By: Sandra Stanford
It was an event to celebrate! A wedding was taking place for a couple who had been planning this day for over a year. The room was decorated, the chairs were in place, and the music was playing as friends and family of the bride and groom gathered to witness the union of two hearts.
What are the dreams and expectations these young lovers bring to this day? What hopes do they have for their relationship? What are their chances for a successful marriage? Is love enough or are there secrets to a healthy, happy, long lasting connection?
As a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern, couples who are long past wedding day jitters sit in my office with a long list of hurts and disappointments. They wonder if their marriages can be healed and become the alliances they once envisioned.
I have great news! Marriages can be restored. Many people lack knowledge that is useful in helping their marriages thrive. Here are a few of the tools we discuss:
1. The components of a healthy relationship are defined.
2. What is each person’s responsibility toward ensuring the relationship is on the right track?
3. How do couples communicate?
4. Listening well skills are practiced.
5. Teaching how to understand and to be understood.
6. Handling conflicts in a healthy way is addressed.
7. And they learn how to forgive, forgive,…and forgive again.
These are a few of the tools that will help marriages stand strong.
The preacher asked us to stand as we awaited the arrival of the bride. There was a hush in the room as she came through the door, her father by her side. She looked so beautiful. Her dad was beaming with pride. He walked her down the aisle to the waiting groom (who was grinning ear to ear). Yes, it was an event to celebrate…and that’s exactly what we did!