Christmas is a popular time for couples to get engaged

Alan Walsh

Reporter:

Alan Walsh

Christmas is a popular time for couples to get engaged

Relationships Ireland, a Dublin-based non-denominational relationship counselling service which has been supporting couples for over 50 years, is highlighting the benefits of pre-marriage courses in the run-up to the Christmas season, which is a popular time of year for couples to announce their engagements.

Unlike some other options, Relationships Ireland’s pre-marriage courses offer couples a private, personalised consultation with an experienced relationship counsellor.

“Many couples who attend here have already been living together for a significant time and have already worked out issues around cooking, sharing space together and sharing finances,” said Maura Leahy, Clinical Director at Relationships Ireland.

“Time spent here with an experienced couples counsellor allows them to focus on what has already been working well. It also gives scope to identify any potential difficulties and possible solutions to these difficulties.”

 Bernadette Ryan, who is a couples counsellor at Relationships Ireland, added: “Engagements are very exciting, with lots of celebrating and good cheer, especially at this time of year. There will be planning and organising to do, too, and all that excitement can be overwhelming. Sometimes it means that couples can lose sight of what happens after the big day – the beginning of their life together as a married couple, committing to loving each other for better or worse.

“It can be helpful to take some time out to reflect on what is really important to each partner, what their expectations are of each other and of their life together,” Bernadette continued. Our marriage preparation course offers couples a three-hour personalised consultation with an experienced counsellor and it covers all aspects of married life, including roles, expectations, finances, values, emotional and sexual intimacy, and the impact of extended families.”

Relationships Ireland was established in 1962 and is a non-denominational, multi-cultural, LGBT-friendly, all-inclusive agency. Its services are provided to both couples and individuals to help them overcome difficulties in their relationships or to prevent further problems through relationship health checks and marriage preparation courses. Other services include separation support and counselling for couples and individuals living in abusive relationships.

Relationships Ireland also operates Teen-Between, a service dedicated to teenagers experiencing difficulties resulting from familial breakdown. Further information is available on our websites, www.relationshipsireland.com andwww.teenbetween.ie, and our social media channels, www.facebook.com/ relationshipsie and @RelationshipsIE.