I love the warm weather. It gives me the opportunity to run outdoors while doing a lot of reflecting.
While running I often think about what message I want to present to a couple I am meeting with for Pre-Marriage Counseling. Currently, they are enjoying an exciting relationship. What will keep their marriage on solid ground and help them enjoy a full life together?
Leslie Vernick, in her book, “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” presents three key elements as a starting point for all couples. It will also help the young couple I am currently meeting with and is a great place to move couples to who are struggling with their marriage.
The first key element presented by Leslie is the concept of mutuality. Mutuality means that both partners contribute specific qualities essential for the care, maintenance, and repair of the relationship. The basic qualities are honesty, caring, respect, responsibility, and repentance.
The second key element is reciprocity. Reciprocity means that both partners in the relationship give and both receive. Power and responsibility are shared.
The third key element is freedom. Freedom means that in a marriage each partner is allowed to make choices, give input and express feelings without being badgered, manipulated or punished.
I would ask for you to review the three key elements and then share positive experiences with any one of these elements.