Lee County- Jason and Mandy Sheffield of Leesburg spent about three years together. "In the beginning, it's kind of hard getting to know each other and living with each other," says Mandy Sheffield.
They spent those years learning before taking a huge step. "We've been married for almost a year now. August 7th will be a year," says Jason Sheffield. It's been a growing experience with more ups than downs.
"Even through our dating, we didn't even have this much fun. It really has been wonderful," says Jason.
But before they got to that point, they went to the church for guidance, a big step to save a marriage before it even starts. "Quite often the couples who come to be married by one of the pastors at our church are pretty open to pre-marital counseling," says Reverend Jim Coleman of First United Methodist Church. It's a duty that he performs on a regular basis. He says pre-marital counseling is important to make sure both are on the same page before they walk down the aisle.
"Many couples need to know that pre-marital counseling is a positive thing. It's a step in helping begin a marriage in a good way," says Coleman. And it's a step that covers many issues beneficial to a successful marriage. "Most of the issues we talk about in pre-marital counseling probably boils down to two areas," says Coleman.
One big issue is acceptance. "Acceptance of everything and everybody. I had to accept her ways and she had to accept mine," says Jason. Secondly, there's the issue of communication. "Yeah, communication was one of the harder things we had to deal with," says Mandy.
They're dealing with everything together in this hard job of marriage. "It gets kind of frustrating sometimes but we've always seemed to kind of pull together and rely on each other and it all comes together," says Mandy.
They say it's because of a decision to save their marriage before it started. "That's what made us as strong as we are as far as our relationship and that's what gave us a really good foundation," says Jason.
Some states require couples to have pre-marital counseling before they get married but that's not the case here in Georgia.