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Prepare Enrich: Preparing for marriage

October 14, 2011

Last Friday I spent the day getting certified in Prepare Enrich–an assessment tool for premarital counseling as well as marriage enrichment and education–and today I wanna tell you about it! Prepare Enrich actually starts out with a relationship inventory that you and your partner take online. The goal is to identify your strengths as a couple as well as your “growing edges”–the areas in which you need increased and improved communication, problem-solving, and connection. Working with your counselor/facilitator {that would be me!}, you then spend a number of sessions discussing the inventory. You receive a full print out, as does your counselor, complete with graphs, descriptions, and a family map {helpful when discussing how your family background has affected your expectations in your current relationship}. It really is a great tool and I’m so excited to be able to use it.

But why the need?

Well, first of all–research has clearly shown the benefit of marriage preparation. Here’s a statistic for you: Half of the marriages that will fail end by the 5th year of marriage. Meaning, the early years of marriage are crucial–which makes sense considering you’re laying the foundation for your relationship. And if you want to lay a solid, healthy foundation, then your best bet is to make sure you’re educated and prepared. I mean, it’s just good sense.

Programs like Prepare Enrich test for the trouble areas in a couple’s relationship–the areas that are most likely to cause conflict. Sure, they’re not exactly the fun things to talk about in premarital counseling but if you’re not talking about them then you’re in trouble. Communication is key. And doing it with a counselor tends to make it a whole lot easier and way more productive.

Here’s a glimpse of some of the areas that are discussed:

  • Relationship strengths
  • Current stressors in each individual’s life
  • Communication and conflict styles
  • Finances
  • Sexual expectations
  • Family & friends
  • Relationship roles
  • Personality types
  • Spiritual beliefs
  • Marriage & parenting expectations
  • Family of origin

That’s a pretty comprehensive list, right? It’s amazing what honest and open communication, and learning about one another, does for a relationship. This is how I always describe it: When you know your partner well, when you understand why he responds in a certain way and what her sensitive issues are, you’re more able to offer compassion. Similarly, when you know yourself well, you can offer that same kind of compassion towards yourself {which is so key}. Education builds compassion and compassion decreases frustration. Who doesn’t want that?

If you have any questions about Prepare Enrich, I’m more than willing to answer them for you! You can always visit the website for more information as well. And if you’re interested in taking the inventory, and you live in the Chicagoland area, I’d be happy to schedule an appointment with you!

xo-Kristine

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 15, 2011 6:51 pm

    Congratulations on your engagement!! đŸ™‚

    So nice to meet you through BYW.
    All the best,
    Mary

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