Research shows that there are substantial benefits for couples who regularly set time aside to work on their marriage and make the most of opportunities for marriage enrichment. In our Archdiocese there are a number of programs to support married couples.
We highly recommend two programs for couples in the first two years of marriage.
Together in Harmony
Couples who participate in one of our pre marriage education programs are automatically enrolled in our Together in Harmony program. This half day program is for couples in the first two years of marriage. Together in Harmony is based on research about what couples tend to argue about most in the first five years of marriage. This course also covers areas such as goal setting, keeping romance alive and the marriage relationship cycle. Couples how have participated in one of our pre marriage programs will be automatically notified about Together in Harmony one year after their pre marriage education program.
Couples who are in the first two years of marriage and who haven’t previously attended one of our pre marriage education programs are welcome to attend this course. Please contact our office on (08) 9241 5000 for Together in Harmony dates.
Ministry to the Newly Married
Ministry to the Newly Married is a program for couples in the first or second year of marriage. It is a five year program which starts at the beginning of each financial year.
Every year, in the program, we will match you with a new mentor couple. You get to meet with them four times throughout the year. The get togethers have an informal structure but with a theme for discussion. When you get together with your mentor couple they will share with you experiences about their marriage and different ways they’ve addressed the theme in their relationship.
The year starts and ends with everyone in the program (mentors and newly marrieds) getting together for a celebration. Each year you will get a new mentor couple so that over the five years you will have a chance to discuss 20 different topics and gain an insight into five different marriages. The topics covered in the program have been selected from feedback of 3000 couples on what they most wanted to discuss.
To find out more about the program. Contact Karen Boylen on 0409 682 923.
For couples further into their marriage
Individual Couple Programs
If you would prefer an individual marriage enrichment program then I recommend one of two programs that our agency offers:
- REFOCCUS (for couples who have previously done the FOCCUS program) and
There are two components to these programs. The first is completing an inventory that explores a whole range of areas in your marriage and highlights areas for strength and growth.
Then you have two follow up sessions with a marriage educator to explore these areas. Each of these sessions is two hours long and we generally recommended they be a week apart. Feedback from these programs is excellent and it allows you as a couple to focus in on those areas of your relationship which you would most like to develop. To find out more please telephone (08) 9241 5000
If you’d prefer a marriage enrichment group program then we would recommend either Smart Loving (http://smartloving.org/events/smartloving-marriage/) or Marriage Encounter (http://www.wwme.org.au/).
Both programs have been developed in the context of the Catholic Church and both are weekend type programs. However, these programs are quite different in their content and design. You can find out more about these programs by visiting their websites.