We’ve heard it before. Relationships can, and will (if we let them), fall in a rut. We know they take energy, we know they take effort, we’ve heard this all before. Amongst the extensive amount of stale relationship advice we’ve heard time and time again, this one stands out as most over-used.
A brief synopsis on what happens every year on Valentine’s Day and what you can do this year to make it better than ever.
1. This year you will open up and communicate to your partner what you want for Valentine’s Day, figuratively and literally. It’s time to be assertive and vulnerable with your partner. You will both appreciate that you were able to open up and say what you are really thinking. Read More
National Marriage Week is quickly approaching!
At PREPARE/ENRICH, we recognize and understand the importance of building strong marriages—and not just during this designated week in February.
We understand the positive impact that marriage has on individuals, children, families, and communities—physically, socially, emotionally, and economically.
We understand the need for valid, effective, and accessible tools that help clergy, counselors, and communities provide the support needed to make marriages last a lifetime.
We understand that it can be hard to know whether you are using the right tools—
In a growing field of options, who can you trust?
Did you know that only about 8% of New Year’s resolutions are actually followed through?
Shocking, right? This is because we tend to make lavish goals that seem farfetched, like exercising 30 hours a week while balancing 2 kids’ schedules or going to every state in the United States this year. These resolutions tend to get thrown to the side to make room for other, every day priorities, like going to the grocery store, or spending that vacation money on your child’s traveling hockey team.
While we tend to make unobtainable resolutions for the New Year, many people still feel like the New Year is a fresh start, whether or not we make resolutions. Researchers call this feeling the “fresh start effect” 1 . They have found that we tend to motivate ourselves into good habits by using a new beginning (like the start of the week, month, year, season, etc.) as a marker to put past behavior behind us and focus on being better. It brings opportunity to reflect on the previous year and anticipate what you want the New Year to look like.
New Year, new you, nice try. We all fall into the same trap of “new year’s resolutions.” This time, year after year, gym prices become “discounted,” self-help books flood our Instagram feeds, and green shakes capitalize the end caps of our local supermarket. We are overwhelmed with the idea that we can change ourselves if we try just hard enough, so let’s push ourselves to reach that yearly goal. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into this cyclical way of thinking every year. Are you focusing your energy on changing the right things? Read More
Healthy relationships are vital to life. When cared for, relationships bring us joy. They bring us strength. They bring us connection. And so many other great things. But relationships are work! And, I’m not just talking about relationships that come with a lifelong commitment like a marriage or parenting, but friendships too.
Friendships are relationships we choose to have. We start to take this autonomy of deciding our friends when we are young, even before we truly understand what it means to be a friend. When I was in elementary school, I remember sitting around the dinner table with my family and one of my parents always would ask, “Did you make any new friends today?” I don’t remember what my answer was on a given day, but I’m sure I answered yes.
Back then, a friend was someone who held the door for you while coming inside from recess. Or someone who would trade you their peanut butter and jelly sandwich for your egg salad. Or maybe even the girl who has the pretty bow in her hair … maybe we’ve never actually played together, but she seems cool, so I’ll say she’s my friend. Read More
Social media has exacerbated the romanticism of your partner being your “#everything.” We constantly see Instagram posts about our friend’s boyfriend with captions like, “He’s my everything.” Facebook photos of a picture of a couple’s silhouette in the sunset with cute calligraphy typed over top, “She is my everything.” Or tweets of a sleeping spouse with hashtags of, “#myeverything.”
What? Where does that even stem from? What lead us to the problematic belief that our partners are the one and only person we need in our life? Read More
Words to think about from our staff at PE
They have been married for 66 years. The wife lives in the family home. Her husband is in a full time care facility. She won’t drive much anymore and he can’t drive at all.
Every Sunday morning he hires the accessibility van to bring him home. If the bus is late picking him up, he knows she will worry. He calls her from his flip phone to give her a new ETA.
She cooks his favorite breakfast and has it ready as soon as he arrives. For a special treat for lunch, some Sunday’s she will go to the local fast food place and bring home his favorites. When she asks him what he wants for supper, he always answers “Whatever you make will be delicious.” They share and enjoy the comfort of eating their meals together at the dining room table; the same table that in the 50’s and 60’s sat a family of five, then six, and finally a family of seven.
These people are my parents.
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
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