Psych: Premarital Counsel Guideline
Predictors of Marital Success
While predictors of marital success can vary according to research groups, Weiten (et al, 2004) explains common factors that are taken into consideration:
- Family background (parental divorce history)
- Age (those under the age of 25 had a higher divorce rate)
- Length of courtships (more time allows couples to discern their compatibility)
- Personality (perfectionists have the highest risk factor rate)
- Those who smile often (according to pictures) tend to be happier
- Premarital communication – for example, constant sarcasm, and insulting, unsupportive behaviors led to a higher divorce rate
- Self-disclosure and acceptance, as well as shared decision making decreased the risk factor ratings for most groups
In other studies, a majority found that mutual respect, consistent show of affection, and humor all contribute to a happy and peaceful marriage.
Among those factors, displaying mostly positive (versus negative) interactions, attentiveness and active listening, as well as soft disagreements (disputes without criticism) were found to positively impact marriage significantly.
In that, studies show that husbands who accept their wives’ influence, and are aware of their spouse’s needs and preferences, were also more likely to have marital satisfaction.
Addressing Role Expectations
Because (worldly) roles between the husband and wife have changed considerably over recent decades, it’s important to come to an agreement on who will be responsible for particular roles.
It’s important to share particular responsibilities equally such as child rearing, financial decisions, and even chore division, but it’s also very important to take both the strengths and weaknesses of each spouse into consideration when deciding on all domestic matters.
Tips for Healthy Communication
It’s important to avoid contributing to stress factors by engaging in positive and effective communication, using kindness and consideration.
- Destructive habits to avoid would be:
- Contemptuous behavior
- Negative criticism
- Defensiveness by refuting your partner’s complaints
- And stonewalling (refusing to listen to your partner’s concerns)
Adjusting to the Addition of Children
When children are introduced into the marriage, schedules and daily routines can change drastically. We find these changes tend to occur more often for the wives then the fathers, as it normally begins in pregnancy and continues immediately following birth. However, communication and spousal support in the form of emotional, financial and physical support will significantly contribute to a healthy marriage and decrease the tension that can come with parenting.
Balancing Family and Career
Following these tips can help you better balance your family and career life:
- Work smarter – working during the time you are most alert & energetic, leads to being more productive
- Work during lunch – bring your food, order in, etc. saving the additional time for the evening home
- Re-consider promotions in order to avoid losing more of your family time
- Consider relocating closer to your job to save driving time
- Reserve the weekends solely for family time
- Plan your week – take time to plan accordingly, allow for unexpected events
- Believe God’s promises – scripture will help guide you in your daily life and future, God will provide for all your needs, (and “take time to rest in Him”)
The Role of Faith Between the Couple
Sharing faith and applying biblical principles to your daily life is crucial to the health and success of every marriage, and is the key to healing, wholeness, and well-being.
The word of God is a guiding light in how to relate to one another, handle disagreements, raising children, financial decisions, and so much more.
You will find resolutions to all of life’s queries when you pray, seek the Word of God and apply those values to your marriage.
The Role of Faith Within the Larger Family Unit
According to the National Study on Youth and Religion (NSYR), research found that the majority of families who stated faith and religion as an important priority in their daily lives, discovered that the teenagers and children in those families also viewed spirituality as extremely important. Those findings showed a steady and fulfilling spiritual life led to an emotionally healthier family unit with stronger familial bonds.
Addressing Financial Stresses
Whether finances are abundant or lacking, financial matters can cause a significant amount of stress in any marriage.
Individuals all have their own personal ways of viewing spending and saving. However, those differing perspective and habits can increase marital quarrels.
Because of this, joint decision making is necessary. Doing so will inevitably decrease disputes as well as emotional stress levels, contributing to a more satisfied marriage union.
Healthy Conflict Resolution Between Spouses
- Strive to communicate effectively.
- Avoid being offensively critical
- Learn to be transparent
- Have forgiveness and humility
- Be kind and considerate of one another
- Serve one another and be supportive
- And maintain your friendship
These attributes will considerably decrease arguments and increase satisfaction, securing the longevity of the marriage.
John 15:12-13 (NKJV)
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
Psalm 128:3 (NKJV)
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table.
Ephesians 3:14-15 (NKJV)
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named…
© URWM April 11, 2017
Balance Work and Family. (N.D.). Retrieved April 09, 2017, from http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/parenting-roles/the-involved-father/balance-work-and-family
Daly, J. (2010, August 10). Six Predictors of Marital Success and Happiness. Retrieved April 09, 2017, from http://jimdaly.focusonthefamily.com/six-predictors-of-marital-success-and-happiness/
The Importance of family and faith. (2012). Retrieved April 10, 2017, from http://www.faithformationlearningexchange.net/uploads/5/2/4/6/5246709/importance_of_family_faith_for_lifelong_faith_formation.pdf
The spiritual aspect of marriage. (N.D.). Retrieved April 10, 2017, from http://family.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/25917/~/the-spiritual-aspect-of-marriage
Weiten, W., & Lloyd, M. A. 1. (2004). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century (7th Ed.). Australia; Bangalore: Thomson/Wadsworth.