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Sunday, March 19, 2017

FLRC Will Offer A Free Marriage Class As Part Of Its 30th Anniversary Observance

My book will be free to the first five couples who sign up.
After nearly three decades of counseling and offering classes at the Family Life Resource Center, I plan to lead one more four-session Marriage Maintenance Class at the Center starting 7-8:30 pm Monday, April 3.

FLRC is offering the series on a donation basis as a part of its 30th Anniversary observance. All contributions are tax deductible, and will go toward our scholarship fund to assist clients without health coverage and who otherwise may not be able to afford counseling.

I have always loved leading this class, meant for those of us whose relationships are not necessarily in crisis, but who see value in working at better managing our problems and adding to our blessings.

The focus of the first session is on investing more time, energy and creativity in the "Problem Free Area" of our relationship, much as we do when we are dating each other and concentrating on what we truly appreciate and enjoy about being together. Many of us find this part of our relationship depleted over time and in need of fresh attention. In this area it takes two people working together to create positive change.

The second session focuses on our "Personal Problem Area", based on the premise that not all problems in a marriage are actually marriage problems, but are individual problems that can cause serious stress in a relationship. In this area each of us must take 100% responsibility for our own growth and change, with whatever help we needs to become the healthy and happy half of the marital pair. These problems are ones we tend to bring with us, and if, God forbid, the marriage were over, we would take with them us.

The focus for the third evening is on how to do more listening and less lecturing regarding issues that are in the "Spouse's Problem Area", where we have the least power to bring about change, but where we can provide important support and encouragement as the other person deals with their personal issues. Not surprisingly, this is the area in which most of us invest an excessive amount of time and attention, a big mistake and generally a huge waste of time.

The last session involves our setting aside times when we temporarily leave the "Problem Free Area" and work with our partner to address issues we "filed" for the purpose of addressing in our "Mutual Problem Area", in the same kind of rational and objective way we might deal with issues that come up in any business or other partnership. In the class we learn the value of having regular couples meeting solely for this purpose, where we become skilled at attacking whatever problems we put on the table, and strictly avoid attacking or blaming each other.

This is a fun class limited to about 12 couples. We welcome your taking part!

Register by calling 540-434-8450 or emailing services@flrc.org.

Note: A later special event marking FLRC's 30th birthday will be a fund raising dinner and celebration at 5:30 pm Saturday, May 6, 2017, at the Park View Mennonite Church. The Board has asked me to be the main speaker for that event, and the Cantore Men's A Cappella Ensemble  will provide special music. Please register in advance!
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