When couples get engaged and plan their wedding, they are often busy with the excitement, details and stress of wedding planning.
We spend a lot of time, money and energy on planning our weddings.
What About Planning Our Marriages?
Current research shows that the best way to build a lifelong marriage is to prepare for it.
In our Marriage Prep 101 Workshops, we apply the latest scientific research that shows what makes marriages succeed and fail.
Marriage preparation can help couples enhance their strengths, clarify expectations, identify areas needing change, learn and practice communication and conflict resolution skills, and develop more emotional and sexual intimacy. With attention and effort, most couples can create a strong relationship that will safeguard them against the inevitable strains of modern life.
Unfortunately, fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Half of those report being happily married, so only 25% of married couples consider themselves happily married.
Taking a marriage preparation workshop can help couples increase the likelihood of happy, successful marriages.
The Facts About Marriage Preparation
Research by four studies has found that taking a skill-based marriage preparation class can reduce the divorce rate by 30%. Also, research has found that couples who increase their positivity, learn how to resolve conflict, prioritize their marriage, and avoid relationship traps are indeed able to increase satisfaction and longevity.
In addition, according to the research, when couples have a baby, 2/3 report that their marital satisfaction goes down. However, if they know how to prioritize and work on their marriage, they will be better able to transition to parenthood, and reclaim their marriage after children to work well together as parents, friends and spouses.
Most of us take Driver’s Ed classes when we learn to drive, and childbirth classes when we are expecting a baby.
Why not take a marriage preparation class to prepare for your marriage? We invest in what is important to us- our education, career, hobbies and interests, parenting, golf game, yoga practice…what about our relationships?
Prepare for the Big Issues
The first five years of marriage are essential to figure out how to have a satisfying friendship, romantic life and partnership. The most popular issues during the first five years of marriage are time, sex and money.
Many couples continue to fight about domestic responsibilities and finances. Conflict is inevitable in a long-term relationship, so it is essential to learn healthy conflict resolution skills and emotional repair.
Couples need to learn how to communicate well, express love and caring, have fun together, appreciate each other, and create a relationship that is satisfying to both.
Imagine being the person you really want to be, and creating a long-term marriage that you can be proud of. I believe that we can be intentional, committed, proactive and positive, and even have fun along the way!
What level of marriage preparation did you have? What should have been done better to prepare you for marriage?
Dr. Michelle Gannon is a Psychologist, Couples Therapist, Relationship Expert, Wife, Mother and Co-Founder of Marriage Prep 101, Award Winning Workshops for Engaged, Newlywed and Seriously Dating Couples. Dr. Gannon writes at Dr Michelle Gannon and Marriage Prep 101, and interacts on Twitter. Dr. Michelle Gannon has been featured on the CBS Early Show, The Kathleen Show, Evening Magazine TV, TIME, PEOPLE, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Gate, Hitched Magazine, and many other newspaper, magazine, radio and TV shows over the years.
She has been married for 14 years, and is a mother of 12 1/2 and 11 year-old sons, a cat and golden retriever. She has taught Marriage Prep 101 workshops with her husband, Dr. Patrick Gannon to over 1,200 couples for the past ten years in San Francisco, and loves helping couples prepare for life-long satisfying marriages.
Photo by michelle.hayes