Preparing for Marriage

Pre-Marriage Inventories

There are a number of pre-marriage assessments available to assist engaged couples in communicating with each other about important issues that will affect their married lives together. Such instruments are not compatibility tests or psychological assessments. Rather, they are designed to be an aid in couple communication on a number of fronts. Pre-marriage inventories reveal the strengths of an individual couple in dealing with situations, making decisions, and highlighting where their values and priorities correspond. This is valuable in affirming the foundation upon which the relationship is built.

Pre-marriage inventories are also helpful in pointing out areas for further discussion. Some topics may have never come up in the relationship, or each party may have assumed the other feels as he/she does. In some cases, a pre-marriage inventory can prod couples into discussing topics they have been purposely avoiding in hopes of not engaging in conflict. Such a strategy only puts off the inevitable, and makes the chances of conflict greater. It is much better to talk about difficult or contentious issues before marriage, than to put them off until later on, when they can shake the foundation of marriage.

The Family Life Office does not require or administer a particular pre-marriage inventory. However, we strongly recommend that couples talk with their pastor or assisting priest about taking an inventory. Some parishes in the Archdiocese administer the FOCCUS inventory, or a similar instrument. Ask your priest if an inventory is available through the parish. Most pre-marriage inventories are also available to be taken online. Talk to your priest, or contact the providers of the inventories directly.

FOCCUS Inc. (Facilitating Open Couple Communication, Understanding and Study)