February 24, 2010
Making marriage work
First I was sick, sick, sick. Then I had what may have been the busiest work week of all time. And then I celebrated with a weeklong tropical vacation with The Guy. I’m back though. Feeling relaxed. With a tan. After seven days of total relaxation it’s hard to remember where you left off in your “real life’!
It was a pretty quick reentry to reality though. We got home (well, to my parents’ home, as we were staying at their place this weekend) from the airport at 3:00 a.m. and started Marriage Prep at our church promptly at 9:15 the following morning. After about 4.5 hours of sleep I felt strangely awake. That, kids, is what we call adrenaline!
I think we had both been viewing the Marriage Prep course as a bit of a hoop that we needed to jump through to get where we wanted to go. In reality though? It was awesome! Both The Guy and I really enjoyed the weekend and the opportunities it provided to get to know eight other couples, learn more about making marriage work (more on that in a second), and learn about the structure of our ceremony (*happy dance*).
I love researching. So, it cams as no surprise when, shortly after the ring was on my finger, I started researching marriage. After much searching on Amazon, I finally settled on The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by Dr. John Gottman.
It was an easy read and I have been (secretly!) applying some of the strategies from the book in my day-to-day life with The Guy for the past several months. Dr. Gottman is the foremost academic researcher in the area of what leads to successful marriages. He flouts a lot of the conventional wisdom that’s out there (e.g. Happy couples can have enduring disagreements. They just handle them well.) and provides really practical strategies. It’s basically common sense, but sometimes we forget to use our common sense…especially in emotional situations like relationships.
Anyhow, it turns out that the majority of the Marriage Prep course was based on this book. For two days, we worked together as couples, or in small groups, to complete many of the exercises in the book and share with the group. It was a lot of fun and, I think, a hugely important step on the path to marriage. Even The Guy liked it.
Are you going to do any sort of marriage preparation? Through your church? Independently?