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Welcome to the PREPARE/ENRICH Program: Our Goal is to Help you Build and Maintain a Happy Marriage
Congratulations! You have taken an important step in building a strong marriage by joining over 2.5 million couples who have bene"ted from PREPARE/ENRICH. Over the last three decades, this program has been scienti"cally improved and updated. Research studies have demonstrated it can improve your relationship skills and happiness as a couple. Remember to work on your relationship by seeking out opportunities to make your relationship grow over time. Continue growing by going on date nights, "nding special occasions to celebrate, and keeping your marriage a top priority like you did when you were dating. If you "nd you have ongoing problems that don’t go away over time, it is important to seek professional counseling. Like any problem or illness, the sooner you go for help, the better the changes are for recovery. If problems persist, contact your current facilitator or go to our website (w w w . prepare-enrich. com)and search under “Find a Facilitator.” On your w edding Anniversary — Take the Online Couple Checkup: One of the best ways to help you maintain a healthy and happy relationship is to invest times and energy in it. W e highly recommend at least once a year, perhaps on your wedding anniversary, you take the online Couple Checkup (w w w . couplecheckup. com) . The Online Couple Checkup is built on the foundation of PREPARE/ENRICH, and provides you with a Couple Report (15-20 pages)and a Couple D iscussion Guide both of which help you build a stronger marriage.

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COUPLE’S WORKBOOK

TA B LE OF CON T EN T S

*SHARING STRENGTH AND GROWTH AREAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
COMMU NICATION: Assertiveness and Active Listening. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

* Creating a Wish List using Assertiveness and Active Listening
PERSONAL STRESS PROFILE:

..... 4 Dai l y Di al ogue and Dai l y Com pl i m ents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 6 7 Weddi ng Stress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

fyi ng Most Cri ti cal Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . * Identi B al anci ng your Pri ori ti es . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

CONFLICT RESOLU TION:
Steps f or Resol vi ng Con! i ct . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 * Ten How to take a Ti m e-Out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Seeki ng and Granti ng Forgi veness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT:
The Chal l enges of Money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Im portance of Fi nanci al Goal s...................... B udget Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Meani ng of Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 13 14 15

LEISU RE ACTIV ITIES: The Dating Exercise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 SEX
AND

AFFECTION: The Expression of Intim acy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

RELATIONSHIP ROLES: Sharing Roles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 SPIRITU AL B ELIEFS: Your Spiritual Journey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 MARRIAGE EX PECTATIONS: Managing Your Expectations. . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 CHILDREN AND PARENTING:
Coupl e Di scussi on about Chi l dren . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Pl anni ng a Weekl y Fam i l y Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 StepFam i l i es: Choosi ng Real i sti c Expectati ons. . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

FAMILY MAPS: * COU PLE AND Mappi ng Your Rel ati onshi p

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Cl oseness Exerci ses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Fl exi bi l i ty Exerci ses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 27

* PERSONALITY : SCOPE Out Your Personality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . * SIX CORE EXERCISES

GOALS: Achieving Your Goals. . . Together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

3. SPIRITUAL BELIEFS We hold similar religious values and beliefs.” C heck what areas you agree or disagree most with your partner. Take turns sharing w hat each of you perceive as your rel ationship strengths. LEISURE ACTIVITIES We have a good balance of activities together and apart. RELATIONSHIP ROLES We agree on how to share decision-making and responsibilities. CONFLICT RESOLUTION We are able to discuss and resolve differences. Verbal l y share one strength at a tim e. 10. FAMILY AND FRIENDS We feel good about our relationships with relatives and friends. CHILDREN AND PARENTING We agree on issues related to having and raising children. COMMUNICATION We share feelings and understand each other.SH A R IN G ST R E N G T H A N D G R O W T H A R E A S “Your strengths develop by working through your issues. In what areas did you mostl y agree with your partner? c. N ow have a discussion around these questions: a. 6. C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : 1.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. 9. 8. In what areas did you mostl y disagree with your partner? 2 www. 7. 2. 2. • Sel ect three Strength A reas ( m ost agreem ent and positive aspects of your rel ationship) • Sel ect three G rowth A reas ( m ost disagreem ent and areas you w ant to im prove) ST R E N G T H A R EA S G RO W TH A R EA S 1. 4. ® . D id any of your partner’ s responses surprise you? b. Inc. untilyou each have shared three.prepare-enrich. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT We agree on budget and !nancial matters. SEXUALITY AND AFFECTION We are comfortable discussing sexual issues and affection. PARTNER STYLE AND HABITS We appreciate each other’s personality and habits. U se the sam e procedure to share and discuss grow th areas. 3. 5.

C O M M U N IC AT IO N “It takes two to speak the truth. E xampl es of A ctive Listening: “I heard you say you are feeling ‘ out of balance’.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. They use pol ite phrases such as “pl ease” and “thank you”. I would like us to !nd some time to talk about this. intim acy is increased. The active l istening process l ets the sender know w hether or not the m essage they sent w as cl earl y understood by having the l istener restate w hat they heard.prepare-enrich. But you think I would rather to go to the beach. In successfulcoupl es. A ctive l istening invol ves l istening attentivel y w ithout interruption and then restating w hat w as heard. and enj oy the time we spend together but that you also need more time to be with your friends. Is that correct?” W hen each person know s w hat the other person feel s and w ants ( assertiveness)and w hen each know s they have been heard and understood ( active l istening) . A cknow l edge content A N D the feel ings of the speaker.” — H enry D avid Thoreau A SSE R T IV E N E SS A N D A C T IV E LIST E N IN G A SSE R T IV E N E SS: Assertiveness is the ability to express your feelings and ask for what you want in the relationship. you are concerned because you want to go skiing next winter.” “If I understand what you said. but I know you like to go to the beach. A ssertive individual s take responsibil ity for their m essages by using “I” statem ents.” In m aking constructive requests.” A C T IV E LIST E N IN G : Active listening is the ability to let your partner know you understand them by restating their message.” “I want to take a ski vacation next winter. I’m feeling confused about what choice we should make. A ssertiveness is a val uabl e com m unication skil l . www. they are positive and respectfulin their com m unication. both individual s tend to be quite assertive. ® 3 . You want to plan a time to talk about this. E xampl es of A ssertive Statements: “I’m feeling out of balance.. These tw o com m unication skil l s can hel p you grow cl oser as a coupl e.. Inc. they share how they feeland ask cl earl y and directl y for w hat they w ant. R ather than assum ing their partner can read their m inds. I also want to spend time with my friends.one to speak and another to hear. G ood com m unication depends on you careful l yl istening to another person. While I love spending time with you. They avoid statem ents beginning w ith “you.

A ctive l istening is the abil ity to l et your partner know you understand them by restating their m essage. In giving feedback to your partner about their W ish List. 2..”) 2. • M ake a W ish List of three things you woul dl ike more or l ess of in your rel ationship. take turns sharing your W ish Lists w ith each other. you w il lbe dem onstrating your A ctive Listening skil l s. LISTENER’S JOB: 1. 1. Inc. R epeat/sum m arize w hat you have heard..C O M M U N IC AT IO N “It is a luxury to be understood. 2. C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : Take turns sharing your W ish List w ith each other. ”I w ish. A ssertiveness is the abil ity to express your feel ings and ask for w hat you w ant in your rel ationship. SPEAKER’S JOB: 1.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. In sharing your W ish List w ith your partner. discuss the fol l ow ing questions: H ow good w ere each of you atbei ng as s ert i ve? In w hatw aysdi d you each ef f ect i vel y us e act i ve l i s t eni ng s ki l l s ? 4 www. you w il lbe dem onstrating your A ssertiveness skil l s. you w il leach individual l y m ake a W ish List of things you w oul dl ike m ore or l ess of in your rel ationship. A fter com pl eting the W ish List Exercise. 3. D escribe how you w oul d feelif your w ish cam e true. ® .g. Speak for yoursel f( “I” statem ents e.prepare-enrich. N ext. D escribe the w ish A N D how your partner w oul d feelif the w ish cam e true.” — R al ph W al do Em erson C R E AT IN G A W ISH LIST In this exercise.

and needs.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations.you either win together or lose together. Inc. 2. U se the Ten Steps approach. Share your thoughts. Focus on the good qual ities in each other and often praise each other.g. not to j udge. Turn off the phone. 4. • COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO INCREASE INTIMACY • 1. www. use the Ten Steps for Resolving Couple Con!ict. Listen to understand. In the future can you remember to also wheel the trash can back from the end of the driveway?” ). 5. These can be general(“you are fun to be with”)or speci!c (“I appreciate that you were on time for the concert”) . 8. ® 5 . 3. The focus of this dial ogue shoul d be on your feel ings about each other and your l ives together. Avoid criticism. feel ings. bal ance it with at l east one positive comment. G ive ful l attention to your partner when tal king. Every day give your partner at l east one genuine com pl im ent. 6. Seek counsel ing. Set aside !ve m inutes per day to discuss the fol l ow ing: • What did you most enjoy about your relationship today? • What was dissatisfying about your relationship today? • How can you be helpful to each other? D ail y C ompl iments hel p you focus on the positive things you l ike about each other. A good w ay to be assertive w ithout being criticalis to use “I” rather than “You” statem ents. 10. B e assertive. seek counsel ing before they becom e m ore serious.prepare-enrich.“I appreciate how you take the trash out each week. (e. m ake eye contact. (e. If you must criticize.C O M M U N IC AT IO N “M arriage is a team sport.g. For probl em s that com e up again and again. Avoid bl aming each other and work together for a sol ution. 7. U se active l istening.” D A ILY D IA LO G U E A N D D A ILY C O M P LIM E N T S D ail y D ial ogue is an intentionaleffort to tal k about your rel ationship. 9. Sum m arize your partner’ s com m ents before sharing your ow n reactions or feel ings. “I worry when you don’t let me know you’ll be late” rather than “You are always late”). rather than discussing your activities that day. If you are not abl e to resol ve issues. shut off the tel evision.

com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. R eview each issue and put it into one of the four cel l s bel ow. and the wisdom to know the difference. ® . j ob prom otion)or negative ( l oss of j ob. 2. You w il leach sel ect four issues that are the m ost stressfulfor each of you from the Com puter R eport. 6 www. W ork together as a team to achieve your goal s. m aj or il l ness) . But w hat is im portant is to be abl e to m anage the m any stressors in your l ife. B e ! exibl e with one another. 3.” A bl e to C hange B ox 1: M ost C ritical Issues H igh P riority What changes can you each make? B ox 3 Low P riority Are you spending too much time on low priority issues? Can you accept or forget about these issues? How do you plan to cope? B ox 4: Least C ritical Issues D if" cul t to C hange B ox 2 C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : Sel ect one issue from B ox 1 that you wil l work on together as a coupl e. Box 1 contains the “M ost CriticalIssues. Stress can be positive ( w edding. 2. O ne w ay to m anage stress is to prioritize the issues that are m ost im portant to you. Inc. 1. C oupl e E xercise: 1. A nother is to decide w hat issues can be changed or resol ved and w hich ones cannot. 3. the courage to change the things I can.P E R SO N A L ST R E SS P R O FILE “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. This exercise w il lhel p you focus on the high priority issues and those that can be changed ( Box 1) .prepare-enrich.” — R einhold N iebuhr ID E N T IFY IN G M O ST C R IT IC A L ISSU E S D o you control stress in your l ife or does stress control you? Stressors are events that cause an em otionaland/or physicalreaction. C ommunicate about the issue. car accident. U se good con! ict resol ution skil l s.

W ORK: Tim e on j ob/school Bringing w ork hom e Com m uting P E R SO N A L: Exercise Tel evision Com puter/video gam es H obby/R ecreation R eading Friends R el igious activities Vol unteering Sl eep ( hours per night) M A R R IA G E : ( C oupl e) A t hom e together A ctivities/D ates D iscussions ( m inutes per day) H O M E: Cl eaning Cooking G rocery shopping Errands Law n/G arden H om e m aintenance FA M ILY: ( i f chi l dren at hom e) N um ber of m eal s together Fam il y activities Transporting chil dren H el ping w ith hom ew ork A t hom e together C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : • W hat areas feel out of bal ance to each of you? • W hat steps m ust you take i n order for your goal to becom e real i ty? NOW YO U R G O A L ( H ours per w eek) H ow w i l l you m ove tow ard your goal ? w w w. indicate how m uch tim e you “N ow ” spend on each of these areas. decide on the am ount of tim e you w oul d ideal l y spend— “Your G oal ”. N ext. Then decide how you can achieve your goal . Inc.P E R SO N A L ST R E SS P R O FILE “You can’t stop the waves. com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. but you can learn to surf. ® 7 .” — J on K abat-Z inn B A LA N C IN G YO U R P R IO R IT IE S First. prepare-enri ch.

the guest l ist shoul d be created earl y because it shapes decisions about facil ities and costs. it’ s good to be at your best" From Take Back Your Wedding:M anaging the People Stress of Wedding Planning. The groom from a Cathol ic fam il y shoul d expl ain to his Protestant bride w hat is invol ved in a traditionalCathol ic w edding. Som e decisions w il lbe m ade consequential l y as other w ishes are discussed. This is a good tim e to l earn how to dealw ith them . but w hen you are negotiating a w edding. Doherty and Elizabeth Doherty Thomas (2007). intim ate w edding but your partner has cherished the fam il y tradition of a l arge w edding. Seeing the l arger picture can hel p you resol ve differences. You can decide to graceful l y adj ust your preference if your partner has strong feel ings about an issue. Try setting a num ber that gives m ore to the person w ho cares the m ost. Som etim es the issue is not betw een the tw o of you. Is it okay if I research a photographer?” ) . If one of you w ants a tropicalbeach w edding and the other a hom e. Teach and learn from one another rather than assuming the other “gets it. Periodically assess your wedding-planning stress and feelings of competency. Exam pl es are speaking for yoursel f using “I-statem ents” rather than attacking the other person. visit www. prepare-enri ch. For more information and resources to deal with your wedding. ® . H ere are som e strategies you m ight !nd hel pful : 1. pol itel y offer to hel p or take over ( e. and choosing the best tim e and pl ace to tal k about dif!cul t m atters. Your everyday com m unication patterns m ight be !ne for everyday m atters. 2.. Inc. 5. rather than having surprises keep com ing up. You can both educate each other about your fam il ies and their traditions. consider whether deeper issues are underlying your con!ict. am ong other things. If your partner has not fol l ow ed through on a task they w ere responsibl e for. 3. The key is to agree together on a shift of responsibil ity. For exam pl e. com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. rather than saying.TheFirstD ance. You m ay prefer a sm al l .” Som etim es one of you w il lnot see a probl em that is quite cl ear to the other. or if you feelbetter equipped for a particul ar task. “I am interested in photography and have a light work schedule next week. When you are doing your best to deal with your differences and yet remain polarized. 4. som etim es the issue is not about the size of the w edding but about a feel ing of envy or com petition because one of you has a bigger fam il y or circl e of friends. but betw een one of you and your fam il y m em bers.tow n w edding. l istening to understand before proposing sol utions. For exam pl e.P E R SO N A L ST R E SS P R O FILE W E D D IN G ST R E SS D ifferences and disagreem ents are as inevitabl e in w edding pl anning as they are in m arriage itsel f.com 8 w w w. I will!” The person w ho has been rel ieved of one responsibil ity shoul d then offer to hel p w ith other responsibil ities. Consider the big picture as it affects each decision. you can discuss these options in the l ight of other issues such as the fact both of you w ant your frail grandparents to com e to your w edding. by William J. Ask yourselves who cares more about the issue. “Since you won’t do it. The standard tool s of effective com m unication taught in PR EPAR E/EN R ICH are particul arl y im portant w hen there is tension betw een you.g.

prepare-enrich. Studies show the am ount of disagreem ents are not rel ated to m aritalhappiness as m uch as how they are handl ed. D o not j udge or criticize any of the suggestions at this point. ( Be as speci"c as possibl e. 8. A gree on one sol ution to try. A gree how you wil l each work toward this sol ution. ® 9 . Set a time and pl ace for discussion.) Partner 1: Partner 2: 9.) www.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. B rainstorm— Poolyour new ideas and try to l ist 10 possibl e sol utions to the probl em . praise his/her effort. List past attempts to resol ve the issue that were not successful . D e! ne the probl em . ( Be as obj ective as possibl e. 1. 2.C O N FLIC T R E SO LU T IO N T E N ST E P S FO R R E SO LV IN G C O N FLIC T Al lcoupl es have differences and disagreem ents. thereby strengthening their rel ationship. List the ways you each contribute to the probl em. Inc. as w el las future issues. R eward each other for progress. but effective w ay to resol ve con!ict w hil e avoiding the com m on and destructive patterns.) 7. U se this m odelw ith an ongoing issue in your rel ationship. H appy coupl es do not avoid disagreem ents. 3.B e speci! c. Pl ace: D ate: Tim e: 10. This Ten Step M odelis a sim pl e. Set up another meeting to discuss your progress. Partner 1: Partner 2: 4. 1) 3) 2) 4) 5. 1) 6) 2) 7) 3) 8) 4) 5) 9) 10) 6. D iscuss and eval uate each of these possibl e sol utions. Tal k about how usefuland appropriate each suggestion feel s for resol ving your issue.they resol ve them w hil e rem aining respectfulof each other. ( If you notice your partner m aking a positive contribution tow ard the sol ution.

• Try to identify w hat you w ere thinking and feel ing that becam e so dif"cul t to discuss. Bring in the skil l s of A ssertiveness and A ctive Listening and/or the Ten Steps for Con!ict R esol ution. criticize. ® . That is easy. This is w hen a “tim e-out” can be bene"cial . R E M E M B E R W H AT ’ S IM P O R TA N T. it is not uncom m on to say or do things w e l ater regret. the “"ght or !ight” response is triggered as each person goes into a protection m ode w ith l ittl e or no regard for their partner. 10 w w w. R ather than l istening activel y. R ead. H onor your com m itm ent to return to the issue w hen you are ready to have a m ore productive conversation.R EQ U EST T H E T IM E-O U T.” • R em em ber to cal lthe tim e-out for yoursel f. com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. • Think about “I” m essages you coul d use to tel lyour partner w hat you w ere thinking or feel ing. W rite in your j ournal .I need to take a tim e-out. Take a w al k or a bath. partners begin to accuse. R E LA X A N D C A LM D O W N . and begin to think productivel y again about how to approach the issues they face. • Try to spend som e quiet tim e considering your partner’ s point of view and w hat they are feel ing. and w hat you need from him /her. for the right purpose and in the right way – that is not easy. Inc. 5. or w atch tel evision for a w hil e. R E C O G N IZ E your need for a ti m e-out. It is sel dom hel pfulto tel lthe other person “You need a tim e-out# ” Suggest a tim e w hen you think you’ l lbe ready to resum e. M oreover. In this state of escal ation. it is nearl y im possibl e to have a productive conversation l eading to a m utual l y agreed upon resol ution. R ather than speaking assertivel y. bel ittl e. Physiol ogical l y.” — A ristotl e H O W TO TA K E A T IM E -O U T Som e con!icts becom e heated as l evel s of anger and frustration rise. G o for a j og.Take som e deep breaths. prepare-enri ch. at the right time.A re your "sts cl enched? Is your face red? A re you breathing fast? A re the tears stream ing dow n your face? D o you feell ike scream ing or throw ing som ething? A re you afraid of your partner’ s intensity? D o you feelem otional l y cl osed off ? • Learn to recognize the signs that things have becom e too intense for you to have a productive interaction w ith your partner. or yel l . identify their feel ings and needs. to the right degree. Pl ease give m e an hour to cal m dow n and gather m y thoughts. 3. • R em em ber the tw o of you are a team . A tim e-out provides coupl es w ith an opportunity to cooldow n. and ignore. and the onl y w ay your rel ationship w il l“w in” is if you w ork tow ard a sol ution that both individual s can feelgood about. • W hat physicaland em otionalreactions indicate you need a tim e-out? 2. These structured skil l s can hel p contain the intensity as you attem pt to resol ve a con!ict. • D o som ething that w il lhel p you rel ax and recover from the em otionalintensity. pray.Cal la tim e-out for yoursel f by saying som ething l ike “I’ m j ust too angry to tal k right now . partners interrupt. But to be angry with the right person.C O N FLIC T R E SO LU T IO N “Anyone can become angry. 1. • W hat m ethod( s)coul d you use to cal m dow n? 4. R E SU M E T H E C O N V E R SAT IO N .

Ph. it is a process that can take time to unfold. Forgiveness is not always quick. 5. Be specific about your future expectations and limits. Inc. Since it is sometimes unsafe or impossible. 4. 6.” —Mahatma Gandhi SEEKING AND GRANTING FORGIVENESS All couples eventually experience times of conflict. Don’t rush your partner if they need to spend days or weeks working through the process of granting forgiveness.CONFLICT RESOLUTION “The weak can never forgive. and negative thoughts toward an offender in order to be free from anger and resentment.D. 5. Marriage for Life. Assure your partner you will not do it again.. Jacksonville. Marks. Forgiveness is the decision or choice to give up the right for vengeance. Admit what you did was wrong or hurtful. addiction. retribution. Six Steps for Granting Forgiveness: 1. taking time to seek and grant forgiveness can play a powerful role in healing and restoring the relationship.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. and letting each other down. 4.” but insist on being treated better in the future. 2. forgiveness does not always involve reconciliation. Try to understand/empathize with the pain you have caused. and negativity toward your partner. condoning. or perpetuating injustice. Forgive yourself. It is also important to be clear about what forgiveness is not. Acknowledge your pain and anger. 3. 6. FL www. and it can allow reconciliation to take place in the relationship.prepare-enrich. resentment. Six Steps for Seeking Forgiveness: 1. Allow yourself to feel disrespected. 2. Sometimes the offense is as minor as forgetting a date or failing to run an errand. hurt. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. the offense might involve a major betrayal such as infidelity. Apologize and ask for forgiveness. 3. Work toward reconciliation (when safe). Give up your right to “get even. ® 11 . Let go of blame.. Forgiveness is not forgetting. Inc. Created in part with content contributions made by Richard D. Take responsibility for your actions and make restitution if necessary. Either way. Communicate your act of forgiveness to your partner. or abuse. This process promotes healing and restoration of inner peace. For some couples.

A high-pro"l e spender. Inc. “The M il l ionaire N ext D oor” by Stanl ey and D anko ( 1996)il l um inated the fact that the average A m erican m il l ionaire is sel f-m ade. driving expensive cars and w earing designer cl othing. discuss. dispel l ing the popul ar m yth that w eal th is often passed dow n from previous generations. Now the American virtue is to spend money. Create. Com pl ete the Budget W orksheet as your w orkabl e budget.” — D avid Brinkley TH E C H A LLE N G E S O F M O N E Y The j oining of tw o individual s is the j oining of tw o different orientations to m oney. choosing to save at l east 15% of their incom e and spending m uch l ess on m aterialpossessions. The M eaning of M oney Exercise: In this exercise you w il lassess and then discuss your orientation tow ard m oney. representing m any other things such as security. m ost often l iving m odestl y. A W ord about Savings.FIN A N C IA L M A N A G E M E N T “Thrift used to be a basic American virtue. opportunity. The partner w ho is oriented to security is m ore apt to have "nancialgoal s around savings than the partner w hose m oney orientation is centered around enj oym ent. O ne good w ay to create a budget is to keep track of everything you spend m oney on for 1-3 m onths. M oney operates m etaphorical l y in our l ives. O ur earl y experiences hel p shape our val ues about m oney. ® . m aking sure to al l ot a m onthl y am ount into ‘ savings’ .prepare-enrich. and then average your expenditures per category. often tim es has l ittl e investm ent or savings. Littl e w onder then that m oney is a m aj or cause of con!ict and a m ul til ayered probl em for m arried coupl es. and share "nancialgoal s in the FinancialG oal s exercise. trust. and the rel ationship betw een dependence and independence. Setting Financial G oal s Exercise: O ften goal s are an extension of m oney orientations and shoul d be considered together. The advantage of understanding your partner’ s m oney orientation is you can then capital ize on and bal ance each other’ s strengths. Budgeting puts you in controlof your spending— a process that can be very em pow ering in a cul ture w here w e are constantl y enticed to spend m oney.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. 12 www. The book. Saving al l ow s a person to bene"t from com pounding interest and is key to any good "nancialm anagem ent pl an. O nl y 19% of the m il l ionaires surveyed received any of their w eal th from an estate or trust fund. C reating a B udget Exercise: Budgeting is the process of al l ocating expenses on a regul ar basis. nurturance.

www. 3. Long term goal s m ight be achieved from one to !ve years. Identifying and D eciding on Your Financial G oal s Each person shoul d individual l y brainstorm their short-term and l ong-term !nancialgoal s and then share them w ith each other. C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : • Share your l ists with one another.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. m ost coupl es focus on onl y short-term !nancialgoal sl ike:“Today I w il lpay $100 on m y credit card bil l . • Tal k about how you can each contribute to achieving these goal s. 3.” O ne w ay to reduce the am ount of con"ict regarding !nances is for you and your partner to discuss and decide on your short-term and l ong-term !nancialgoal s. Setting com m on goal s as a coupl e can increase your sense of team w ork and col l aboration in this com pl ex area of !nances. Typical l y.prepare-enrich. Inc. Short-Term G oal s:( six m onths to one year) 1. • R evisit them from time to time so you stay on track. ® 13 . Long-Term G oal s:( one to !ve years) 1.”— Billy G raham IM P O R TA N C E O F FIN A N C IA L G O A LS Coupl es argue about !nances m ore than any other topic.FIN A N C IA L M A N A G E M E N T “There is nothing wrong with men possessing riches. cl ear and speci!c. W hat do they have in common? • W here are they different? • D ecide together as a coupl e on your common goal s. 2.” But short-term goal s shoul d al so take into consideration your l ong-term goal sl ike:“W e w ant to save enough to m ake a dow n paym ent on a house. your goal s shoul d be real istic. Short-term goal s shoul d be w hat you can achieve in six m onths to one year. Rem em ber. The wrong comes when riches possess men. Regardl ess of how m uch or how l ittl e m oney a coupl e has. deciding w hat to purchase and how to spend their m oney is probl em atic for m ost coupl es. 2.

prepare-enrich.FIN A N C IA L M A N A G E M E N T BU D G E T W O R K SH E E T M O N T H LY IN C O M E : ( Take H ome P ay) TotalPartner 1: TotalPartner 2: TO TA L CO U PLE: M O N T H LY E X P E N SE S G IV IN G Contributions/Tithe: H O U SIN G R ent or M ortgage: U til ities: Phone: C urrent Spending Future Budget P l an LO A N S/D EBT Auto: Personal : Credit Cards: ine: CA R G asol R epairs/M aintenance: FO O D Food at hom e: Food aw ay from hom e: H EA LTH CA R E : IN SU R A N CE M edical Car: H om e/Life/H eal th: CLO TH IN G PER SO N A L G O O D S H O U SEH O LD SU PPLIES lphone: SERV ICES Cel Cabl e/D ish: Internet: D ry Cl eaning/Laundry: O ther: O TH ER EX PEN D ITU R ES Savings: G ifts: Entertainm ent: D aycare: Chil d support: O ther: TO TA L C O U P LE IN C O M E : TO TA L E X P E N SE S: SU R P LU S O R D E FIC IT: 14 www. Inc.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. ® .

Scores for each category can range from 4 to 20. _______ 11. I prefer safe investing w ith a m oderate return versus high-risk investing w ith potential l y high returns. _______ 12. G eneralguidel ines for interpreting your scores appear in the box bel ow. C ategory M oney as status M oney as security M oney as enj oym ent M oney as control A dd Items 1–4 5–8 9–12 Your Score Interpretation of Score Score 17–20 13–16 9–12 4–8 Interpretation Very high H igh M oderate Low ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ 13–16 ____________ ____________ C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : C ompare how you individual l y scored in each category. M oney can’ t buy happiness. _______ 2. _______ 10.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. _______ 3. _______ 16. w ith a high score indicating m ore agreem ent w ith that approach. D iscuss how you each val ue money. add up your answ ers to the four questions for each category and record your scores bel ow. Scoring and interpretation:After taking the quiz. _______ 9. H aving high qual ity things re"ects w el lon m e. _______ 14. I feelm ore secure w hen I know w e have enough m oney for our bil l s. It is possibl e to have high or l ow scores in m ore than one category. _______ 5. I real l y enj oy shopping and buying new things. I think w e each shoul d controlthe m oney w e earn. I consider w hat others w il lthink of m y choice. _______ 13.prepare-enrich. H e or she w ho control s the purse strings cal l s the shots. H aving som e m oney in savings is very im portant to m e. _______ 4. _______ 6. I real l y enj oy spending m oney on m ysel f and on others. I w oul d be uncom fortabl e putting al lm y m oney into a j oint account. In m aking a m aj or purchase. It is im portant for m e to m aintain a l ifestyl e sim il ar to or better than that of m y peers. I l ook up to peopl e w ho have been very !nancial l y successful . Inc. _______ 15.FIN A N C IA L M A N A G E M E N T 1 Strongl y D isagree 2 D isagree 3 U ndecided 4 A gree 5 Strongl y A gree T H E M E A N IN G O F M O N E Y U se the 1-5 scal e to respond to each of the statements bel ow: _______ 1. Peopl e w ho have m ore m oney have m ore fun. _______ 8. _______ 7. ® 15 . I w oul d rather have extra m oney in the bank than som e new purchase. but it sure hel ps. O ne of the im portant bene!ts of m oney is the abil ity to in"uence others. www.

Separatel y w ri te dow n your answ ers to the f ol l ow i ng questi ons: • As you think about the l ife of your rel ationship.marriagealive. The habit of dating is the catal yst for buil ding your coupl e friendship and staying em otional l y connected through the com ing years. 1. or reinforce the dating habit. com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. evening. Share your answ ers w i th each other and brai nstorm a com bi ned l i st of potenti al dates. This exercise w il lhel p you establ ish.l ong-term m arriage. 3.com 16 w w w. w hat have been your m ost favorite dates? • W hat do you enj oy doing together? ( sports. high energy) a. For instance. hiking) 2.U se the criteria bel ow to eval uate your dates. if your budget is tight. d.It takes three w eeks to m ake a new habit ( or rel earn an ol d one)and six w eeks to feelgood about it. m edium energy. afternoon. interests.LE ISU R E A C T IV IT IE S T H E D AT IN G E X E R C ISE If you w ant to keep your rel ationship al ive and grow ing. reestabl ish. •Ti m e requi red f or date ( for instance. m orning or w hol e day) • Fi nanci al resources needed f or date ( $ = inexpensive. d. b. you m ay w ant to recreate a favorite date w hen you m ade peanut butter and j el l y sandw iches and had a picnic in the park. c. ® . and recreationalactivities) • W hat are som e things you w oul dl ike to l earn or pursue together? ( e. D ate your partner once a w eek for the next tw o m onths and you w il lbe w el lon your w ay to energizing your rel ationship w ith fun. Inc. rom ance and l aughter! For information on the 10 Great Dates By D avid and Cl audia A rp visit: www. Eval uate your com bi ned l i st and rank the order i n w hi ch to do them .g. 1 hour. N ow pul l out your cal endars and w ri te i n one date a w eek f or the next tw o m onths. cooking. a. c. $$$ = expensive) • Energy l evel( l ow energy. hobbies. 4. prepare-enri ch. 2 hours. b. sports. our best advice is to date your m ate!D ating w il lhel p you m aintain a friendship— one of the best indicators of a successful . $$ = m oderate.

• H ave you discussed fam il y pl anning and/or birth control ? For M arried Couples: • W hat do you need in order to be in the m ood for sex? • D o you feelcom fortabl e initiating sex? W hy or w hy not? • H ow often w oul d you prefer or expect sex? • W hat sexualactivities do you enj oy m ost? • Are there speci!c sexualacts that m ake you uncom fortabl e? • H ow coul d you each contribute to m aking your sexualrel ationship m ore satisfying? w w w. Even those w ho seem to be “natural s” in this area usual l y had som e training in their chil dhood as they saw and experienced the expressions of affection m odel ed around them .how m uch affecti on do you w ant i n your m arri age? ( 1— very l ittl e. a l earned skil l . Coupl es w ho have a good em otionalrel ationship and feel l oved and appreciated have the best physical rel ationship. Inc. to a l arge degree. prepare-enri ch. it’ s im portant to discuss your upbringing and how it has affected your expectations in this area. com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. 10— great am ount) For Premarital Couples: • W hat w as the attitude tow ard sex in your fam il y? W as it tal ked about? • W here did you l earn about sex? • H ave you ful l y discl osed your sexualhistory to your partner? If not. ” Affection is. w hy not? • H as l ack of affection or sexualdissatisfaction ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a rel ationship? • D iscuss your view s on pornography. C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : T he f ol l ow i ng questi ons w ere desi gned usi ng the de! ni ti on of affecti on as “any verbal or nonverbal expressi on that com m uni cates l ove i n a non-sexual w ay. Those for w hom affection seem s aw kw ard m ay have com e from a hom e w here affection w as absent or rarel y expressed. • W hat does “affecti on” m ean to you? • H ow m uch affecti on w as there i n your fam i l i es grow i ng up ( verbal and nonverbal ) ? • H ow di d you respond to the affecti on ( or l ack of affecti on) you recei ved? • H ow di d your father show affecti on? • H ow di d your m other show affecti on ? • O n a scal e of 1-10. ® 17 .SE X A N D A FFE C T IO N T H E EX P R ESSIO N O F IN T IM A C Y Em otionalintim acy and physicalintim acy are cl osel y rel ated. Either w ay.

If needed. T hings You D o ( or pl an to do) f or your H ousehol d a. d. C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : 1. c. but some animals are more equal than others.R E LAT IO N SH IP R O LE S “All animals are equal. Note: For couples who are not yet sharing a household. Consider for a m om ent how sim il ar or dissim il ar these l ists are com pared to w hat you w itnessed in your parents’rol es grow ing up. d. R el ationship R ol es E xercise: Switching R ol es for a W eek A fter you have each com pl eted your H ousehol d Tasks l ists. e. 4. 5. f. T hings Your Partner D oes ( or pl ans to do) f or your H ousehol d a. b. Set a tim e to review the new l ists.”— SH A R IN G R O LE S G eorge O rw el l List your responsibil ities and your partner’ s responsibil ities rel ated to the househol d and/or chil dren. Any surprises? 2. f.prepare-enrich. Revise your current l ists. D iscuss w hat each of you w oul dl ike to adj ust in your l ists of rol es. or by m ore traditionalm al e/fem al e rol es? 3.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. agree on how you m ight revise your current l ists. After you have each com pl eted your l ists. complete these lists as things you expect to do in your future household. 18 www. c. Your partner shoul d al so separatel y create the sam e tw o l ists. Are rol es m ainl y divided by interests and skil l . e. This R ol e R eversalexperim ent w il lhel p you gain a new appreciation for one another. ® . Inc. pl an a day ( or a w eek)w hen you can perform each other’ s househol d responsibil ities. com pare and discuss them . b. !nal izing an agreem ent about tasks you w il leach do in the future.

G iven the potentialbene!ts of spiritualbel iefs in a rel ationship. it m akes sense for partners to expl ore and eval uate their com patibil ity regarding spiritualbel iefs. feeltheir bel iefs breathe l ife into their rel ationships. Set aside som e tim e to discuss the fol l ow ing questions together and share your individualresponses. W hat do you bel ieve is the m eaning of l ife? www. W hat is the m eaning of the gifts you exchange? 8. If you and your partner’ s spiritualbel iefs are incom patibl e.” — Pierre Teil hard de Chardin YO U R SP IR IT U A L JO U R N EY Spiritual ity and faith are pow erfuldim ensions of the hum an experience. C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : H ow m uch do you know about your partner’ s rel igious history? H ow m uch do you know about your ow n rel igious history? Fam il y heritage l ends a sense of stabil ity and tranquil ity to rel ationships.prepare-enrich. ® 19 . W hat hol iday/rel igious sym bol s hol d specialm eaning to you ( the M enorah. W hat hol idays ( hol y days)and ritual s do you !nd personal l y m eaningful ? 5. Is/w as there signi!cance to the food you prepare? 7. W hat hol idays ( hol y days)and ritual s does your fam il y observe? 3. Coupl es w ith high agreem ent on spiritual bel iefs report m uch higher l evel s of m aritalsatisfaction and cl oseness than those w ith l ow spiritualagreem ent. a Cross. we are spiritual beings having a human experience. W hat is your fam il y’ s rel igious tradition and heritage? 2. Spiritualbel iefs can provide a foundation for the val ues and behaviors of individual s and coupl es. H ow has your understanding of G od changed through your l ife? 12. H ow sim il ar or dissim il ar are your personalrel igious and spiritualbel iefs com pared to those of your fam il y? 4. ask other fam il y m em bers about their perspective. Coupl es w ith strong spiritualbel iefs and practices say their faith provides a foundation that deepens their l ove and hel ps them grow together and achieve their dream s. indeed. H ow does your spirituall ife affect your val ues and the decisions you m ake? 9. 1. D o you have strong feel ings or opinions about the rel igious upbringing you’ dl ike to provide for your chil dren? 11. If you do not have the answ ers. To w hat extent do you/w oul d you l ike to integrate your faith or spirituall ife into your m arriage rel ationship? 10. tal king about the origins of your bel iefs can hel p you understand one another. or a Christm as tree) ? 6.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. Peopl e w ho profess a spiritualfaith do.SP IR IT U A L B E LIE FS “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. Inc.

® . O ur rel ationship w il lrem ain the sam e. R ead them and sel ect the ones you bel ieve are true. Tim e w il lresol ve our probl em s.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. If I have to ask. Probl em s arise w hen these hopes and bel iefs are not based on real ity. Less rom ance m eans w e have l ess l ove for one another. N othing coul d cause us to question our l ove for one another. 6. I bel ieve I know everything there is to know about m y partner. A l lm arried coupl es start out hoping for and bel ieving they w il lexperience the very best. 11. It is better to keep sil ent about som ething bothering m e than to cause unnecessary probl em s in our rel ationship. 3. M y partner’ s interest in sex w il lbe the sam e as m ine. 8. 5. Inc. 9. H ow does bel ieving or l iving out these statem ents keep you from ful l yl oving and/or honoring yoursel f and your partner? 20 www. W e shoul dl ive ‘ happil y ever after’w ith no m aj or probl em s. 12. 7.M A R R IA G E E X P E C TAT IO N S “Every disappointment involves an unmet expectation. 2. 4. 1. To a l arge degree. M y partner w il lm eet al lm y needs for com panionship. C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : 1. how m ight they set you up for being disappointed l ater on? 3. Take turns sharing and discussing these w ith each other. W e w il ldo things j ust l ike m y fam il y did. The fol l ow ing statem ents are com m on fantasies coupl es have about m arriage. 13.prepare-enrich. If you agree w ith these statem ents. Love is al lyou need for a great m arriage. 10.” M A N A G IN G YO U R E X P E C TAT IO N S Expectations about l ove and m arriage have a pow erfulim pact on rel ationships. it is not as m eaningful . you w il l be disappointed or happy in l ife based on how w el lw hat is happening m atches up w ith w hat you think shoul d be happening. W hich of these questions have you been tem pted to bel ieve? 2. K eeping secrets about m y past or present is acceptabl e if it w oul d onl y cause pain for m y partner. 14. O ur rel ationship w il lbe better w hen w e have a baby.

w hat w oul d you w ant to do differentl y than your fam il y of origin? 9. D o you bel ieve in spanking. etc. D iscuss if and w hen you w oul dl ike to have chil dren. now I have six children and no theories. tim e-outs. • Establ ish a regul ar tim e and pl ace-w hen the entire fam il y is norm al l y together.” — J ohn W il m ot FOR COUPLES PLANNING TO HAVE CHILDREN: C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N A B O U T C H ILD R EN : 1. W hat is a strength of your fam il y? www. W hat do you feelw as the best thing that happened to you or w ithin the fam il y this w eek? 2. W hat are your expectations for the rol es of a Father and a M other? 6. Spending this tim e together hel ps fam il y m em bers feelsupported and gives a new energy and sense of sol idarity to the fam il y system . W hat w oul d you do if you l earned you w ere unabl e to have chil dren ( e.C H ILD R E N A N D PA R E N T IN G “Before I got married. Adoption? Fertil ity treatm ents?) 5.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations.) 8. FA M ILY D ISC U SSIO N : 1. D o not criticize and critique. For an issue that w as brought up in the previous question. w hat coul d have been done differentl y? 4. W hat w oul d you do if you had an unexpected pregnancy before you pl anned to have chil dren? 4. G uidel ines: • Be sure everyone w ho is ol d enough participates. As a parent. H ow m any chil dren w oul d you l ike to have? 3.g. taking aw ay privil eges. Inc. W ho do you anticipate or expect w il lcare for your chil d during their infancy and earl y chil dhood ( You? Your partner? A daycare provider? G randparents?) 7. W hat w as the w orst thing that happened to you or w ithin the fam il y this w eek? 3. H ow w oul d you prefer to handl e discipl ine? ( e. H ow im portant is it to you that your chil dren are reared near your extended fam il y? 10.g.prepare-enrich. 2. ® 21 . D o you bel ieve chil dren shoul d be reared w ith som e rel igious or spiritualfoundation? W hat val ues do you hope to teach your chil dren? FOR COUPLES W ITH CHILDREN: P LA N N IN G A W EEK LY FA M ILY C O N FER EN C E A fam il y conference is a tim e for the fam il y to connect and to re!ect on recent fam il y and personal experiences. I had six theories about bringing up children. • Encourage and share ideas.

W hi ch of these m yths have you been tem pted to bel i eve? 2.. 22 w w w. Reality: In m ost cases.H ow coul d havi ng these unreal i sti c expectati ons set you up f or frustrati on and di sappoi ntm ent? 3.g. D on’ t push to create rel ationships. Myth: W e’ l l do m arri age better thi s ti m e around. Reality:Som etim es stepparents w ant so badl y to be accepted they try to m anage the chil dren as a parent w oul d. It w il ll ikel y take tim e for em otionalbonds to devel op. Be patient w ith them .noti ci ng i f any of them resonate w i th you and your partner. Reality:The truth is chil dren w il lat best be confused about the new m arriage and at w orst.som e w il lbond quickl y. Reality:Love and/or good rel ationships m ay or m ay not happen betw een stepfam il y m em bers.H ow are you goi ng to bal ance/pri ori ti ze the chal l enges of a stepfam i l y w hi l e al so nouri shi ng your coupl e rel ati onshi p? Adapted from T he Sm art Stepf am ily: Seven Stepsto a H ealthy Fam ily by Ron L. Reality:Those w ho have experienced a breakup or divorce often have l earned tough l essons from the past. it is not uncom m on for individual s to sl ip into the sam e ol d patterns and routines ( e. W hil e a new m arriage invol ves different peopl e and different dynam ics.the other fam i l y m em bers w i l l al so l ove each other. Deal. Myth: B ecause w e l ove each other. being avoidant during con!ict) . and it is possibl e that som e individual s m ay never bond. Inc. I still feel like an outsider. Myth: T he stepparent( s) w i l l qui ckl y bond w i th the chi l dren and act l i ke another parent. Myth: W e w i l l be abl e to easi l yf orm a new fam i l y. prepare-enri ch. w hen fam il y stabil ity is obtained. They m ay al so try to show affection l ike a biol ogicalparent w oul d. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers (2002). does the rem arriage al so becom e a gain for chil dren. Be m indfulnot to repeat m istakes of the past. CO U P LE D ISCU SSIO N : 1. they need tim e to devel op a history and sense of fam il y. Rem arriage is a gain for adul ts and a chal l enge for chil dren. It is often a good idea to l et the chil d set the pace and fol l ow their l ead. they’ l l resent it. Chil dren often need som e space initial l y to buil d a rel ationship w ith the stepparent. ® . chil dren didn’ t ask for this new fam il y. Myth: O ur chi l dren w i l l feel as happy about thi s new fam i l y as w e do. O nl y after m uch tim e.” — A Stepparent ST E P FA M ILIE S: CH O O SIN G R E A LIST IC E X P E CTAT IO N S R ead through these com m on m yths. others sl ow l y. U se the questi ons i n the Coupl eDi scussi on ( bel ow ) to gui de your di scussi on. com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. It is often better to have m inim alexpectations of how rel ationships w il ldevel op rather than grand expectations w hich m ay failto m aterial ize.CH ILD R E N A N D PA R E N T IN G “After two years.

and independence vs. j ob transition) . a m ove. discipl ine and rul es. w hil e the tw o U nbal anced l evel s( 2 extrem e ends)are m ore probl em atic. There are !ve l evel s of cl oseness. Inc. FLE X IB ILIT Y: Flexibility refers to how open couples and families are to change.prepare-enrich.) www. rel ationship rol es.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. H ow do you bal ance separateness and togetherness? Indicators of cl oseness are I vs. there are !ve l evel s of "exibil ity. you are also marrying their family. w hil e the tw o U nbalanced levels ( 2 extrem e ends) are m ore probl em atic. • U se the exampl es bel ow to discuss the cl oseness and ! exibil ity in your famil ies of origin: Fam il y gatherings during a hol iday Cel ebrating a birthday or anniversary D inner tim e / M ealtim e H andl ing discipl ine and parenting responsibil ities Cl oseness in your parents’m arriage Fl exibil ity in your parents’m arriage Caring for a sick fam il y m em ber A dj usting to a stressfulchange ( e. C LO SE N E SS: Closeness refers to how emotionally connected you feel to your partner and family.C O U P LE A N D FA M ILY M A P S “In marrying another person. B al anced l evel s( 3 centrall evel s) of "exibil ity are the m ost happy and heal thy. • C ompare your famil y of origin with your partner’ s famil y on cl oseness and ! exibil ity.” M A P P IN G YO U R R E LAT IO N SH IP ( see !gure on next page) In the com puter report. dependence. W e.g. ® 23 . l oyal ty. These M aps are designed to hel p you better understand and discuss your coupl e rel ationship and fam il ies. A s w ith cl oseness. H ow do you bal ance stabil ity and change? Indicators of "exibil ity are l eadership. B alanced levels ( 3 central l evel s) of cl oseness are m ost heal thy for coupl es and fam il ies. there is a C oupl e M ap w hich indicates how you each described your coupl e rel ationship and a Famil y M ap w hich indicates how you each described your fam il y of origin. 1) How similar or different were your families in terms of closeness and •exibility? 2) How might the similarities or differences impact your current relationship? 3) What from your family of origin would you like to repeat in your couple relationship? 4) What from your family would you not like to repeat in your couple relationship? 5) How satis•ed are you with the current level of closeness and •exibility in your couple relationship? 6) Consider ways you might increase or decrease closeness and •exibility (see next section for ideas. The fact that fam il ies are so diverse can add to the chal l enge of m erging individual s from tw o fam il ies into a coupl e rel ationship. C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : • C ompare how you each described your coupl e rel ationship.

prepare-enrich.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. Inc. “W e” C LO S E N E S S LO Y A LTY I N D EPEN D EN CE UN B A LA N C E D Di sconnected Too M uch (I) Sep araten ess Li ttl e Cl oseness Lack of Loyal ty Hi gh Independence B A LA N CED Som ew hat Connected to Very Connected G o o d I-W e Bal an ce M od erate to H i gh Cl oseness M oderate to H i gh Loyal ty Interdependent U N BA LA N CED O verl y Connected Too M u ch (W e) Togetherness Too M uch Cl oseness Loyal ty Dem anded Hi gh Dependency BALANCED M ID-R ANG E U NBALANCED . ® Couple & Family Map C L O S E N E S S DISCO NNECTED SO M EW H AT CO NNECTED CO NNECTED VERY CO NNECTED O V ERLY CO NNECTED FLEX IBILITY IN D ICA TO R S UN B A LA N C E D O VERLY FLEXIBLE Too m uch ch an g e Lack of l ead ershi p Dram ati c rol e shi fts Errati c di sci pl i ne F L E X I B I L I O V ERLY FLEX IBLE CH A N G E LE A D E R S H IP R O LE SH A R IN G D ISCIPLIN E VERY FLEX IBLE FLEX IBILITY IN D ICA TO R B A LA N CED SO M EW H AT FLEX IBLE TO VERY FLEX IBLE CH A N G E Can ch an g e w h en n ecessary FLEX IBLE LE A D E R S H IP Shared l ead ershi p R O LE SH A R IN G Rol e Shari ng T Y SO M EW H AT FLEX IBLE D ISCIPLIN E Dem ocrati c di sci pl i ne FLEX IBILITY IN D ICA TO R S U N BA LA N CED I N FL E X I B L E CH A N G E LE A D E R S H IP R O LE SH A R IN G D ISCIPLIN E INFLEXIBLE Too l i ttl e change Authori tari an l eadershi p Rol es sel dom change Stri ct di sci pl i ne C LO S E N E S S IN D IC A T O R S “I” vs.24 www.

• Start having a w eekl y “date” night.PR A C T IC A L T IPS TO B A LA N C E YO U R R E LAT IO N SH IP If you ! nd yoursel f “D isconnected” or “Somewhat C onnected”. “O ne thing I have never tol d anyone is __________”. • Say “N o” to outside activities that take too m uch tim e and energy aw ay from your rel ationship. • Com pl im ent your partner. If you ! nd yoursel f “O verl y C onnected” or “Very C onnected”.try one or more of these ideas to buil d your independence: • M aintain. ® 25 . G et to know and l ike yoursel f. • Find a hobby or activity you can share w ith one another. U se the fol l ow ing prom pts ( or som e of your ow n)to discover or rediscover your partner’ s innerm ost feel ings. www. or j ournal ing. you’ l lhave m ore to share w ith your partner l ater. Inc. • Vol unteer for som ething your partner is not invol ved w ith.prepare-enrich.“I get real l y em barrassed w hen __________”. “M y favorite m ealis __________”. • Pl an and dream together.C O U PLE A N D FA M ILY M A PS C LO SEN ESS EX ER C ISES .“I am afraid of __________”. • Take a cl ass al one or w ith friends.“O ne of m y favorite books is __________”.com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. • Participate in com m unity service or vol unteering proj ects together.try one or more of these ideas to become more connected: • Fil lin the bl anks. j ogging. • G ive yoursel f som e al one tim e w al king. Create a l ist of things you w oul dl ike to do in your l ife and share your l ist w ith your partner. W hen your tank is ful l . I w oul d __________”. create and nurture friendships w ith others. “If I had m ore tim e. • Take a cl ass or vacation together. “I feelhappy w hen __________”.

w ake up and bedtim e ritual s.and expectati ons f or your rel ati onshi p. • K eep prom i ses you m ade to your partner. R itual s create strong bonds and buil dl oving rel ationships and are organizers of fam il yl ife. • A dd m ore consi stency to your parenti ng.try one or m ore of these i deas to becom e m ore " exi bl e: • Share l eadershi p and rol es. • Put aw ay your l i sts.If you and your partner have strictl y de!ned rol es and l eadership patterns.tradi ti on and ri tual s.N egotiate these w ith your partner. If you ! nd yoursel f “O verl y Fl exi bl e” or “Very Fl exi bl e”. and everyday greetings and goodbyes. 26 w w w. Experience the day together w ithout l ooking at a w atch or cl ock. com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations.C O U PLE A N D FA M ILY M A PS FLEX IB ILIT Y EX ER C ISES .and schedul es f or a day.Cl ear your schedul e for a day or w eek and use the tim e to m eet your partner for a rom antic getaw ay. D ail y ritual s incl ude m eal tim e ritual s. • D o som ethi ng real l y spontaneous. ® . • M ake a l i st of househol d tasks and w ho w i l l do them . try changing the norm alroutine.Research has found ritual s and routines are associated w ith higher m aritalsatisfaction and stronger fam il y rel ationships. R itual s are m ore than hol idays and rites of passage— dail y routines are al so very im portant ritual s for coupl es and fam il ies. m ake this your j ob for the w eek w hil e your partner takes over one of your j obs.PR A C T IC A L T IPS TO B A LA N C E YO U R R E LAT IO N SH IP If you ! nd yoursel f “In" exi bl e” or “Som ew hat Fl exi bl e”. Inc. • Sw i tch rol es w i th your partner f or a w eek.If your partner norm al l y does the grocery shopping. • B rai nstorm a l i st of your rol es.cal endars.try one or m ore of these i deas to add m ore stabi l i ty: • A dd m ore consi stency. prepare-enri ch.Revise this l ist in a w ay that increases "exibil ity.

D oes the person w ho scored high on organization m anage the checkbook?) D eal i ng w i th Personal i ty D i fferences • D on’ t try to change your partner’ s personal i ty. ® 27 . can be a fascinating and fun process. H ow can your differences be a strength? b. It w on’ t w ork" • R em em ber the posi ti ve aspects of your partner’ s personal i ty that attracted you i n the ! rst pl ace. In w hat areas are your personal i ti es di fferent? a. SC O P E O U T YO U R P E R SO N A LIT Y Expl oring your personal ity and your partner’ s personal ity.g. H ow can your sim il arities be a strength? b. In w hat area( s) are your personal i ti es si mi l ar? a.P E R SO N A LIT Y Question: Do “opposites attract” or do “birds of a feather •ock together”? Answer: Both are true. review the Personal ity SCO PE section of your com puter report. It can al so point out chal l enges for coupl es w ho l ove one another. prepare-enri ch. H ow can your differences create probl em s? 3. T ry to l earn behavi ors that w i l l posi ti vel y contri bute to your rel ati onshi p. Inc. D o the rol es you ful !l li n your rel ati onshi p m atch your personal i ty strengths? (e. com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. • H ow can you use your personal i ty di fferences as a strength i n your rel ati onshi p? w w w. 1. • B e responsi bl e for yoursel f. H ow can your sim il arities create probl em s? 2. but have very different personal ities and approaches to l ife. C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : First.

Partner 2 G oal s PersonalG oal s Coupl e G oal s 1. 1. and fam il y goal s for the next few years. Then share them w ith your partner. Coupl e G oal s Fam il y G oal s 1. Partner 1 G oal s PersonalG oal s 1. com © Copyright 2008 Life Innovations. Rem em ber your goal s shoul d be real istic and cl earl y stated. 1. coupl e. 3. . 3. ® . 3. 2. keeping together is progress. working together is success. Inc. prepare-enri ch. 2. 2. 3. 3. 2.G O A LS “Coming together is a beginning. 1.” —Henry Ford A C H IE V IN G YO U R G O A LS. TO G E T H E R Cl arify and de!ne your personal . 3. Fam il y G oal s C O U P LE D ISC U SSIO N : • W ere you surpri sed by any of your partner’ s goal s? • W hi ch goal s are m ost i m portant to you ri ght now ? • W hat are the current i ssues surroundi ng these goal s? • H ow do your partner’ s goal s com pl em ent or com pete w i th yours? • H ow can you each contri bute to achi evi ng these goal s? • W hat w i l l be the ! rst step to m ake thi s goal becom e a real i ty? 28 w w w. 2. 2. .

• P.com . Box 190 • Minneapolis. MN 55440-0190 (651) 635-0511 • (800) 331-1661 • www. Inc.® Life Innovations.prepare-enrich.O.