Marriage Preparation and Enrichment
An honorable human relationship
— that is, one in which two people have the right to use the word “love”
— is a process … of refining the truths they can tell each other.
—- Adrienne Rich
—-On Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose, 1966-1978
Thoughts on Conscious Relationships
Real marriage for real people is a lifelong process that requires continuous reinvestment to be sustaining and long lasting. How best to combine mindful awareness and romantic bliss, to consciously engage in our intimate partner relationships with presence, love and compassion?
The uncertainties of marriage preparation and the adaptations of the “Becoming a Couple” family life cycle stage are varied and complex. The meanings of marriage have changed dramatically over the years, as many, if not most, of the economic, religious, cultural, familial and societal reasons previously extant for maintaining an unsatisfying marriage are no longer paramount.
A reality-based view sees marriage as the ideal place for developing a Solid Self in Relationship. A six-week marriage preparation and enrichment educational program developed by Phil Guerin and colleagues at the Center for Family Life sets three goals:
- Teaching couples how family relationships work
- Teaching couples the route that normal problems are likely to take
- Teaching couples the options for dealing effectively with these difficulties
If we enter our relationships in a search for fusion then at some point we will inevitably feel distant, unloved, not attended to and unseen. Rather the prescription for life enhancement is the active engagement in addressing one’s own unresolved emotional attachments. Gaining knowledge about the major issues of sex, money, children and in-laws can alert couples to potential marriage and relationship destroying stressors and transitions.
Relationships are wonderful opportunities for inner work and exploration. The practice of Mindful Relationships can help you learn to ask directly for what you want, calmly maintain your position in the face of criticism and disagreement, and develop appropriate responsibility for self rather than over-adequacy for others.
To learn more and/or schedule a consultation click here.