They've been married for 10 years now. During the discussion phase, facilitators give special attention to red-flag issues such as drug use. Then they took their vows. For the first time in church history, successful marriage—once defined by numerous offspring—was equally defined by the quality of the relationship. For one thing, couples inventories only spot potential conflicts; they don't solve them. It was only the Second Vatican Council of that, amid much controversy, reimagined marriage as "an intimate partnership of life and love.
The year after they called their wedding off, they landed jobs and hashed out their financial roles. The final product, with a few tweaks, is still in use today. Advertisement Since World War II, the church had been offering a kind of groupcounseling known as pre-Cana conferences named for the biblical wedding. They've been married for 10 years now. Who would earn it? Advertisement Despite its sometimes provocative content, the quiz itself looks like any standardized test. Barbara Markey, its creator, "is to confront couples with issues they might not have thought about before. Watching thousands of parishioners divorce or plead for annulments, priests and other Catholic lay counselors searched for realistic ways to help marriages work. From the second century until the mids, the Catholic model of marriage rested on one value: It might seem strange that the church, which historically encouraged couples to marry to prevent premarital sex, now urges them to take a critical look at their prospective union. Still, FOCCUS proponents say there's little chance couples will misinterpret major issues, such as artificialbirth control, toward which church opposition remains firm. During the discussion phase, facilitators give special attention to red-flag issues such as drug use. It was only the Second Vatican Council of that, amid much controversy, reimagined marriage as "an intimate partnership of life and love. Though often popularly referred to as a quiz, FOCCUS is actually an "inventory''—a set of questions intended to identify a couple's attitudes. According to some experts, "learnable relationship skills," such as the ability to communicate or argue effectively, are what determine if a marriage will survive. These approaches, while well-intentioned, lacked specificity. Question 13, for example: Who would manage it? These include financial issues, sexuality issues, and lifestyle expectations. According to a study by an independent research group at Purdue University , FOCCUS was 80 percent correct at predicting couples' satisfaction by their five-year anniversary. In fact, it has proven so successful at launching happy marriages—and thwarting train wrecks—that it has been adopted by more than two-thirds of the nation's dioceses. Its questions and scales were not based on clinical research about relationships. It also failed to explore stressors such as two-career marriages and the impact of past family problems. In the careful, neutral wording of psychotherapy, FOCCUS poses questions Catholics may have only explored in the confines of confession. Question 65 explores the possibility of forgoing parenthood: Yet FOCCUS is not a religious tool; its questions are stripped of any judgment, and its facilitators are instructed not to use it as a forum to preach or punish. So, in , Dr.
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