Relationship Tips for a Happy Marriage Part 95: Learn To Be Successful
A happy marriage doesn’t happen naturally. It requires a lot of intentional effort that goes beyond romantic idealism. Couples need certain skills in order to keep their marriages strong, happy and satisfying. Thankfully, many marriage counselors and religious institutions now realize the need for marital programs where couples can learn how to succeed in marriage. Many institutions that previously only offered advice for newlyweds have now created a variety of programs that are useful at different stages of marriage.
Marriage enrichment programs equip couples with the skills they need to be successful in marriage. Unfortunately, most couples wait until their marriages are in deep trouble to begin attending these programs. Some people believe that they have learnt all they need to know about marriage from watching their parents and other couples. Others view seeking help as a sign of weakness or deficiency and therefore, go to great lengths to avoid it. Both beliefs are erroneous and they deprive couples of information that could help their marriages.
Marriage enrichment programs come in different forms including retreats, seminars and workshops. Most of them are run by professional marriage counselors or religious institutions, but the best ones are backed by success stories.
Benefits of Marriage Enrichment Programs
There is a lot of evidence to show that these programs actually work. For instance a study published in the Journal of Counseling & Development in 1989 revealed that couples that participate in marriage enrichment programs enjoy improved sexual intimacy and marital satisfaction. These couples also become more aware of themselves, their needs and their wants as well as those of their partners. They communicate more effectively and are better at solving marriage problems.
Another study on prevention of marital distress published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in 1988 indicated that couples who take part in enrichment programs tend to use positive communication in marriage as opposed to negative communication. This significantly reduces the likelihood of violence in their marriages. Better still, the positive effects of marriage enrichment programs continue to be felt up to five years after participating in the program.
What can you learn from Marriage Enrichment Programs?
Many marriage enrichment programs that offer advice for newlyweds and other couples teach specific set of skills including:
- Communication – The importance of communication in marriage cannot be over stated. In order to solve marital problems, couples need to be able to communicate effectively.
- Trust – Trust is the foundation of all relationships. In the absence of trust, people put up walls which are bad for intimacy in marriage. Marriage enrichment programs can help couples breakdown these walls and build trust.
- Commitment – Marriage requires commitment but unfortunately, some people aren’t too fond of it. People who have had bad relationship experiences in the past have a hard time letting go of the voices of doubt and distrust and committing fully to the marriage. This is another one of the things that enrichment programs can help with.
The above list is by no means exhaustive and there is a lot more that you can learn from enrichment programs. In fact, these programs often differ in content and scope, even though they all aim to strengthen marriages and prevent relationship problems.
When it comes to finding the right program, your church and other couples are a good place to start looking for suggestions. Whether you are looking for advice for newlyweds or for seasoned couples, there is bound to be someone who knows of a good and effective program. Don’t wait until your marriage is in trouble to learn how to have a successful marriage. Start today.