taking the plunge. Yes I am talking about the dreaded Marriage Counseling.

Marriage Counseling is this strange phenomenon where unmarried virgin holy men talk at you for hours imparting what little they know about marriage, sex, bringing up children and other significant events which are completely alien to them. Does anyone else see the irony here? Now don’t get me wrong, I am not one to shy away from ‘sex talk’ however when the ones spearheading the talk are:- (i) a short balding troll, (ii) a priest with a superiority complex (iii) and a frail old lady, things start to get a bit awkward. Added to that was a room full of about a hundred enthusiastic young couples diligently taking down notes like their life depended on it.

The first day of ‘marriage-prep’ boot camp began with the religious aspect of marriage. Apparently a number of marriages breakup because the woman claim to have found god and the men realize its not them. Moving on, the guy talks endlessly about religion, how one particular religion is better than another, how he has been studying religion for many years. How his religion was blab la bla. (Sorry folks, I fell unconscious by this point). When I woke up, which was a good one hour later, the man was still at it trying to preach rather that teach. Frankly it made me a bit sick. I’m not a religious man but I think its important to respect others religious beliefs. I just cant bring myself to respect someone who cant respect another’s religious beliefs any tries to portray his as superior. Anyway I’m drifting so back to the story.

The course was split into four major sections:-

(i) The religious part of marriage
(ii) The psychological effect of marriage
(iii) The medical aspect of marriage
(iv) The legal aspects of marriage

The entire session was spread across three full days of mindless boredom. For the sake of sanity I decided to split this article into two parts. The first (i.e. this one) provides the back-story, brief overview and structure of events to follow. The next part will highlight some of the key learning’s of the counseling sessions and would conclude with my take on the whole affair. So watch this space.

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