Marriages need regular investment to keep them fresh. Don’t let yourselves get in a rut – explore new ways of connecting!
Over time, we all change and encounter new situations like relocation, bereavement, a growing family, new opportunities…… Keeping our relationships in good condition requires commitment to working issues through.
Proven to improve relationship satisfaction, Prepare Enrich is a leading assessment tool which has been used by over 4 million couples worldwide and is backed up by 35 years of research. It is personalised for each couple and can be used at any stage of your relationship. It works by identifying how you are doing currently, your strength and growth areas, and leads on to how to grow in the skills and behaviours that make relationships work really well. You are supported in this process by a trained facilitator.
Many couples jump over sharing information and feelings, and rush to trying to resolve differences without fully understanding each other. It can be helpful to slow down the communication process. Understanding each other at the beginning focuses conversation and harnesses energy for a fruitful resolution. When differences arise, take a moment and do not rush to try and resolve them straight away.
Have a look at the course file to see a sample page from a Prepare Enrich couple report and a linked Prepare Enrich exercise around assertiveness and active listening. The aim is to support couples in increasing levels of assertiveness in their relationship. Some people don’t like the word “assertiveness”, but in this context it simply means giving each other the opportunity to express your deepest desires and wishes for your relationship.
Active listening tips:
- Take a few minutes (individually) to think of something you would each like to be different about your relationship, for example: ‘I would like to feel more together on our finances’ or ‘I wish we could have more fun together’.
- Take time sharing your wish with your partner. Focus on your own hopes (not your partner’s failings!). Using “I” statements can be useful here, e.g. “I wish you would…” rather than “You never…”. Describe how you would feel if your wish happened.
- The listener’s job is simply to show their partner that they have understood their wish. So the listener could repeat or summarise what he/she has heard. The listener is not allowed to comment negatively on their partner’s wish!
- Discuss afterwards how it felt to be listened to in this way. How could this strengthen your relationship