Healthy marriages are a result of the choices that people make – intentional, deliberate and wise choices. “I CHOOSE US” presents an in-depth perspective on building Love Connection in the marriage. Through an understanding of the “Four Phases of Love”, couples can then decide to chart a more fulfilling marital relationship. Couples are given practical tips on how to build and nurture Love Connection, which takes consistent effort and becoming aware of each other’s needs and differences.
Couples will learn more about the two basic ingredients for a healthy marriage – Love and Respect. They will be given an exercise for each “subscale” in which each partner will have a chance to rate how well his/her spouse has been able to meet his/her need for Love and Respect. Couples will be taught practical steps on how to nurture the Love Connection stage on a daily and weekly basis.
Deeply entrenched beliefs and character traits may emerge in the couple relationship and cause the marriage to fall into the Mutual Affection or Disintegration stage. This happens when couples are reacting based on their coping styles and when their negative schemas or lifetraps are getting triggered. Dr. Jeffrey Young’s research over the past 30 years has led him to identify 18 different lifetraps and three broad coping styles. In this session, these principles will be discussed in detail, enabling couples to gain deeper self-awareness. Different scenarios are presented in cartoon format, creating lively discussions amongst workshop participants.
Clashes occur even in the most stable and strongest of marriages. If left unresolved, these deep-rooted hurts can take a toll on the marital relationship. In this module, couples will be shown the distinction between destructive and constructive conflict. They will then be guided on how to communicate with each other vulnerably so that they can exit from Vortex of Conflict Escalation. Couples will also learn how to process anger and resentment, render forgiveness and be reconciled with each other.
Couples will learn about “affair-proofing” their marriage. To underscore the importance of protecting the marriage relationship, research and data will be shown as to how frequently spouses stray and what problems often cause cheating. Couples will also be taught how to deal with an affair, how to end an affair, and how to save the marriage if a breach of trust has occurred.
Many couples struggle to move past a major conflict or significant breach of trust in their marriage. In this session, couples will learn how to render forgiveness and get reconciled. With the help of appropriate movie scenes, couples will grow in understanding the proper meaning of forgiveness to reach genuine forgiveness and reconciliation. Couples will receive an exercise on how to process anger and resentment for future use at home. To conclude the workshop, couples will be invited to join an optional exercise, to slow dance with their spouse while the following song is played: “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman”, by Brian Adams.