CAP Mariage, part 1
When we went in to the city hall to choose our wedding date, they gave us a folder full of useful wedding information, including a little postcard for an association called "Cap Mariage". The card said that once a month, the city hall and this association held a free information session to help newly-engaged couples understand the laws relating to marriage, to help them personalize their civil ceremony and to help them plan for their new life together. One of the sessions was last night, so I decided to go check it out.
Let me just say, it was NOT what I was expecting.
I was thinking it would be more-so like an informational fair, with booths set up in a big room. Instead, it ended up being like a small, intimate, pre-marital counseling session. My eyes just about bugged out when I entered the room - which was the room where we'll be married btw - and I saw all of the fancy armchairs had been arranged in small circle, and that there were four other couples sitting there, waiting for C & I to show up. Except C wasn't going to show up because he was working late and I hadn't realized it was a formal affair.
Everyone was looking at me, so I quick made up a little white lie about him getting held up at work and hopefully he would join the group later. (or not)
The group was being led by two older couples - one who had been married for 37 years and the other for 40 years. I was a bit worried at first that it was a religious thing, but then they explained a little bit more about the association, saying that it was a non-political secular association started in 1998 by a notaire in Bordeaux.
This notaire had been working on a lot of long, complicated divorces and was feeling rather depressed by the whole thing. She wondered by so many marriages were ending in divorce and what could be done about it? So she started the first CAP mariage, with the goal being to encourage couples to think what marriage really means to them, and to help them think about what kind of marriage they would like to have and how they are going to go about making it happen.
So it's kind of like a "light" version of the pre-marital counseling that is often required in the US for couples wanting a church wedding. And it's actually a very timely topic for us because it's been something we've been talking about doing. We are both 100% dedicated to making our marriage a long and fulfilling one, and have spent a lot of time talking about how we can make that happen.
Because of what happened with Fab, I've come to realize that a relationship takes work. You need to nurture it and make time for it, and not take your partner as a given. I'll go more tomorrow into what the actual meeting was like, but one of the main topics was the importance of having common goals as a couple. So it's almost funny when I look back and Fab & I and see that we wanted such very different things, in all aspects of life. We had different work goals (country vs. city), different home life goals (wife does the cooking/cleaning/child-rearing vs. shared responsibilities), different spare-time goals (drinking w/friends vs traveling). It was almost doomed from the beginning and meant one of us was bound to be unhappy (me) - but my romantic idea of love conquering all meant we avoided ever talking about these topics.
So the session brought up some interesting points, and tomorrow I'll share a few of them, as well as talk about the different ways the civil ceremony can be personalized to match your style.
Labels: Franco-American weddings