What is the key to a long and healthy relationship? Newlywed Fabrice believes it’s about learning from each other every day.
Looking to kick-start this learning process, Fabrice and his fiancée Maree signed up for FOCCUS, Centacare’s private pre-marriage education program.
Delivered by trained practitioners over three, one-hour sessions, the popular program encourages couples (whether newly engaged, contemplating marriage or in a long-term relationship) to think deeply about what’s relevant and important in their relationship.
Centacare FOCCUS facilitator Rebecca Davies said the program used a relationship questionnaire to identify couples’ individual and mutual values.
“We then guide the conversation and help couples discuss their answers in a relaxed and supportive environment,” said Rebecca.
“Sometimes couples come to the program and don’t quite know what to expect. But once they understand the process, they often relax and engage beautifully with each other.”
Lyn and her husband Terry completed the program at the suggestion of their priest.
“FOCCUS was sort of a prerequisite for getting married by a Catholic priest,” Lyn explained.
“We entered the program without any real expectations. Neither of us were surprised by each other’s answers on the questionnaire. If anything, I think it solidified how aligned our values are.
“It was quite an insightful and reaffirming experience and I think any person, regardless of their background, would benefit from it.”
Newlyweds Maree and Fabrice
Lyn and her husband Terry
Rebecca said an important element of the program was helping couples identify potential challenges in their relationship.
“We often identify their strengths as a couple, but also discuss areas they can improve on,” she said.
“Even people in healthy and functional relationships can benefit from increasing their awareness of what works and doesn’t work with their partner.”
Fabrice agreed and said the program gave them tools to help tackle everyday challenges and improve communication.
FOCCUS is held in Hervey Bay, Fortitude Valley, Maryborough and Southport.
Centacare also offers a pre-marriage program in a group setting. Find out which program is right for you and further information about the FOCCUS pre-marriage education program.