by Diane Tuazon
WEST TEXAS - Tying the knot takes more than just walking down the aisle and saying 'I do,' relationship experts say it's about understanding each other in order to make it last.
"Before it was a small community that gathered. Now you have people from New York and California, all these cultures mixing," Program Director, Preston Chancellor, said.
Twogether in Texas' goal is to help couples build a healthier, long lasting relationship. While currently serving 17 counties. They say they want all of West Texas to take advantage of these classes.
"It's a great program, we've been having a great response," Chancellor said.
Couples who are planning on getting married are given a chance to waive their marriage license fees by taking part in these classes.
"We help strengthen the marriage. Some of things people don't realize is that they carry a lot from their family history," Chancellor said.
"It will bring awarness about what marriage is really about. They forget about the relationship and it's not just about the aspect," Father Ed De Leon said.
Preston Chancellor says taking the marriage class is more than just about getting a free marriage license, it's about lowering your risk to becoming a statistic.
"West Texas has the highest rate in divorces in the state. Texas may even take the lead in the entire country," Chancellor said.
"People today are geared on society's opinion. If it doesn't work, move on to the next guy. The sense of sacrifice that our grandparents and parents had isn't there like it used to be," Father De Leon said.
Chancellor says he encourages couples to take the classes, and leave with a better understanding of themselves and their relationship.
"We have these ways where they learn to communicate well and if they're already married how to get back to where they're talking," Chancellor said.
The free marriage workshops are held at various locations throughout the community.
If you're interested in taking part in it you can log on to their website at www.sfwt.org.