Building Strong Relationships

To keep your marriage alive and growing, it requires that you invest time, energy and money in your relationship. Too often, couples invest time in their work and in them but do not invest time to help their relationship grow.

While a plant needs nutrients, water and sun to continue to blossom and grow, marriage also needs attention and support. Growing together as a couple means not only sharing feelings, ideas and goals, but to continually work to achieve them as a couple.

Most premarital couples spend a great deal of time, energy and money on their wedding ceremony which only lasts a few hours. However, they often invest little time building relationship skills that will help them have a more satisfying marriage.

It is much easier to prepare for a successful wedding than for a successful marriage. While a wedding involves concrete tasks that need to be completed, a successful marriage requires that you also take time to share feelings, both positive and negative. Growing closer to each other requires sharing feelings, ideas and goals. Too often couples simply spend time and take each other for granted and wonder why their relationship is less satisfying. To help prevent problems and keep your relationship growing, we recommend daily compliments and dialogue.

Giving each other compliments is easy to do and it even encourages your partner to compliment you. This helps you both keep focused on your strengths and the positive things that brought you together. It also prevents your relationship from becoming routine and from taking each other for granted.

For most couples, the first year of marriage is sometimes difficult and frustrating. In order to help you deal with these issues and continue to strengthen your marriage. We encourage you to participate in various types of marriage enrichment programs.

*This information is taken from the couple booklet entitled: Building A Strong Marriage by Dr. Olson and distributed by PREPARE/ENRlCH P 0 BOX 190, MPLS MN 554440-0190.