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Topics for Couples Considering Marriage

  1. Expectations
    • Myths about marriage
    • Optimism vs. Over-Idealism
  2. Spiritual Oneness
    • Understanding your spouse’s relationship with God
    • Scripture, devotional time, prayer, worship, and service
  3. Communication
    • You can talk, but can you communicate?
    • Understanding filters—the thins that get in the way of good communication
    • Different levels of emotional expression
  4. Conflict Resolution
    • Conflict: A positive force for change or destructive marriage killer
    • Knowing the warning signs: Escalation, Withdrawal, Invalidation, and Negative Interpretation, Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling
    • Separating issues from events and identifying complimentary vs. contradictory traits
  5. Finances
    • Budget, Budget, Budget
    • The hidden issues of power, impulse control, and security
    • Standard of living and stewardship
  6. Sexuality
    • Sexual abstinence is essential during engagement
    • Understanding each others sexual physiology, response, and needs
    • Expectations for the honeymoon
  7. Understanding Love and Your Love Style
    • Understanding the three sided model of love—Commitment, Passion, and Intimacy
    • Giving and receiving affection
    • Knowing your love language
  8. Your Family of Origin
    • Recognizing that you are really marrying a stranger
    • Separating from your family and becoming reliant upon each other—Leaving and Cleaving
    • Family traditions and holidays
    • Joining a new family
  9. Gender Differences
    • Learning to enjoy the differences
    • The Connection/Autonomy challenge
    • Avoiding the Pursuer/Distancer trap
  10. Roles, Power, and Career
    • The leadership structure of the bone
    • How decision will be made will be made
    • How important is your career?
  11. Friends and Leisure Time Activities
    • How are we going to spend our free time?
    • Who are our friends?
    • The openness of the home
  12. Children
    • How many children do we want? How soon?
    • How do we want our children to be raised?
    • Preparing to be a parent
  13. Marriage Mentoring
    • Learning from experienced couples
    • Post-marital check-ups
  14. Plans for Enrichment in Marriage
    • Where are we headed as a couple?
    • What will we do to keep us growing together?
    • How will we know when we need to step back and refocus?

Ted Witzig, Jr., Ph.D.