Pre-Marital Counseling

April 1, 2009 at 8:48 PM (Books, Family, Inspirational, Movie Reviews, Movies, Relationships, Wedding)

Ben and I have been undergoing our self-designed version of pre-marital counseling for the past 2 weeks.  We wanted to focus on strengthening our relationship even more and developing new skills since our wedding is 53 days away.  So far is has been a very rewarding process.  We started by watching the movie Fireproof based on the recommendation of a co-worker.  The movie has religious components, but even if you aren’t religious we both recommend the movie.  In fact, we believe that every single couple and individual should watch this movie.  It will affect you in ways you can’t predict.  On a negative note, the movie is overly dramatic at times.  However, anyone can relate to the issues and emotions in the movie.  Watch this movie with a friend or significant other.  You won’t regret it!

The second portion of our pre-marital counseling is the longest.  As an undergrad at High Point University, I took a class called Close Relationships.  In the class, I read and studied emperical research about a variety of close relationships.  My professors (there were 2) spoke highly of research by Julie and John Gottman, Ph.Ds.  The Gottman’s run The Gottman Institute in Seattle where they scientifically study couples.  They have written numerous scientific articles as well as popular press books (e.g. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert and The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships).  I’ve always admired them and respected their work and thought of them immediately when we considered pre-marital counseling.

The Gottmans host 4 marriage workshops each year in Seattle called The Art and and Science of Love.  Much to our dismay, the workshop costs $725 plus airfare, hotel, meals, etc.  We were ecstatic to find the DVD version of their workshop for much cheaper. We ordered the workshop materials and started working on it last week.  The workshop takes about 12 hours to complete and consists of lectures and hands on exercises.  We just completed Part 2 of the workshop.  So far it has been insightful and a lot of fun.  It has also strengthened our beliefs in our relationship (i.e. we are doing a lot of things right).

Rather than writing on the materials that came with the workshop, we have been using our own paper in case any of our friends want to borrow it. 😉 The workshop is for couples at any stage in their relationship.

What have you done lately to improve your personal/relationship skills?

We hope you are having a great week!

– Stephanie

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1 Comment

  1. Aubre said,

    What an awesome idea, I am so proud of you two. Not enough couples do pre-marital counseling! I know it was great for us…I guess 13 years of marriage are proof of this 🙂 I am so happy and excited for you two. You are starting things off right. Hugs to you!!!

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