The main tools to try first (according to the situation) are in orange
- to establish the current status of the current or current prediction for the future relationship. It assesses the couples similarities and also differences in various areas (e.g. communication, conflict resolution, financial managenent, children/parenting, etc.) highlighting strengths and also possible growth areas. It is the possible growth areas which can be strengthened by subsequent programmes and which might endanger the relationship if skills are not improved in these areas. They help make the subsequent programmes followed more targeted and meaningful.
There are two psychometric inventories used in the UK:
FOCCUS for marriage (or cohabitation preparation) is done with a local facilitator.
Click on “FOCCUS marriage preparation”, click “Postcode” near the top of the page, type in a postcode, select a facilitator (usually a Christian minister or other Christian person at the moment), talk to them about how to proceed further. Even if one did the questionnaire (the two members of the couple separately) one still needs a trained facilitator to get the most out of the results
REFOCCUS for enriching existing relationships can be done directly by clicking on “REFOCCUS - marriage enhancement” on the start page, then “User Registration (first time use)” or “Inventory for Users (already registered)”
PREPARE/ENRICH Is the other psychometric inventory system.
This again works with a facilitator – click on “Like to follow this up? How to find a practitioner in your area”
It is also possible to do an online
One can then answer the “Like to talk to someone about your results?” question
It is highly recommended to do an inventory before studying any of the programmes
The couple relationship education programmes from the UK
The Marriage Course and the Marriage Preparation Course – for Christians (or those not out off by many biblical quotes) – the materials for both courses can be bought
One of the most used, popular courses in the world
Couple Alive – described on the website as “Effective support for couples of all ages, with practical skills to make your love last - or to renew it!” – available here
Marriage in the 21st Century – 8 session course with worksbook and DVD available here
Connect2 - help couples in the first five years of their marriage
More Than a Wedding! – specifically for Asians – well received - click here
From this Step Forward – a unique marriage preparation course for stepfamilies click here
The marriage preparation resource pack - "Growing Together" from Family Life and Marriage Education (FLAME) -
Foundation for a Good Life - Marriage Care
There are also countless USA resources, two of the best being:
Laugh your way to a happy marriage by Mark Gungor obtainable here
(Complete Seminar DVD + the book perhaps))
Love and Respect by Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs obtainable here
(the conference DVDs)
There are finally two books I must mention, both obtainable from Amazon, both valuable to study together with people:
1) The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (USA)
2) Mentoring Marriages by Harry Benson (UK)
There are literally hundreds of books and DVDs obtainable (see the USA Smart Marriages book list) but these tools listed are above are ones to start with and are mostly from the UK.