Marriage enrichment – Part 2
Marriage enrichment is not primarily for problematic marriages, but for married couples who want their marriage to grow. The couple attending a marriage enrichment programme focuses on the growth of their relationship, while working alongside other couples, as well as working on their own relationships. Marriage enrichment is a process that creates positive changes over time, as the couple practises healthy interaction skills. Marriage enrichment programme serves as the beginning of a critical process for many couples. Once the couples see the benefits of the approach taken at marriage enrichment fora, they also want to know how to keep the healthy process going.
When a couple chooses to be engaged in a marriage enrichment programme, it means such a couple wants to deal with whatever is unsettling their relationship, which they believe have a potential for growth. The couple can identify their issues without the aid of professional assistance. The couple is intentionally motivated to work on their marriage. They believe they have enough positives going for them to make their marriage work. The couple is open to new learning opportunities and interaction skills that assist them with their issues. The couple can identify their issues and is willing to address the issues, one at a time. The couple recognises that anger is given in healthy relationships but mutually agrees to work on ways to deal with their anger, so that it does not build up and destroy the relationship and doesn’t affect other areas. They use their anger as a positive tool to explore and get closer to the feelings behind the anger.
If a couple wants to improve their marriage through counseling alone, it could mean that they believe something fundamental is wrong in the relationship, which they tend to avoid and either or both parties may deny its existence. The couple may feel overwhelmed by the negative verbal and nonverbal expressions, which could make them feel continuing in the relationship is not worth it. The couple does not feel good about talking about the issues with their partner because it is too painful or useless, or they cannot agree and come to a decision. The couple becomes anxious when a problem comes up because the pattern has been that the situation always gets worse. The couple becomes so angry that they may want to hurt each other more than they want to focus on the issue itself. However, enrichment programmes encourage ownership of the issues, taking responsibilities, as well as becoming accountable to see things resolved, even when it’s not convenient.
Married couples face unpredictable challenges at all life stages, adjustment rarely follows a prescribed pattern. Couples benefit most from training in inter-personal skills, specifically communication, conflict resolution and problem solving. Basic information is shared on understanding issues, which border around sex, money, parenting, insight on personality, commitment, balancing work and family. Interactive skills help couples to talk and listen more effectively, especially under stress. Information about issues enhances understanding and decision-making. Insight about self, others, and relationships leads to improved perspective and maturity regarding core values and goals for marriage. No one component is sufficient for a strong marriage, but each complements the others.
Experiential learning activities, such as discussions, role-play, projects, and simulation games produce more effective learning and practice, compared to lecture or classroom instruction. Activities that could help couples help themselves include spending quality time together, regular study of issues, knowledge, and skill application, sharing in support networks and celebrating commitments etc. promote expectations of lifelong learning. If you like to experience these descriptions soon, kindly reach me on +234-803-245-9663 for details. Marriage enrichment programmes are highly recommended for married couples, just like annual family health checks are.
Ayo Daniels is a healthy family practitioner. Contact: