Resources and tips to help couples through tough times.
Every marriage goes through ups and downs. For some of us, these down times can persist leaving us feeling trapped, helpless and frustrated. Many conclude that the marriage is dead and that their only options are divorce or to live in misery.
Yet there is nearly always something you can do to alleviate your situation. …
Courses and Seminars
Research has shown that in many cases of marital stress, marriage education is MORE effective and helpful to couples than counselling.
There are a number of excellent marriage education courses that couples can do that will help you improve your marriage.
- SmartLoving BreakThrough workshop is a three hour intensive for individual spouses.
- SmartLoving Marriage seminar requires both to attend but is only available in limited locations and dates.
- SmartLoving Engaged Online is also suitable for married couples.
- The Marriage Kit online is our SmartLoving content in a secular format for couples available online.
When a Couple’s Course is NOT a good idea.
However, there are a couple of situations where a Marriage education class might aggravate your situation. If any of the following apply to you we’d recommend you postpone your plans for marriage education while you pursue other alternatives:
- One spouse is vigorously opposed to attending the marriage education class. We’ve seen it many times in our courses; one spouse desperately wants to come and nags or manoeuvres the other spouse to get them there. It’s almost always a disaster – no one likes to be manipulated so please don’t do this. It is not fair to your spouse and will not help improve your marriage. Moreover, it will prejudice your spouse against marriage education in the future.
- One or both spouses has an addiction or mental illness. In this circumstance, you really need professional counselling to give you individual support. It doesn’t exclude the possibility of marriage education later and in fact, many counsellors will refer their couples to a marriage education class once the relationship is stabilised.
- There is systematic physical or sexual abuse. If you are victim of violence, you need to get out before you can do anything for the marriage. When there is such an abuse of power in the relationship, professional help is needed to break the pattern before a marriage education class will help.
- There is an ongoing affair. When there is a third party operating in the marriage, working to undermine it, marriage education is not the first priority – reestablishing the boundaries to protect the marriage needs to happen first. Again, sometimes professional assistance may be required to stablise the marriage and reestablish these healthy boundaries.