Our bodies require maintenance to stay healthy. Gardens need maintenance to grow. Cars need maintenance to run well. A business needs maintenance to be successful. Why should it be any different for marriages?
Many couples have premarital counseling before tying the knot, which is great. But you’d never expect four or five workouts at age 22 to keep a person in shape for a lifetime. So why do we think a few counseling sessions before marriage are enough to help a couple maintain a healthy relationship for the rest of their lives?
Whether you’ve been husband and wife for a few months or a few decades, one thing is true.
EVERY marriage relationship needs a little extra TLC now and then.
Not one of us knows everything there is to know about how our other half is wired or how to meet their needs. And even if you have a good handle on how to meet the needs of your spouse, guess what? Their needs may change.
We all change over time, and that inevitably causes changes in our relationship dynamics, too.
Although you may love each other very much, it’s possible you may not notice small changes in how you and your spouse are relating to each other. That’s understandable. Like most of us, you may be distracted by work, kids, bills, housework, lawn maintenance, and other responsibilities.
Unfortunately, many couples don’t make time for the kind of periodic maintenance that would benefit their marriage. It may be the mindset of “we’re doing fine,” or simply that they feel too busy. But just as regular physical checkups can help to prevent future health problems, regular marriage “checkups” can keep little problems from becoming bigger ones.
Is it time for a checkup?
Every once in a while, it’s good to spend a weekend together at a marriage retreat. It gives you a chance to check in with each other and focus on your relationship. You may even make some new friends as you meet other couples.
Taking a marriage course together is another way to strengthen your relationship and discover areas that need attention. Now, it’s true that a course does require a greater investment of time. However, it can also offer greater dividends since you delve more deeply into several areas.
For instance, in our Dynamic Marriage and United courses, couples study how and why their needs are different, how to meet each other’s unique needs, and how to communicate more effectively with each other, no matter the topic.
The reviews are in
We receive feedback all the time from couples who have completed one of our marriage courses. These are just a few of their comments:
– “We now understand each other’s emotional needs much better…. We had no ‘major’ issue in our marriage that needed to be dealt with, but now we have the tools to handle anything that might happen.”
– “My wife and I have grown in love over the past eight weeks and talked about a lot of hidden issues we were facing that we didn’t realize we had. Our communication is much more open and we are working every day to meet each other’s needs.”
– “As a newlywed, (less than one year), I felt I had it together and was not in need of a course or counseling at this time. But in the process, I found there was much to examine, much to learn, much to grow in! Your material, approach, and emphasis have caused us to go deeper, to heal, to be more honest than we ever have before.”
– “We have been married for almost 58 years, but we needed this class to remind us of the fundamental essentials. We have greatly benefited from each section and have had many in-depth discussions as a result. I will strongly recommend this class to couples of all ages.”
What works best for your relationship?
Maybe you and your spouse haven’t taken a marriage course for a while (or ever). If that’s the case, we encourage you to take our free marriage quiz now.
When you finish, you’ll immediately receive a free customized report, based on your responses. It will provide a snapshot of how you scored your marriage in the areas of emotional intimacy, passion, and commitment. We’ll also include suggestions for which of our marriage courses may be most beneficial to you and your spouse.
In his bestselling book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen Covey stressed the importance of being proactive. He wrote, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
It is easy to let our marriage relationship coast along when we have so many demands on our time. But if we treat it as one of our highest priorities and schedule regular times for marriage maintenance, we will reap the reward of a stronger, healthier, more fulfilling relationship.