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The Two Faces of Commitment: Strengthen and preserve your identity, make time for each other, have rituals, be friends, talk, walk and listen

Commitment is crucial and an essential ingredient in the recipe for marital success, relationship satisfaction, as well as trust in longevity. Commitment is pledging yourself to each other by word, action and giving up or making choices. However, couples often struggle with commitment due to disenchanted, resentfulness, experiencing conflict or having ‘grass is greener’ visions.

When couples stop acting on commitment in their relationship, they can get off track (something we never dream of when we first get together). The success of a relationship is a strong sound friendship with our partner, staying deeply committed to each other and the partnership so that we can continually build a strong emotional bank account.

It’s critical to nurture closeness and intimacy in your relationship, but don’t forget to maintain your own sense of independence and identity. Through open and overt communication with your partner, seek to find an appropriate balance.

In practice:

Make time for yourself and time for each other, have rituals, be friends, talk, walk and listen:

  • Strengthen and preserve your identity.
  • Think about yourselves as ”WE” and support each other’s hopes and dreams.
  • Talk about long term goals, make decisions together, develop a shared vision for your future.

Make Sacrifices:

  • Put off or postpone things to benefit your relationship.
  • Look for the joy that comes from choosing to do something that will make your partner happy.
  • Don’t tally and count what you do and what they don’t.

I believe we can expect great things in our marriage when commitment, love and skill work together. Sure, there are times in our lives when we have to concentrate on some of these areas specifically or seek support to help us overcome challenges but with support and understanding, we can all enjoy the blessings of a strong and committed partnership.

I hope these tools prove useful and help you enrich your relationship. If you would like further reading on commitment, please contact me on 4979 1370 or robyn.donnelly@mn.catholic.org.au.

by Robyn Donnelly
Co-ordinator, Marriage & Relationship Education CatholicCare and Secretary and NSW Representative MAREAA.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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The Two Faces of Commitment: Commitment in partnership will grow when partners witness personal dedication and commitment to their relationship

Pre-marriage programs, inventory workshops and enhance programs for married couples, each consider the true meaning and purpose of commitment.

Commitment is crucial and an essential ingredient in the recipe for marital success, relationship satisfaction, as well as trust in longevity. Commitment is pledging yourself to each other by word, action and giving up or making choices. However, couples often struggle with commitment due to disenchanted, resentfulness, experiencing conflict or having ‘grass is greener’ visions.

When couples stop acting on commitment in their relationship, they can get off track (something we never dream of when we first get together). The success of a relationship is a strong sound friendship with our partner and we need to stay deeply committed to each other and the partnership so that we can continually build a strong emotional bank account.

What Grows Commitment?

Commitment in partnership is a dynamic force and it will grow when partners:

  • Enjoy being together;
  • Each feel appreciated, loved and valued;
  • Witness personal dedication and commitment to their relationship; and
  • See their partner investing in their relationship and when they too show investment.

In most relationships, commitment can be looked at as a symbol of security; when they share a deep sense of security they will feel safer and are more willing to show and strengthen their own personal dedication. So what are the keys to staying personally committed?

Making the right choices for the relationship and your partner:

  • Making your partner and your relationship a priority! This means you have to say no to some people and other responsibilities.
  • Choose to show personal dedication – make “we” choices and see the positives in your partner more often than scanning for the negatives.

I believe we can expect great things in our marriage when commitment, love and skill work together. Sure, there are times in our lives when we have to concentrate on some of these areas specifically or seek support to help us overcome challenges but with support and understanding, we can all enjoy the blessings of a strong and committed partnership.

I hope these tools prove useful and help you enrich your relationship. If you would like further reading on commitment, please contact me on 4979 1370 or robyn.donnelly@mn.catholic.org.au.

by Robyn Donnelly
Co-ordinator, Marriage & Relationship Education CatholicCare and Secretary and NSW Representative MAREAA.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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Balance: Clarify values and your commitment, dedicating time to study, faith and/or meditation

We are all in a state of entropy and only consistent and continued refinement and attention to Physical, Intellectual, Social and our Spiritual selves is vital to retain balance. To ensure an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement in ourselves and our relationships, learn to take care of yourself.

4. Spiritual.

Focus on clarifying values and your commitment, dedicating time to study, faith and/or meditation.

Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Think improvement rather than thinking that you ought to be perfect. If you appreciate that change is inevitable, therefore focusing on getting better through enhanced awareness and careful exploration of issues and by developing and improving skills to deal with those issues we remain flexible and allow for error and therefore alleviate anxiety.

Enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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Balance: Participate in community events and work on at least one area where you can give service to benefit others

We are all in a state of entropy and only consistent and continued refinement and attention to Physical, Intellectual, Social and our Spiritual selves is vital to retain balance. To ensure an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement in ourselves and our relationships, learn to take care of yourself.

3. Social Enjoy a rich private life, give service and show integrity. Participate in community events and work on at least one area where you can give service to benefit others. Be it via a volunteer organisation or individual seeking support (i.e. mentoring), connect and assist others.

In May each year, thousands of events are held across the country to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer their time. National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. # NVW2020.

Many organisations draw upon the generous support of many who give up their valuable time and share their knowledge and resources.

If you are not already, make a profound impact in your community and on society, through giving a little time. Participate in a community event or work on at least one area where you can give service to benefit others.

Reference:

Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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Balance: Stimulate the right side of your brain and engage in creative endeavours

We are all in a state of entropy and only consistent and continued refinement and attention to Physical, Intellectual, Social and our Spiritual selves is vital to retain balance. To ensure an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement in ourselves and our relationships, learn to take care of yourself.

2. Intellectual
If we appreciate that change is inevitable, therefore focusing on getting better through enhanced awareness and careful exploration of issues and by developing and improving skills to deal with those issues, we remain flexible and allow for error and therefore alleviate anxiety.

Consider reading, meditation, visualising, planning and writing. Stimulate the right side of your brain, engage in creative endeavours and take time out to think outside the everyday. Research suggests that 15 minutes a day makes a huge difference to your well-being and can stimulate the brain to learn in new and different ways. Enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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When relationships go wrong, couple distress is strongly linked to problems with individual health and well-being

For the employee and for businesses, research suggests that happily married employees increase profitability (Turvey et al, 2006), and have the potential through strengthened relationships at home and with business partners to accelerate business growth.

Conversely, when relationships go wrong, couple distress is strongly linked to problems with individual health and well-being (Lebow et al 2012), have serious health concerns, increased stress and anxiety, increased rates of depression and increased rates of substance abuse. These workers directly cost companies in absenteeism and higher turnover expenditures, and indirectly supporting less motivated and less healthy employees and through the societal effects of broken families. In Australia, research indicates divorce costs taxpayers an estimated $14 billion in federal and state expenditures annually (Andrews, 2012).

The effect for future generations is also known. The children of couples who stay together – and therefore have both parents present in the house – are more likely to thrive in their well-being and education (McLanahan et al 2013).

If relationships are integral to all aspects of a fulfilled life – from developing parenting skills, through to improving relationships with family and friends, to effectively communicating with colleagues and business partners, then it is in the interest of every organisation to assist employees to strengthen and build strong relationship skills. If marriage and family wellness improves a company’s overall financial health and increases profitability, it is then in every company’s best financial interest to support employees and to invest in the promotion of relational wellness to amplify the happiness and confidence of employees and to maximise business potential.

Prevention programs are a great investment in employees with studies demonstrating that for every $1.00 invested in employee wellness programs, the return on investment is as high as $6.85 (Turvey et al, 2006).

References:

  • Andrews, K. 2012: Maybe ‘I do’: modern marriage & the pursuit of happiness. Connor Court Publishing.
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Marriage and divorces, Australia 2016.
  • McLanahan, S., Tach, L., & Schneider, D. 2013: The Causal Effects of Father Absence. Annual Review of Sociology, 39, 399-427.
  • Turvey, M. D., & Olson, D. H., 2006: Marriage & Family Wellness: Corporate America’s Business? A Marriage CoMission Research Report. Minneapolis, MN
  • Waite, L., & Gallagher, M. 2000: The case for marriage. New York: Doubleday.

Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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It is in the interest of every organisation to assist employees to strengthen and build strong relationship skills at work and at home

We all know that work and family life are intertwined and research supports this demonstrating that employees who are highly committed to their roles as parents and spouses benefit companies. Conversely, employee performance and satisfaction occur easiest when outside influences like family are considered through workplace contracts and the provision of flexible work arrangements.

Whilst Australia has seen a declining rate of marriage since 1947 – similar to other western nations – today more than 70% of women will marry in their lifetime, 1 in 5 marrying at least twice, with 4 in 5 couples living together before marriage (an increase from less than 1 in 5 in 1975). Lasting an average of 12 years, 1 in 3 of these relationships will end in divorce, most occurring in their primary producing years, around 45 for men and 43 for women in 2016 (ABS, 2016).

Marriage however still confers certain unique benefits. Based on a wealth of academic research, married people tend to have healthier lifestyles, live longer, have more satisfying sexual relationships, have more economic assets, and have children that tend to do better academically and emotionally. When relationships go right, couples who stay together tend to be happier, healthier and ultimately wealthier (Waite & Gallagher 2000).

For the employee and for businesses, research suggests that happily married employees increase profitability (Turvey et al, 2006), and have the potential through strengthened relationships at home and with business partners to accelerate business growth.

Prevention programs are a great investment in employees with studies demonstrating that for every $1.00 invested in employee wellness programs, the return on investment is as high as $6.85 (Turvey et al, 2006).

References:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Marriage and divorces, Australia 2016.
  • McLanahan, S., Tach, L., & Schneider, D. 2013: The Causal Effects of Father Absence. Annual Review of Sociology, 39, 399-427.
  • Turvey, M. D., & Olson, D. H., 2006: Marriage & Family Wellness: Corporate America’s Business? A Marriage CoMission Research Report. Minneapolis, MN
  • Waite, L., & Gallagher, M. 2000: The case for marriage. New York: Doubleday.

Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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Married people tend to have healthier lifestyles, live longer, have more satisfying sexual relationships

Whilst Australia has seen a declining rate of marriage since 1947 – similar to other western nations – today more than 70% of women will marry in their lifetime, 1 in 5 marrying at least twice, with 4 in 5 couples living together before marriage (an increase from less than 1 in 5 in 1975). Lasting an average of 12 years, 1 in 3 of these relationships will end in divorce, most occurring in their primary producing years, around 45 for men and 43 for women in 2016 (ABS, 2016).

Marriage, however, still confers certain unique benefits. Based on a wealth of academic research, married people tend to have healthier lifestyles, live longer, have more satisfying sexual relationships, have more economic assets, and have children that tend to do better academically and emotionally. When relationships go right, couples who stay together tend to be happier, healthier and ultimately wealthier (Waite & Gallagher 2000).

Conversely, when relationships go wrong, couple distress is strongly linked to problems with individual health and well-being (Lebow et al 2012).

The children of couples who stay together – and therefore have both parents present in the house – are more likely to thrive in their well-being and education (McLanahan et al 2013).

References:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – Marriage and divorces, Australia 2016.
  • Waite, L., & Gallagher, M. 2000: The case for marriage. New York: Doubleday.

Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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When life hands you lemons… Managing the unexpected occurrences in relationships!

The Victorian State Committee and National Committee is thrilled to introduce a wonderful line up of great topics and sensational speakers at the upcoming Marriage and Relationship Educators National Conference (MARENC) 2019, to be held at the Cardinal Knox Centre, East Melbourne, August 2-3 2019.

With topics ranging from Wellbeing and Happiness, Internal Family Systems and Grief and Loss and Stress, the 2019 MARENC promises to bring new thinking and ideas for professional development for both professional and voluntary practitioners interested in the field of marriage, relationship and family education.
$159 Members
$199 Non-Members

Great speakers on topics such as Internal Family Systems, Grief and Loss and Stress and Changes in couples over the decades.

Registration is available now. Click here to register for this exciting educators’ conference.

Register Now

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5 small ways to celebrate your relationship today – bonus: Discover the hidden treasures of your relationship

Here are five small ways to celebrate your relationship today (or any day of the year), because your relationship is worth a little extra effort today.

Bonus: 6. Discover the hidden treasures of your relationship: People are always growing and relationships are constantly changing. Almost all relationships begin in a honeymoon phase, where couples see their relationship through rose-colored glasses, but most do not remain there. The problem is that, much like a river, a relationship may look relatively stable, but a deeper examination reveals undercurrents that change from moment to moment.

Take some time today to explore your relationship, the ups and the downs, the strengths and the growth areas.

Couple Checkup is a fun, easy way to provide insights into your relationship which will generate deep and productive conversations that you may not otherwise have about your relationship. This will renew your understanding of one another, and it can help revive a relationship and increase intimacy. Take Couple Checkup today  and begin the journey of a stronger, healthier relationship.  And that’s really the best way to celebrate your relationship, right?

More tips at www.couplecheckup.com.au, tune in next week…

Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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5 ways to celebrate your relationship: Really listen to each other

Here are five small ways to celebrate your relationship today (or any day of the year), because your relationship is worth a little extra effort today.

5.  Listen to each other: Active listening is the ability to let your partner know you understand what they have said by restating their message. Practice really listening to what your partner is saying. Best put by Jeff Daly, “Two monologues do not make a dialogue.”

Take some time today to explore your relationship, the ups and the downs, the strengths and the growth areas.

Couple Checkup is a fun, easy way to provide insights into your relationship which will generate deep and productive conversations that you may not otherwise have about your relationship. This will renew your understanding of one another, and it can help revive a relationship and increase intimacy. Take Couple Checkup today  and begin the journey of a stronger, healthier relationship.  And that’s really the best way to celebrate your relationship, right?

More tips at www.couplecheckup.com.au, tune in next week…

Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf

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5 ways to celebrate your relationship: dance together

Here are five small ways to celebrate your relationship today (or any day of the year), because your relationship is worth a little extra effort today.

4.  Dance together: It could be a night out dancing to your favorite local band, a small dance in the kitchen while you are making dinner, or a recreation of your first dance at your wedding. Try sitting down and finding a new song that represents your relationship as it stands today to dance to tonight.

Take some time today to explore your relationship, the ups and the downs, the strengths and the growth areas.

Take some time today to explore your relationship, the ups and the downs, the strengths and the growth areas.

Couple Checkup is a fun, easy way to provide insights into your relationship which will generate deep and productive conversations that you may not otherwise have about your relationship. This will renew your understanding of one another, and it can help revive a relationship and increase intimacy. Take Couple Checkup today  and begin the journey of a stronger, healthier relationship.  And that’s really the best way to celebrate your relationship, right?

More tips at www.couplecheckup.com.au, tune in next week…

Material used with permission of PREPARE/ENRICH.

Marriage and Relationship Education is a learning opportunity, much like you would do in any other important life event. Check out the new video for couples on YouTube: https://youtu.be/xyuUl-JnIhM

Keep up with the latest from the MAREAA online:

Join us at www.mareaa.asn.au or sign up to our Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bRigGf