Created by relationship experts Les and Leslie Parrott, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts has become the gold standard for helping engaged and newlywed couples build a solid foundation for lifelong love. This comprehensive marriage program is designed specifically for today's couples by a couple. Use with the Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts Seven-Session Complete Resource Kit (9780310875819).
What you believe about marriage will become the fuel for your behavior in marriage. For this reason, exploring the myths of marriage is essential. One myth we believe is that we enter marriage expecting the same things. We both have unspoken rules and unconscious roles that we expect our spouse to know or understand. Other myths include, everything good will get better, everything bad will disappear, and my spouse should make me whole.
Love is fluid—it is comprised of three components that change in their balance and priority over time. Passion is the physical component of love. Intimacy is the emotional component of love. And Commitment is the willful ingredient of love. You will define love in your own terms, and compare your definition with your partner's. Learn how to cultivate the three qualities of love, working especially on the ones you emphasize the least.
How do you typically respond when unexpected circumstances interrupt your plans? The one habit that can make or break your relationship is the capacity to adjust to things beyond your control. The most important quality of a marriageable person is the habit of happiness. The toxins that threaten happiness in marriage are blame, resentment and self-pity.
There are some basic skills for communicating effectively with your spouse. First, clarify content to keep from jumping to conclusions. Men and women use different types of talking: Men use report talk, women use rapport talk. Second, reflect feelings to make your spouse feel understood. Combined with good eye contact, these skills convey genuine caring. Without being genuine, the best communication techniques in the world will fall flat.
Everybody knows that men and women are different. But what most newlywed couples don't realize, until they cross the proverbial threshold, is just how pronounced that difference is. There is a difference in the way we solve problems: men want to solve them, women want to explore them. In terms of our needs, men have a need for shared activity, and women have a need to be cherished.
Conflict is inevitable. Now matter how "in love" a couple is, friction eventually emerges. But the savvy couple knows how to use this conflict to their advantage. Negative feelings that get buried have a high rate of resurrection. Healthy conflict avoids criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling.
You can do everything right in marriage and still wake up one morning and wonder, "Is this it?" You will continually be looking for depth and meaning in your relationship until you explore your spiritual nature—how the two of you walk together with God. And did you know? ...Couples who pray together report a higher satisfaction with their sex lives.