Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce and local couples are taking steps to make their marriage last a lifetime.
The state funded "Twogether in Texas" free program gives couples a chance to waive most of their marriage license fee, waive the 72 hour marriage waiting period, and each couple walks away with 250 dollars in gift cards, just for taking the eight hour pre-marital class.
But state officials are hoping the incentives will help prevent divorce, a cost of at least 112 billion dollars a year to U.S. taxpayers.
Communication, dealing with conflict, expectations, and intimacy are some of the topics local couples addressed today.
Program leader Wib Newton who has been married 33 yrs and is a professional counselor says, "I hope they have learned that some of the stages they are about ready to go through as a couple are natural. They don't need to be alerted or alarmed whenever they begin to even doubt that they've made the wrong decision to get married. That they know what a healthy relationship looks like. Especially in regards to their physical, emotional safety with each other."
Cassie O'Hair and Adam Kerns went through the program together says its is worth their time.
Kerns says, "We've talked about conflict resolution and how to talk to each other without doing the things that end up aggravating the other person. "
O'Hair says, "I've learned that I do a lot of the things that aggravate the other person. And I'm learning how to not do that anymore."
Newton says pre-marital training reduces divorce by 30% and improves overall satisfaction in your marriage.
The Twogether in Texas program is open to all couples no matter what stage in your relationship.