The Center for Premarital Testing
Develop Good Communication
- Good communication involves listening without defensiveness. We tend to get defensive when we feel attacked or judged. Our defensiveness cuts off our response to the content of our partner’s message and leads to frustration and anger.
By listening for the feelings behind the words, we are able to respond in a way that leads to greater sharing. Is your partner sad, angry, or fearful? Many conversations get off track because a person’s feelings were not appreciated and responded to.
Know Each Others’ Inner World
- What are your partner’s hopes and dreams? What is his/her greatest desire? What is his/her greatest fear?
Knowing what gives meaning to your partner’s life can help you be a true companion. As you plan your future together-and respond to the opportunities and frustrations of life-these hopes and dreams serve as a compass to direct your path.
Make Room for One Another
- Just as you make room in your new home for each other’s belongings, so it is important to create room in your life for your partner.
Does your partner have a voice in decisions? Is there enough time devoted to being with one another? Do your partner’s feelings influence the actions you take?
Learn to Do Conflict Well
- Conflict is not a sign of a weak relationship. All relationships are conflictual at times. What often makes the difference between a sound relationship and a weak one is the way in which conflict is done.
Healthy conflict allows persons to deal with their differences and to either make a decision, or manage unsolvable conflicts without hurting the relationship.
Get Help When You Need It
- Many serious problems in marriage can be prevented by seeking help before the problem reaches toxic levels. Issues, such as communication, finances, sexuality, and parenting, signal the need for consulting with someone professionally to work through the impasse.
Couples do well to have a support system in place as they begin their marriage.
“Overall, a great investment! Thanks!”
“Thank you very much! This was a great partnership-building opportunity. I’m excited about the commitment!”