Marriage Readiness Exercise (Mre)

Marriage Readiness Exercise (Mre)

FINDING THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE Marriage is like a mine field. Dont wander in unless you damn well know where the mines are. There is an old saying... Marriages are made in Heaven.

But the fact is they are lived on Earth! Poor mate selection leads to bad marriages. Bad marriages are guaranteed to produce PAIN. SHOCK TALK: MARRIAGE IN AMERICA 9/10 people will marry at least once during their lifetime

Over 2 million weddings each year Almost 50% of marriages in America end in divorce = How many divorces? 20% of marriages last less than 5 years 33% of are over before 10 years 43% are over before 15 years SHOCK TALK: MARRIAGE IN AMERICA Of the 50% who remain married, over half are

unhappy That means 75% of marriages will turn sour Many people marry multiple times over the course of their life in search of the right mate. 60% of 2nd marriages and 75% of 3rd marriages end in divorce. What about Coast Guard marriages? Major issues that lead to marital

failure... Unrealistic expectations Immaturity and inadequate relationship skills Lack of emotional independence Inability to cope with frequent separations and deployments Major issues that lead to marital failure...

Money Power Roles, Rules, Rituals

Family and Friends Personality differences Children and Parenting Major issues that lead to marital failure... Religion Dishonesty Erosion of communication and intimacy

Lack of fun And last, but not least. Adultery What is the most important decision you need to make before deciding to marry? Who is the right person for

me? What to look for when choosing a mate... Ten principles that will help you choose wisely From the book, Finding the Love of Your Life by Neil Clark Warren, PhD. (Founder of

Principle One Eliminate the seven deadly mate selection errors. These seven errors are: # 1. Dont get married too quickly. Longer courtships produce consistently healthier marriages. 18-24 months is generally a solid

foundation for marriage (not cohabitation) #2. Dont get married too young. Marrying as a teenager is the highest known risk factor for divorce (Teens are 2-3x more likely to divorce than those who marry in their twenties or older). Wait until you really know yourself so that you can

better know the kind of person with whom you can enjoy a long term relationship. (Brain development) What is the median age for marriage in America? #3. Dont rush into marriage. And dont let anyone else who is overly eager push you into marriage. Quick / Impulsive decisions generally dont pan out when buying stocks, cars, or when deciding to marry.

#4. Dont try to please someone else with your choice. While impressing friends and family with your catch may make you feel good inside, you are the only one who will profit from or suffer from your choice.

#5. Dont marry someone until you really know them. Minimize the surprise factor. You can make a far more accurate prediction about how much you will enjoy being married to someone if your experience base is broad. LONG COURTSHIPS = FEWER SURPRISES #6. Dont get married with

unrealistic expectations. Ask yourself the question, How many married people do I know who have never divorced and who are truly happy? If your expectations about the challenges of marriage are not realistic you are setting yourself up for ___________?

#7. Dont marry someone with a personality or behavioral problem Unless you are willing to live with those problems for a life time. What you see before marriage is what you get after marriage. Remember, during the dating phase, people put on their best face (Avoid the old bait and switch)

Principle Two Develop a high degree of conscious clarity about the person you wish to marry. How would you rank these 10 attributes: Personality? Intelligence? Appearance? Ambition? Chemistry? Spirituality? Character? Creativity? Parenting? Authenticity?

Principle Three Find a person to love who is a lot like you. What about opposites attract? The more similar people are in their values, backgrounds and life goals, the more likely they are to have a successful marriage! Principle Four

Get married only if you and the person you want to marry are emotionally healthy. The time to get healthy is before marriage. A persons self-esteem is at the heart of emotional health. Is he/she emotionally independent? Principle Five

Find a love you can feel deep in your heart-and express it carefully. Passion and love are necessary to a good marriageBUT A sexual relationship hinders a couples ability to make clear and objective decisions about the relationship and often fools them into making the wrong choice. Principle Six Let passionate love mature before you

decide to marry. Know the difference between romantic/ sexual infatuation and love. What the heck is Love? Whats the difference between infatuation and love? filia (Philadelphia) eros (erotic) agape (self-giving, sacrificial love)

1 Corinthians 13 provides a great definition of Love 1 Corinthians 13 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in

evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. Principle Seven Master the art of intimacy. Intimacy requires a genuine desire to know and understand your mate Immature love/infatuation is more

concerned about Whats in it for me? Keep each others love tank full Principle Eight Learn how to resolve differences before you marry. Conflict is a normal byproduct of relationships However, conflict not handled well is one of the best predictors of divorce.

If you cant effectively resolve conflict before the wedding, its time to postpone the wedding. Principle Nine Refuse to proceed until both of you can genuinely pledge your lifelong commitment. What do herring gulls, geese, wolves, beavers, tigers and foxes have in

common? Love and Commitment are conscious decisions and cannot be based on how you feel any given day. Principle Ten Celebrate your marriage with the full support of family and friends. Listen to your universe! If family and friends are not fully

supportive of this marriage, listen carefullyRemember, Love is blind. Consequences of a failed marriage

Pain and Heartache Bitterness Potential for domestic violence/NJP Contested divorce cases = $$$ Community Property Laws Alimony/Child Support ($300x12x?=) WHAT ABOUT

COHABITATION? From 1970-2000 cohabitation rates increased tenfold from 500,000 to 5.5 mil. (U.S. Bureau of the Census) Today, 60-75% of first marriages and 8085% of second marriages are preceded by cohabitation. (U.S. Bureau of the Census) FACT OR FICTION? The major myth that couples buy into

is that living together will better their chances of staying married. In a recent national survey, 60% of HS seniors agreed with this statement: It is usually a good idea for a couple to live together before getting married in order to find out whether they really get along.

Research Shows Otherwise: Cohabiters have lower levels of personal happiness and higher rates of depression (Waite & Gallagher, 2000) Cohabiters value independence more than married partners and have more individual

freedom (Waite & Gallagher, 2000) Cohabiters are less likely to be supportive financially of one another (Waite and Gallager, 2000) Cohabiters have more negative attitudes about marriage (Axinn & Barber, 1997) Research Shows Couples living together have the lowest level of premarital satisfaction (Stewart & Olson, 1990; Olson, 2001) Marriages preceded by cohabitation are more

likely to end in divorce (Popenoe & Whitehead, 1999) Cohabiters have significantly lower scores on most categories of PREPARE (Olson, 2001) Married couples who cohabitated prior to marriage have poorer communication skills in discussing problems (Cohan & Kleinbaum, 2000) Research Shows Cohabiters are less sexually committed or trustworthy (Waite & Gallagher, 2000)

Cohabitating males are less involved in housework and childrearing (Waite & Gallagher, 2000) Cohabitating increases the risk of couple abuse and, if there are children, child abuse (Thompson, Hanson & McLanahon, 1994) Cohabiters have lower scores on religious behaviors, personal faith, church attendance and joint religious activities (Thorton, Axinn & Hill, 1992)

Research Shows A Justice Department study revealed that cohabitating women are 56 times more likely to be assaulted than a wife. A National Council on Family Relations study of over 300 newly-married couples found a higher level of dissatisfaction among those couples who lived together before their wedding.

Research Shows A University of Wisconsin National Study of Families and Households showed that of 100 cohabitating couples: 40 will break up before marrying 45 of the remaining 60 who marry will divorce Only 15 of the original 100 married and stayed married

Finally, A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that couples who live together before marriage (not pre-nuptial) have a 80% HIGHER divorce rate than couples who dont live together before marriage. REMEMBER... 1 out of 5 marriages end within 5 years.

There are no guarantees when it comes to marriage, except that choosing the wrong mate will lead to pain, misery and divorce. You can improve your chances by not making some common mistakes. The most common mistakes people make is marrying the wrong person and for the wrong reasons (financial,

lonliness, dependency, PG/Children) Is it Love or is it sexual infatuation? Couples who marry because of sexual infatuation... will marry younger will rush into marriage will not seek out pre-marriage counseling will quickly become dissatisfied after marriage

will likely not possess the necessary relationship skills for a healthy marriage run a much higher risk for DIVORCE Something to Think About... Courtship, the time of ecstatic paralysis,

has been cleverly designed by nature to lure members of the species into reproducing themselves. The sex drive is powerfully deceptive. Dont let it fool you into choosing the wrong mate!

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