Marriage is More than a Piece of Paper

This is part one of a mini interview series the team at PREPARE/ENRICH conducted during the month of May to celebrate anniversaries with couples like you.

As we approach the month of June, wedding season is upon us.  With weddings come anniversaries – many, many anniversaries.  Relationships are our priority here at P/E and we wanted to highlight the lives of some of our couples as they reach milestones in their relationships.  We have found that couples at all stages in their relationships have unique stories and great advice that we believe every couple could benefit from indulging in.  Take a few minutes out of your day to share in the laughs, well-rounded advice, and insights from our P/E family.

 

Introducing our first couple, Anna and Eric Read More

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. Read More

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. Read More

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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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. Read More

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. Read More

3 Quick Tips to Handle Holiday Conflict

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Imagine you are sitting at the outrageously decorated holiday table that your sister spent all morning setting.   Your most loved relatives are sitting around you, chatting, laughing, and grazing.  Your uncle starts up a conversation with your husband about politics from across the table.  He makes a comment about an immigration policy and you completely disagree with him.  You begin to feel agitated, your heart rate is increasing and your hands start to sweat.  On top of the agitation you are experiencing, your anxiety level starts to rise.  What is your husband thinking?  How much longer should you wait to hear your uncle out before you chime in with your opinion?  Should you chime in? Read More