Marriages are like fingerprints; each one is different and each one is beautiful.” - Maggie Reyes
My husband and I have been married for 30 years. I can promise you that while there have been plenty of high points in our marriage, there have also been low points.
We are among the lucky ones, we are still married. The fact is that 1 in 3 marriages will end in divorce.
One thing you can do to make your marriage better is relationship counselling.
Most of the programs on how to prepare for marriage aim to focus on attitudes and expectations.
They will help you to understand each other's communication styles, and how you resolve conflict when it arises.
Relationship counselling will help you to understand each other's point of view and how to handle tough situations, solve problems, and of course, make decisions.
So here it is...
Five things you will learn when you go to pre-marital counselling:
You will learn how to resolve conflict in a healthy manner. You will gain communication skills that will help you not only listen to your partner and how to process what they are saying.
You will learn how to communicate more effectively. When you voice your needs clearly and openly without resentment or anger, your marriage will prosper.
You will learn how to be assertive without being offensive. Both of you need to be able to talk about your issues without fear of hurting the other person.
You will learn to process and work through unresolved issues. Pre-marital counseling offers a safe environment for expressing any unhappiness you feel. Getting your feelings out into the open with the help of a trained professional may be all you need.
You will develop a deeper understanding of who your partner is and what their needs are. Better yet, you will learn more about who you are and what your needs are.
Anyone can decide to get married but isn’t it that staying together and having a harmonious marriage and a family is the main goal of saying “I do”?
Luckily there are some great services available that you can use before you get married so you are more likely to have a happy marriage...some of them are even for free.
It’s one of the things to do before you get married that will not only benefit your marriage but also you as a person. It’s all about personal growth.
Telephone 1300 364 277
A fantastic program that gives you a great snapshot of your relationship, where you are going together and the skills to develop the strengths and 'growth' areas in your life together.
Telephone: 1300 11 44 46
Catholic Archdiocese of Perth
Telephone; (08) 9241 5000
Telephone 03 96396611 (Call or email them for a contact in your state)
Telephone: (08) 9325 6644 to find a service near you
There are many books that may be useful to you such as:
Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen R Covey
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman
How To Be Married by Jo Piazza
It’s Not You, It’s the Dishes by Paula Szuchman
Wired for Love by Stan Tatkin
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Toxic In-Laws by Susan ForwardWoulda. Coulda. Shoulda by Jennifer Hurvitz
Marriage Rules by Harriet Lerner
Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix
Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by John Gottman
There are also websites that offer great insights into specific styles of communication and relationships:
The Five Languages of Love - www.fivelovelanguages.com
Passionate marriage: Keeping love and intimacy alive in committed relationships is written by Dr Schnarch and there is an online forum for couples - www.passionatemarriage.com.
Information and a workbook fromDepartment of Family of Family Services Keys to living together
You will find many private organisations and individuals who offer marriage education and counselling. Check
Your local yellow pages
Library notice board
Adult communication education office
Health practitioner’s surgery
Schools and community centres may also run courses.