Sunday, September 20, 2009

pre-marital test

For those of you who don't know, Kyle and I met through his parents. When I worked at The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church, Kyle's dad Charles was the pastor (and therefore, my boss) for the first few months before he retired. I was friends with Charles and his wife, Peggy. It was actually Peggy who introduced me to Kyle when they sat in the pew behind me while Kyle was home visiting them that first summer I worked for WCPC. She was also the one who encourgaged him to call me the next summer he was home, and as a result he took me out on our first date. I owe quite a bit to both Hendrickses for their roles in the start of my relationship with Kyle!

I feel blessed that they have been so encouraging of our relationship and have welcomed me into their lives so openly. It was a natural choice to ask Charles to be the officiant for our wedding and we're so happy he will be such an important part of our day. Charles called me the other day and informed me that he was going to be e-mailing me a link to a test he uses with couples during pre-marital counseling. Kyle was getting the link, too. He told me that we should take our tests separately, he would go over the results, and we would find a time during their visit to Colorado next week for the three of us to chat about it.

I love tests. I think personality tests are so interesting and I love reading the results that attempt to quantify or classify who I am and what makes me tick. Sometimes they're spot-on and other times they aren't quite right, but either way, I find them fascinating. So, my initial reaction to Charles's news was positive. Yay, a test to take! And, it's a test about our relationship, even better! Then I thought about it and I got a little nervous. Why? I feel very confident in my relationship with Kyle and I'm comfortable with Charles, so what's the big deal? I thought about it more and I identified some of my feelings.

First, what if this is some kind of compatibility test based on similarities? If that's the case, that kind of criteria might say that Kyle and I aren't "right" for each other because we're so different. But, I feel our complimentary qualities are what make our relationship so beautiful and strong! Can a test measure that? I wonder...

Or, what if the test reveals something of concern that we have to work through? You'd initially think you'd want someone who knows both of you well to help you work through that, right? Maybe. However, I imagine that it would be much less invasive and revealing for a virtual stranger to take on that role. Whatever is said can be considered, resolved, and all parties can move on and basically forget about it if they choose to. That route is easier, but not necessarily better. After all, if change is needed or conflict resolution has to take place, wouldn't it be better to make that deep and lasting, rather than just scratching the surface as part of a requirement by the officiant before he or she agrees to marry you? Who better to facilitate that meaningful kind of communication than one's father/future father-in-law?

I just have no idea what kind of questions will be on the test and I really want us to do "well" on it, whatever that means. But there's no way for us to prepare for it! Then again, I guess we've been preparing for this test throughout the length of our relationship: communicating with one another, learning about each other, listening, and loving. And, whatever the results show, I anticipate they will simply help guide us toward what we need to focus on as we prepare for our marriage.

Charles told Kyle that he has only had one couple whose test results and discussion about the test prompted Charles to recommend further in-depth couples counseling prior to the wedding. They declined that counseling and they are now divorced. I am confident that Kyle and I will not be in that category!!

Kyle just called me and told me he just took his assessment. Obviously, I can't ask him about it, but I'm so curious! He said that while reading it, he thought it was funny that he could predict how he thinks I will answer certain questions. I guess that's a good sign. He told me not to worry. So I won't. I'll answer honestly and I'll anxiously await the discussion that is to follow!

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