Marriage education, whether it comes in book form or class form, can prepare couples for future challenges. It can also help happy couples become even happier.
“Marriage can be complex, with changes happening in almost every area of a couple’s relationship through the years,” says Elaine Hill, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Intermountain Healthcare. “Just like a sports car needs regular tune-ups to run at an optimum level, a marriage needs attention and effort to reach its full potential.”
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Not an easy topic
Since men are accustomed to tuning up their vehicles and other motorized toys, one might assume that it would be easy to tune-up other areas of their lives. Unfortunately, Elaine reports this is not always the case.
For example, some men believe once they’re married, the relationship will take care of itself or that everything will go well in their marriage because they married the “right” person. Others may think attending classes or reading books about healthy marriage relationships is only important for couples who are experiencing problems in their relationship.
“Happy marriages seldom happen naturally. In fact, doing what comes naturally in times of stress often causes a lot of damage to the relationship,” says Elaine. “Marriage education can prepare couples for future challenges. It can also help happy couples become even happier!”
Tips to try today
So, next time your car goes in for a tune up, take time to think about the last time you worked on revving up your relationship with your spouse. If you’re not ready to commit to formal marriage education, you can find some specific suggestions for maximizing the potential in your marriage on the StrongerMarriage.com.
Here are just a few of the ideas suggested by Dr. Glen Jenson, a professor at Utah State University:
- Make your spouse the first priority in your life. Love and loyalty are necessary for emotional well-being. Spouses who are treated as number one priority usually make their spouse feel the same way.
- Praise each other daily. Everyone needs to feel appreciated and praised. Much more behavior is changed from praise than criticism.
- Choose a task often done by your spouse that they might not enjoy doing and do it for them. When someone does a task without being asked to, it is appreciated even more.
- Tell others how much you love and appreciate your spouse. Often those compliments will filter back to your spouse.
- Buy a book on marriage recommended by your local bookstore. Read it out loud together spending time discussing new ideas you get from the book.
- May community schools or the Cooperative Extension Service offer courses in improving marital relationships. Consider attending one as a couple.