Communication and conflict resolution

-2 couples, one couple that are considered newlyweds and one couple that have been married for at least 10 years. So I have to ask each couple for what they feel are the most important elements of a successful marriage. How are their answers similar and how are they different. How do their responses compare to what we have learned through our readings on building a strong marriage foundation.
Marriage: Building a Strong Foundation
What makes a marriage strong? What are the benefits of marriage? Will a marriage last? These are some of the many questions that couples may ask as they contemplate the important step of marriage. All couples go into marriage with the idea that it will be a long lasting even lifelong commitment. This week we will learn about the elements that are the basis of a healthy relationship. This is not to say that these same elements cannot be applied to any couple seeking a long term, healthy relationship.
Marriage education programs are becoming increasingly recommended to help couples build strong and healthy relationships. Marriage education came into use in the early 1970s and has been utilized on and off throughout the years as way to combat the rising divorce rate by giving couples the tools needed for a successful relationship prior to (premarital education) or early on in marriage. Some examples of Marriage Enrichment programs are PREPARE, ENRICH, Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment (ACME), and Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) which are designed to improve communication the quality of relationships.
Our readings this week will give us insight into the role and importance that our families of origin play in a marriage. When a couple marries, not only do they marry each other but they become part of each other’s families in which they were raised. A Couple and Family Map can be a useful tool in visually presenting how the family of origin can impact a couples’ relationship.
The beginnings of a marriage can be stressful as the couple navigates the challenges of their new relationship. Successful navigation of these challenges and a positive outlook through this process can lead to a strong foundation for the marriage. D.H. Olson describes 5 different types of marriages. These types are:
Marriage Type
Vitalized Couples
Strong communication skills, strong conflict resolution skills, a strong sexual relationship and strong financial skills.
2.Harmonious Couples
Fewer strengths but able to successfully resolve conflicts with good relationship satisfaction.
3.Conventional Couples
Strong in spiritual beliefs, comfortable with traditional roles with supportive friends and family.
4.Conflicted Couples
Low communication and low conflict resolution. Divorce is considered an option.
5.Devitalized Couples
General unhappiness and considering divorce.
Keeping a marriage together and strong takes ongoing and almost daily work. A marriage should be nurtured and grown and should be a priority for the couple. This can be challenging in the fast pace world in which we live. While it is inevitable that conflict will occur at times in a relationship, especially in the early years, the importance of forgiveness cannot be understated.

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