The Marriage Course Online – Have you considered it?
In 2020, new research commissioned by the charity, Relate, uncovered the impact that lockdown measures are having on relationships in the UK[i].
Almost a quarter of those surveyed (23%) said lockdown was putting pressure on their relationship with their partner. Of those living with their partner,12% agreed that staying at home made them doubt their relationship, with more than a quarter (27%) of respondents saying they were finding their partner irritating.
Lockdown, of course, hasn’t simply been about spending much more time with your partner: many people have also experienced worries about job security, business failure and family finances. Other couples have been balancing work with home-schooling, childcare and mounting uncertainty about the future.
If you feel that your marriage or long-term relationship needs some work, then The Marriage Course Online may be for you.
The Marriage Course Online celebrates the delights of our relationships, but also acknowledges the challenges, and offers practical possibilities for change – that even the best marriage can always be better. The free course supports couples seeking to invest in their relationship, no matter where on that spectrum they might currently be.
Our marriage team (Ian and Claire Watt, John and Carol Evans) have been running The Marriage Course together for several years. They have found that whether couples have been together a short time or for many years – and no matter if they are long-term cohabiting, in their first marriage or in a subsequent one – The Marriage Course materials prove to be relevant and useful. Says Claire: “We know that marriage takes an investment of time and energy. We also find that people do the course for all kinds of reasons. Some come to invest in an already great marriage, others because they’re struggling for one reason or another, and we know some come as a last attempt to rescue a failing marriage.”
Having run The Marriage Course successfully for couples over a romantic meal at Jubilee Community Centre, John and Carol were initially sceptical about the idea of offering an online version of the seven-week programme. “When we offered The Marriage Course Online during lockdown in 2020, we weren’t initially convinced that couples would engage with a short Zoom introduction followed by the opportunity to watch one of the recently recorded Marriage Course films in their own homes. We learnt”, says John, “that this opportunity to invest in their marriages, at home and in private, was something couples really enjoyed and would strongly recommend to other married couples. 100% of those who enrolled on The Marriage Course Online in 2020 said that it had a positive impact on their relationship.”
“If it had been an event and the times for discussion were more limited, we may not have got as much out of it. There was a real benefit of the privacy of doing the course in your own home with support available if needed.” – Participating couple, The Marriage Course Online, 2020
Carol says: “The films, presented by Nicky and Sila Lee[ii], and featuring the real-life stories of twenty-three couples, are completely honest about relationship challenges. They also provide practical ways of rescuing marriages that are suffering and enhancing relationships that could be better.”
Ian’s view is that “the time couples spend together, in private, working through the questions raised by each week’s film and completing their Journals together is the key to the success of The Marriage Course Online. They can, in the comfort and privacy of their own home, spend as much or as little time as they need on each of the seven topics – and that’s how it should be!”
The Marriage Course Online is free (except for the cost of the participant’s Journal: £10 each) and begins on Tuesday 20 April, 2021 at 19.15 BST. Course bookings are now being taken here: https://jcceg.churchsuite.co.uk/groups/gbxwynvs“
Ian and Claire, John and Carol
[ii]Nicky and Sila Lee have been married for over forty years and have four children. They are on the staff at Holy Trinity Brompton Church, London, UK. Over the last 35 years, they have spoken to thousands on the subject of marriage and family life, authored The Marriage Book and The Parenting Book, and created The Marriage Course, The Pre-Marriage Course, The Parenting Children Course and The Parenting Teenagers Course. The Marriage Course Online is a series of seven sessions, designed to help couples invest in their relationship and build a strong marriage. Each couple’s privacy is respected as there is no group discussion and no requirement to disclose anything about their relationship to anyone else. The course is open to married and cohabiting couples.