KIKHW5NC6Y.jpg

STRENGTHENING AND ENRICHING MARRIAGES TO KEEP FAMILIES HEALTHY AND TOGETHER

***

average marriages

If you wanted your marriage to be average, you probably wouldn't have gotten married.

quotes-about-love-a-happy-marriage-happy-wives-club.jpg

Are we right? Whether you got married 2 years, 10 years, or 50 years ago you probably had a picture of an idyllic partnership in your mind. And then, before you know it, things aren't quite what you pictured. For some things are "okay," just not as rosy as when you started. For some things are really tough. In either case, things aren't what you would describe as "great."

We get a few people every year who tell us they were intimidated to call or stop in because the name is Great Marriages, and their marriage is anything but. Fear is a common reason people don't seek help. But just as you wouldn't order from a restaurant advertising "a mediocre burger" (but you do order the "best burger in town"), you probably wouldn't seek relationship advice from a place called "Average Marriages"...  

The Great in our name is aspirational. It's also realistic. We aren't suggesting anything about "perfect" marriages. (As far as we know, no such thing exists!)

But with work and dedication your marriage truly can be great

 

Whether you are engaged, need a quick tune-up, or your marriage is in crisis, we can help!

Call our office at (920)783.6142 or email info@great-marriages.org

START HEALTHY. STAY HEALTHY.

The Importance of Planning for Your Future

YOU CAN PLAN THE PERFECT WEDDING, BUT HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WHAT YOUR MARRIAGE WILL LOOK LIKE?

Equip yourselves with the tools you will need to overcome any challenge that comes your way by mentoring at Great Marriages. We pair you up with a couple who has been married a minimum of 20 years and they will educate you on how to have a successful, life-long marriage. 

Expert mentoring can guide couples during this stressful time to:

pexels-photo-254069.jpeg
  • Listen and learn about one another’s needs and fears
  • Provide a haven from stress and anxiety
  • Practice loving negotiation and compromise
  • Truly understand one another’s values
  • Maintain respect, appreciation and admiration
  • Reality check what you can change, and what you cannot change

Achieving these relationship skills will serve you well on your lifelong journey together. Be prepared for the journey ahead as a strong team. This will be the wisest time spent during your wedding planning!

ENJOY YOUR WEDDING, AND PLAN FOR YOUR FUTURE!

FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE, FOREVER!

Great Marriages does not advocate for staying in abusive relationships.
If you are in an abusive relationship please contact Safe Harbor at (920) 452-8611.
2015-02-07-3ecf9d9f8f71c9fd0dea1d0f2a6ce610.jpg

Some of the best advice I ever heard for a relationship was to compliment your significant other during a fight. This has a two fold effect: first - you will stop saying angry things and fueling the fire of the fight, second - you will remember what you love about that person and begin to soften your heart to what is making you upset. In this moment, you are choosing love. You may not feel like you love the person at that moment, but you can remember the things you love about them. Love is a choice.

When a couple gets married they promise for better or for worse, they promise to love each other forever. Eventually, the stress of day to day life combined with getting comfortable in your relationship will lessen the feeling of love. It is at this point that we must decide to choose love. Don't forget what made you fall in love with that person, don't forget your plans and dreams, don't forget the promise you made of forever. 

When you are fighting because your spouse forgot to take out the trash again or they said some unkind words, remember your promise of forever. If it feels like forever is over, remember why you fell in love and focus on those feelings. Choose love, every single day.

If you need help getting through a difficult time, call Great Marriages at (920)783.6142.

Ways to choose love every day:

Let go of the little things. (More of life is "little things" than you may think.)

Communicate!

Pay attention to your partner. 

Learn your significant other's Love Language.

Accept and celebrate your spouse's differences and uniqueness. 

Be flexible with your partner. While agreement is the goal, sometimes you need to concede to the other’s wishes.

Send love notes—a card, text, voicemail, email, post-it note. Tell them why you love them!

Laugh!

Say “yes” more often than “no.”

Schedule time alone together, don't ever stop dating your spouse!

The Importance of Planning for Your Future

Planning for your future (both the good and the bad) is critical!

Whether you are planning for your wedding and the future of your relationship, planning for a potential health crisis, or planning to take over the care of an elderly parent you need to PLAN! Great Marriages has programs, resources, and events to help you do just that.

Couple-doing-paperwork-at-home.jpg

Advanced Care Planning

Planning now for your future health care is one of the most important acts you will ever do for yourself and your family!  Advance Care Planning is a process of communication between you, your loved ones and care providers about your health care wishes.  An Advance Directive is a legal document that explains to others the kind of medical care you want or don’t want.  It is used when you are unable to communicate this information yourself.  Advance directives must be prepared ahead of time, when you are able to make your own decision.

family-posing-for-portrait-on-couch-seniors-daughter_573x300.jpg

Caregiving

Caregiving can be very rewarding but the stress that comes with it cannot be denied. Some spouses, adult children and family members are providing care 24 hours a day. Adult children are especially challenged as they care for elderly parents, meet the demands of their young family and manage career responsibilities. 


You can plan the perfect wedding, but have you thought about what your marriage will look like?

Equip yourselves with the tools you will need to overcome any challenge that comes your way by mentoring at Great Marriages. We pair you up with a couple who has been married a minimum of 20 years and they will educate you on how to have a successful, life-long marriage. 

Expert mentoring can guide couples during this stressful time to:

  • Listen and learn about one another’s needs and fears
  • Provide a haven from stress and anxiety
  • Practice loving negotiation and compromise
  • Truly understand one another’s values
  • Maintain respect, appreciation and admiration
  • Reality check what you can change, and what you cannot change
pexels-photo-878668.jpeg

Achieving these relationship skills will serve you well on your lifelong journey together. Be prepared for the journey ahead as a strong team. This will be the wisest time spent during your wedding planning!

Enjoy your wedding, and plan for your future!

flirting and dating banner.jpg

Never Stop Dating Your Wife & Never Stop Flirting with Your Husband

2b6caa69194d73e3db45775f322a3e8f.jpg

Often, when a couple has been in a committed relationship for awhile (even if they aren't married yet!) they can become complacent. You settle into a routine, things become "normal", and you stop feeling butterflies every time you see your significant other. But it's important to keep the spark alive, and there is no better way to do that then by continuing to flirt with and date your significant other!

Flirting with your spouse will remind you why you like them (even when the mystery is gone and they go to the bathroom with the door open). We so often get stuck in the monotony of day to day life, of our schedules and to-do lists, that we forget what is so special about our partners. Taking the time to compliment them or to touch them will rekindle that passion in yourself, and in them. More importantly, it will make them feel desired and appreciated!

b031be66d2f0ba6f3d7200d57a3c1b30.jpg

Going on a date with your spouse, even if it's just once a month, will give you two time to connect and talk to each other about topics outside of "did you run the dishwasher?" It's extremely important to continue learning about your significant other and one of the best ways to do that is through conversation. There's no better time to forget the routine of life and enjoy intimate conversation then on a date!

Beyond just talking while you're on a date, dating actually creates things to talk about later. You'll have a shared experience (and hopefully a few laughs) that you can talk about when you are settled back into your daily routine. Maybe it'll be an inside joke, a memory of the delicious dessert you had, or even how great your partner looked in their date night outfit. 

Need some date night ideas? Check out our EVENTS page for some great date nights!

YOUR SPOUSE IS A GIFT!

freemanx-gifts.jpg

With Christmas coming up, many of us are focused on the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Between trying to get all the presents wrapped and make sure that the Christmas dinner is planned and perfectly prepared, we often forget one of the biggest gifts we have in our lives... our spouse.

Your marriage and your spouse are a gift to you, just as you are a gift to them.

This holiday season try to remember that marriage is a commitment to your spouse to love, respect, and cherish each other. Just as your appreciate a gift and give thanks, you should appreciate your spouse and express gratitude. Marriage is a chance to open up completely to another person, an opportunity to create emotional intimacy by opening up to each other. Just as we unwrap gifts with excitement, we should feel the same eagerness to "unwrap" our spouse and create that emotional intimacy. 

Put aside the busy schedules and pressures of the holiday season and make time to connect with your spouse. Don't forget that their love, companionship, and commitment is a wonderful gift!

Marry Christmas!

thankful.png

At Great Marriages, we are thankful for:

  • Volunteers who give of their talents to help others in our community
  • Donors who make what we do possible
  • Passionate people who want to see our community thrive by strengthening and keeping families together
  • Resources we have to offer the community to grow in their relationships
  • Love
  • Family
  • Faith

Thankfulness and gratitude are key to happy relationships!

When we appreciate our partners, we develop trust and respect. When we feel appreciated, we feel needed and encouraged. Gratitude is an integral part of healthy relationships. The key to sparking healthy relationships with gratitude is to take the initiative: “Instead of just waiting for the other person to make you feel good, you can jumpstart that cycle and take it into your own hands by focusing on what’s good in your relationship,” says Dr. Gordon. Start with small and easily achievable goals, such as giving your spouse five compliments a day, or simply smiling at them more often.

Gratitude is a skill that you cultivate—nurture it in yourself, and soon your will see positivity radiate back at you.

Source: Susan Heitler

418207ba30a4a2270e13c87cc6861bed.png

Source: Andrew Merle

Need ideas to get you started in practicing gratitude?

  • Wake up every day and express to yourself what you are grateful for
  • Tell whoever you are with at the end of the day the 3 things you are most grateful for
  • Tell whoever you are with right now (significant other, friend, family member, etc.) the 3 things that you are most grateful for in this moment
  • Start a gratitude journal - Express gratitude in this journal every night by noting the things that you are grateful for, proud of, and excited about
  • Acknowledge other people and thank them for inspiring/helping/supporting you - oftentimes people wait their whole lives to be acknowledged (and yet it happens far too infrequently)!

THE IMPORTANCE OF LAUGHTER IN MARRIAGE

Have you and your significant other ever found something to be funny and you reach a point where you feed off each other? Laughter is contagious. It’s also beneficial to life and marriage.

Laughing-couple.jpg

Benefits of Laughter

  • Reduction of stress and tension
  • Stimulation of the immune system
  • An increase of natural painkillers in the blood
  • A decrease in systemic inflammation
  • Reduction of blood pressure
  • Lifts your spirits
  • Brings couples closer together
  • Can help keep a relationship fresh.

There are other medical benefits than the ones listed above. Through laughter, muscles release tension and neurochemicals are released into the bloodstream, creating the same feelings the long-distance joggers experience as “runner’s high.”

Humor brings more than just physiological benefits to a husband and wife. Humor helps us cope.

Humor relieves the tension that can build up between people. It also will bond you with those you laugh with. Research has found that laughter produces Oxytocin, a chemical in the brain also referred to as the bonding chemical.

Learning to laugh a little more just may save your life, not to mention your marriage. To paraphrase Henry Ward Beecher, “A marriage without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs – jolted by every pebble in the road.”

From Simple Marriage


5 LOVE LANGUAGES

Have you ever felt like your and your significant other are just not connecting? Are you trying to show love but they just aren't feeling it? According to Dr. Chapman, there are five universal ways that all people express and interpret love. Through his more than 30 years of couples counseling, Dr. Chapman has noticed specific patterns in the way partners communicate — and it turns out that most of the population express and interpret love in the same five ways, according to his observations. The 5 Love Languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch