Edmund Twohill is a marriage solemniser and a member at the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s Alliance for Action to Strengthen Marriages and Family Relationships. The alliance is led by Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sun Xueling, and was launched last year to partner the community, religious groups and Singaporeans to find ways to strengthen marriages and family ties.
I had been dating my wife for about four years when I decided to propose. As part of our preparation to get married in the Catholic Church, we signed up for a weekend marriage preparation retreat, which was a good starting point for us to communicate honestly about our expectations and ambitions. It helped us better understand each other’s attitudes towards marriage and family and put us on the same page as we embarked on this new journey.
However, after starting a family, the lessons we learnt fell by the wayside as we got busier and distracted by the day to day routines of family life. Hence, we agreed it would be beneficial us to reconnect as a couple. We chose to attend the Couple Empowerment Programme (CEP) which is an eight-week/nine-session programme designed for couples to learn more about how to reconnect and rebuild their foundation.
Soon-to-weds and newly-weds looking for a more informative way to enhance marital and familial relationships can look to the Prevention and Relationship Education Programme, an evidence-based 1 marriage and relationship education programme offered by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). Research has shown that couples who attended PREP have higher levels of positive communication, interaction and confidence in the future of their marriages.
MSF is also offering a complimentary Prepare/Enrich Marriage Enrichment Programme for couples married for more than two years. Couples can expect to identify their strengths and build confidence in their relationship skills with the help of a certified facilitator and the P/E assessment inventory tool.
These programmes are beneficial and important for three reasons.