The “Boring” Skills that your Relationship Depends On

Assertiveness and active listening. Zzzzzzzzz.

We know. These words don’t exactly sound very exciting, which is unfortunate because they are so important! At Prepare/Enrich, we consider them foundational skills – what all other skills are built on. Without assertiveness and active listening, working through conflict becomes impossible, talking about money is an exercise in frustration, and growing as a couple is, frankly, unlikely.

Having trouble remembering what an assertive statement is or what active listening sounds like? Here’s a quick refresh:

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Help for Help Saboteurs

Are you a help saboteur? (Do you sabotage your partner’s help?) Some might understand what this means without further explanation. For those who don’t, you might be a help saboteur if:

  • You wish for your partner to take some things off your plate, but when they do, they don’t do it “right”.
  • You feel very strongly that the “right” way (aka your way), is the only way.
  • Your motto is “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” (Just kidding – sort of.)

If this sounds like you, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Millions of relationships are affected by this every day.

All joking aside, in the months leading up to the arrival of our first child, I knew I was going to have to get better at accepting help from my husband around the house; I simply would not be able to do it all.

I also knew that I would be annoyed.

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4 Wedding Challenges That Will Benefit Your Marriage

Wedding season is in full swing right now, or at least it would be during a normal year. The reality is, even if you don’t have to cancel or postpone your big day, there’s a chance that things might look different than you envisioned. Feeling disappointment and sense of grief is normal and valid. We understand all the planning and resources that go into these momentous events! But we also want to encourage you to keep your eye on the prize – a long, happy marriage.

Here are four challenges you might be facing for your 2020 wedding – and how they might actually be an opportunity to strengthen your marriage in the long run.

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Navigating the Pandemic as Newlyweds

I was talking to a friend last week, sharing stories about our weekend. She and her husband had celebrated their first anniversary as a married couple, in true quarantine style, with homemade pasta and a bottle of chilled wine that had been left on their front porch by a dear friend. She made a comment that struck me as interesting – “Our first year of marriage was certainly not what I imagined.”

In that first year, they both had major changes with their careers, bought a home together, and most unplanned of all: weathered 3 months (and counting) of a global pandemic. While many of those events were welcome and brought joy to their relationship, she delved deeper in her reflection that it was more the amount of change, challenge, and cooperation between the two of them that she didn’t anticipate. She, like many newlyweds, thought that the first year would be a breeze, a blissful journey together living life. I can relate. I myself just celebrated nine months married to my husband – also qualifying us as newlyweds navigating a different first chapter of marriage than we envisioned.

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Things to Take With You From Quarantine

Our exact timelines will vary, but we’ve all been in this for a while now. Quarantine, lockdown, shelter-in-place, or whatever you want to call the new normal we’ve been living. Depending on where you live, you could be pivoting towards opening up and going back to something resembling life “before.” For some of us, life will continue to unfold in restricted, socially-distant reality. We hope that over the last weeks and months, you’ve been able use some of your time at home to invest in your relationship. As you prepare to step back into the hustle and bustle of life, we encourage you to reflect on the things you want to take with you and carry on from this time. Yes, we know there are probably many things you’d like to leave behind, but there has been some good that has come out of staying home and slowing down your pace of life.

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