Who Should Be Encouraged To Attend?

Married husbands and wives who are in love “deserve” to attend a Weekend!  Good relationships don’t come easy. Maintaining a good relationship requires a conscious and/or subconscious commitment and effort. A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend will help ease a couple’s efforts by learning a communications technique that will keep them in touch with each other.  Within the groups of “in love couples” are sub-groups:

•  Couples with a strong commitment to constantly improve their relationship. These couples already have an excellent or superb relationship. They developed this level of relationship because they regularly do “something” each year specifically to improve their “coupleness.” They may regularly read books or attend seminars on relationship building. A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is one of those “things” they choose to do for themselves!

•  Couples who know they have a good or very good relationship but who decide together that there is something that is not as good as it could be. The Weekend may be the first event they choose to do together to specifically improve their relationship. 

•  Couples who are in a temporary “difficult” period. They know there were better times, and they yearn to find what is missing. A “good marriage” just is not good enough. Some are experiencing a temporary crisis – the death of a loved one, a lost job, or a move.  Others have been married 7-12 years and are coping with jobs, kids, money, and “is there more than this to life?” Still others are “empty nesters” asking “Now that the kids are gone and it is just the two of us, what are we going to do now?” Some are approaching or are in retirement and are wondering “Where do we go from here?” In all these cases, couples have had a better relationship in the past, and they just want to get back there!

•  Couples who know they are experiencing trouble, and they are concerned that they need a little help pulling themselves up from this downward spiral. The important point is that they can still hold hands, look into each other’s eyes and say, “I love you, and I want to love you more!”  These couples know they have problems, but both are committed to loving each other.

A Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend is not intended for couples who are having serious problems, especially if drug or alcohol addiction or physical abuse are involved. With couples whom you feel need personal marriage counseling, it would be wise to have them start their counseling before suggesting they go on a Weekend. Often these couples have poor communications and are in need of assistance to do problem solving. The Weekend is effective in enhancing communications, and good communication is a prerequisite to effective problem solving. However, the Weekend is not geared toward marital problem solving. These couples may be disappointed that the Weekend did not solve all their problems.

The clergy is generally the only professionally trained counselor on the Weekend. The format of the Weekend is such that there is not enough time to individually counsel every couple. That is not to say that if a couple has questions no one will work with them.  

Couples in the process of getting a divorce have attended Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekends on their own initiative. During the Weekend they have become reconciled. If both spouses are enthusiastic about attending a Weekend and understand it is not primarily for problem solving, we would not discourage them from registering.

If you have any concerns about recommending a couple to attend a Weekend, just email us at info@godlovesmarriage.org.  If you include your phone number, someone will call you.  We can arrange to have a presenting clergy call you as well.