A journalist recently came across a piece of research on marriage that had the statement in it that marriage does not make people any happier than they were before getting married. She was going to run an article on this statement and on the implications of it for people considering marriage. However she had failed to read some of the rest of what was in the research, especially where the researchers compared this with someone winning the Lotto. This, they claimed, did not make people any happier either because it all depends on how it is managed and the same is true of marriage. Happiness depends on how a marriage is being managed by the two people involved. Marriage Enrichment creates opportunities for couples to learn the art of marriage management through well thought out and well tested programmes.
It is said that a successful marriage is one between two people who enter into between fifteen and twenty different marriages with each other in the course of a lifetime. If this is true, and it would seem to be the experience of very many couples, it gives a very solid base for couples to look at what they need to keep their relationship fresh in the midst of so much change. The individuals themselves are always changing. The circumstances of their life together keep changing. The pressures on their time and attention change frequently etc.
It is essential that every couple would occasionally take time out to reflect on the effect of these changes on their relationship and make whatever adjustments are needed in the present and for the immediate future. Of course couples can and should take this kind of time on their own. But it is also very helpful if they take the opportunities that are presented by programmes that are geared to helping in non-threatening ways.
Programmes for couples come in all kinds of forms. There are residential weekends run by groups like Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille. Love is for Life created a video programmes, Together Forever, which couples can run for themselves as a couple or with others as a group. There are books like 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work which contains many very good exercises that are designed to help couples reflect on and share many aspects of their developing relationship. ACCORD has taken on REFOCCUS as its main Marriage Enrichment programme for the present. The following Links will give you some idea of what others are doing in this area.
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