Sometimes the Issues Aren’t What They Seem

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My wife, Michelle, and I met with a couple that were fighting about how much time they should spend at her parents when they visited that weekend. We tried to get them to agree on the amount of time. He said 2 hours and she said 6 hours. Eventually, they compromised. He was at 4 hours and she was at 4 hours and 15 minutes. They couldn’t close the gap between the last 15 minutes.
Suddenly, it occurred to me. This isn’t about how much time they spend at her parent’s house. This was about something else. Negotiating a compromise wasn’t helping.

There are different levels to what couples fight about. Sometimes, the real issues aren’t the surface issues. (more…)

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Why You Need Not Marry the Wrong Person

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A letter from our VP:

The New York Times most read story of 2016 recently popped back up on the most popular list again, nearly a year after in first ran last May. As is often the case for the most popular story, the topic was love and relationships:Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person” by Alain de Botton.   A primary argument de Botton offers to support his pessimistic title is that couples entering the commitment of marriage can’t possibly know enough about themselves or each other to make an informed, data-driven decision to spend (or at least plan to spend) the rest of their lives together.  Our society is such that a person “in love” fails to get past the shiny veneer and discover the idiosyncrasies, the warts, the psychoses of their potential spouse…the ways in which they “are crazy.”  Even when preceded by years of dating, the curtain is pulled back only after vows have been exchanged.  Real life sets in and exposes expectations, personality quirks and manifestations of past hurts that can form a toxic brew – a vicious cycle of reactions and overreactions that severely test or even destroy the relationship. (more…)

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Mold Your Melancholy Mondays

Have you ever woken up one morning, nothing is actually wrong, but you feel like you’ve got a huge weight on your shoulders?  Or that your body aches, even though you darn well know you didn’t exercise the night before?  Or that it seems to take much more concentration to smile than usual?  We all have self-pity days – days where nothing is actually wrong but we can’t shake this overwhelming feeling of melancholy.

Discomfort is a natural part of life, not usually one we like to shine a light on.  A part we tend to shove in a dark corner and pretend like it doesn’t exist.  However, we should bring those feelings to light and talk about them so we can normalize a completely natural part of life. (more…)

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How Being Vulnerable Changed Our Relationship

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Counseling seems scary.
But here’s a secret that could protect your future marriage- it’s not scary!

See, it isn’t counseling itself that is nerve-racking (though seeking help does often come with a stigma), but rather, it is the knowledge that at that counseling appointment, you will have to be vulnerable. You will be asked to bare your heart and soul – that’s what makes most people run the other direction. Then add your fiancé sitting next to you on that couch ALSO being vulnerable – you can see why many couples are unwilling to consider premarital as a part of their pre-wedding preparations.

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The Importance of Intention

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Planning a wedding has been classically described as a huge undertaking of time that costs a lot of money and has a ton of moving parts. With the average US wedding costing nearly $27,000, this description is a reality for many couples. From selecting the perfect dress, to the beautiful venue, to delicious food, and enjoyable entertainment, the task seems daunting. Especially when well-meaning family, friends, and about-to-be in-laws jump in with opinions as well as society as a whole suggesting the wedding has to happen in a certain way.

I’ll let you in on a little secret – (more…)

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Showcase First Dates

First and foremost, we want to thank all the couples who have participated in our Bring Back the Butterflies promotion before and during National Marriage Week.  It would not have been such a success if you weren’t invested in checking in with your relationship and aligned with our vision of bringing the butterflies back.  We had many entries to our first date contest, ranging from videos, short stories, poems, haikus, art, etc, and we are so excited to share the 3 winners with the world.  Grab the popcorn, sit back, relax, and embrace the butterflies.

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Relight the Fire in Your Relationship

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The snow has fallen, wool socks have been pulled out of storage, fire places have been lit, winter is here and it has plateaued: don’t let your relationship do the same.  Here’s the thing about complacency, it’s a natural part of a relationship’s journey, but it can be avoided.  Leading up to National Marriage Week, the team at PREPARE/ENRICH wants to encourage you to keep your relationship on your mind.  When you do this, you are already taking a step in the right direction to combat complacency. (more…)

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Bring Back the Butterflies Contest

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Some first dates turn out flawless, they go exactly as planned. Your shirt remains free of pit stains, you manage to make your date laugh several times throughout the date, you hear doves singing in the distance, and at the end of the night, you seal the deal with a kiss. Other first dates? Not so much. Some end in heartbreak, some end in belly laughs, others may end in a shocking surprise.

I never had an outrageous or over the top first date, but my story makes me laugh every time I reminisce about it. I had been texting back and forth with this fascinating guy I had met (spoiler alert – he’s now my husband!). We decided to have a relaxed first date on a week night to see if the conversation was as good in person as it was over text. He invited me over to his house and we had planned to order pizza and watch movies. It had come to his attention that I had an embarrassingly long list of classic movies I had never seen and he was bound and determined to check a couple off the list. (more…)

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Why I’m Not Setting Goals for 2017

It seems like everyone is setting goals for the new year, but I don’t think I will. Don’t get me wrong, goals are great in theory and help people achieve results. However, I’ve never had much luck with goals. I always end up either convincing myself the goal was out of reach to begin with or I talk myself into a simpler version of the goal and end up feeling guilty once I accomplish it.

So, I’m not setting goals for 2017, I’m setting intentions.

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