The top 12 remarriage stumbling blocks

In 2010 David Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg & Peter Larson carried out a study in the US using >50 thousand premarital couples (both partners), whose marriages were about to create a stepfamily. The survey identified the top twelve Remarriage Stumbling Blocks.

Out of the 12 items, 4 deal with stepfamily concerns. The other items deal with money issues, fear of relationship failure, and resolving damages from the past. Seven of the 12 items deal with specific issues relating to the resolution of their past or the complexity of their present stepfamily.

The top twelve specific issues for married couples come from six general relationship categories:

  • marriage expectations and concerns;
  • children, parenting and step parenting;
  • finances and debt;
  • personality issues;
  • conflict resolution; and
  • communication

Remarriage Stumbling Blocks (in rank order):

  1. They expect difficulty dealing with complex stepfamily issues (88%)
  2. They believe having children from previous relationships will put an additional strain on their marriage (86%)
  3. Creating a stepfamily puts more stress on their relationship (85%)
  4. Having different patterns of childrearing in their birth family can be problematic (82%)
  5. They expect stepfamily adjustment to be difficult (78%)
  6. They don’t have a specific plan for money management (73%)
  7. They have concerns over unpaid bills, debts, or settlements (66%)
  8. They feel their partner is too stubborn (65%)
  9. One or both of the partners goes out of their way to avoid conflict with the other (63%)
  10. They have a fear of marital failure (63%)
  11. One or both partners feel responsible for the problems when they argue (61%)
  12. One or both partners have not yet worked through the issues and hurts from previous relationships (58%)

Notice how many of the stumbling blocks pertain to the complexity of marriage in a stepfamily and the couple’s past.

In order to empower couples, it is important to focus on the resources
used by strong marriages. This study of marital strengths is in contrast to most studies of marriage that focus on only marital problems.

Source:

  • David H. Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg & Peter J. Larson 2010: National Survey of Remarried Couples.

Source:

  • David H. Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg & Peter J. Larson 2010: National Survey of Remarried Couples

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

Couple Flexibility and Couple Closeness are most important for step-parents

In a study in the US using >50 thousand premarital couples (both partners), whose marriages were about to create a stepfamily, an important discovery was the role in conflict resolution.

Problems arise in everyday marriage issues in addition to the various stressors of step-parenting. In healthy couples 91% resolve these problems while 84% of unhappy couples are unable to do so.

While most past studies have identified the importance of communication and conflict resolution, the significance of couple flexibility and couple closeness identified demonstrates their growing importance in our high stress society.

In order to empower couples, it is important to focus on the resources
used by strong marriages. This study of marital strengths is in contrast to most studies of marriage that focus on only marital problems.

Source:

  • David H. Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg & Peter J. Larson 2010: National Survey of Remarried Couples

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

Encourage couples and professionals to focus more on the strengths of marriage, especially remarriage and the creation of stepfamilies, rather than only problems

In 2010 David Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg & Peter Larson carried out a study in the US using >50 thousand premarital couples (both partners), whose marriages were about to create a stepfamily. The survey identified the Five Keys to Intimacy, which is made up of the top five strengths that clearly distinguish great relationships from unsatisfying ones, along with the Top Ten Strengths of Happy versus Unhappy Couples Creating Step Families.

Using these top ten strengths, it is possible to discriminate between happy and unhappy marriages with 90% accuracy.

The top five categories in rank order of importance were:

  • Personality
  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Leisure activities and
  • Couple flexibility

While most past studies have identified the importance of communication and conflict resolution, the significance of couple flexibility and couple closeness identified demonstrates their growing importance in our high stress society.

In order to empower couples, it is important to focus on the resources
used by strong marriages. This study of marital strengths is in contrast to most studies of marriage that focus on only marital problems.

Source:

  • David H. Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg & Peter J. Larson 2010: National Survey of Remarried Couples

Source: PREPARE/ENRICH Discussion Guide for Couples.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.www.workofheart.net.au

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

Consider articulating relationship (and family) outcomes and put them where you and your partner can see them

When you put effort towards something, it can be helpful to foresee outcomes and articulating outcomes now and being mindful of them along the way will help guide you and your partner to find success through this journey.

Reflect on the outcomes you’ve set for your relationship and consider how you each will contribute. Revisit your list regularly and assess where progress was made.

Some ideas to reflect on:

  • Meet regularly to review progress;
  • Reset the goals if needed as things may have changed or impacted on progress;
  • Reflect of your relationship’s strength and growth areas and be realistic about areas you need to work on;
  • Celebrate your successes;
  • Keep communicating and developing goals!

This is a life long process. You’ll get better at it over time and the rewards will come. Good luck.

Source: PREPARE/ENRICH Discussion Guide for Couples.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.www.workofheart.net.au

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

Accountability (or lack of it) can be the reason you reach (or fail to reach) a particular outcome

When you put effort towards something, it can be helpful to foresee outcomes. Whether you work through your PREPARE/ENRICH assessment results in its entirety or section by section, articulating outcomes now and being mindful of them along the way will help guide you and your partner to find success through this journey.

Accountability (or lack of it) can be the reason you reach (or fail to reach) a particular outcome. Write down a few outcomes and put them where you and your partner can see them. Maybe it’s a shared calendar or on a note taped to the bathroom mirror. Keeping these visual reminders present and in view will help remind you of the energy you are putting into your relationship.

In practice:

When you create your own outcomes, make sure they are realistic and clearly stated. If you are unsure of what outcomes to commit to, take some time with your partner and talk through what you want to get out of this experience. Increased satisfaction? Greater understanding? More support? Enrich your relationship?

Reflect on the outcomes you’ve set for your relationship and consider how you each will contribute.

Revisit your list of desired outcomes and assess where progress was made.

Being intentional about this process and your relationship goes along way to ensuring success. Keeping each other accountable however, is where the rubber hits the road. It’s a joint effort and you are both invested in the outcome. Make it happen.

Source: PREPARE/ENRICH Discussion Guide for Couples.

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.www.workofheart.net.au

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

Setting and achieving goals in your relationship

This year, my wife and I have set goals for ourselves individually, as a couple, family goals and work goals.

Sure, we cover all the obvious areas such as finances, career, sex, time together, time with friends and family, but what we always find is that our couple goals are what makes up most of the discussion.

To drive the discussion we started with the following broad questions:

  • How can we gain a greater awareness of our relationship strength and growth areas?
  • What do we need to do about the areas we need to work on?
  • How do we gage success and how often do we check-in?
  • One achieved, how should we celebrate; and importantly
  • How do we ensure and open and constant communication!

The Journey

When you put effort towards something, it can be helpful to foresee the target goal. Whether you work through these in a single session or over a few weeks, articulating outcomes now and being mindful of them along the way will help guide you and your partner to find success through this journey.

Accountability (or lack of it) can be the reason you reach (or fail to reach) a particular outcome. Write down a few goals and put them where you and your partner can see them. Maybe it’s a shared calendar or on a note taped to the bathroom mirror. Keeping these visual reminders present during the time you are discussing progress to remind you of the energy you are putting into your relationship.

Review: When you create your goals, make sure they are realistic and clearly stated. If you are unsure of what outcomes to commit to, take some time with your partner and talk through what you want to get out of this experience.

Will they:

  • Increase relationship satisfaction?
  • Provide greater understanding?
  • Enable greater support of each other?
  • Enrich our relationship?

Reflect on the goals you’ve set for your relationship in 2018 and consider how you each will contribute. Revisit your list of desired goals within a week after setting them, then continually assess where progress was made and consider articulating relationship (and family) outcomes to continue the momentum.

Review 2019 goals because 2020 is just around the corner…

Source: DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COUPLES, PREPARE/ENRICH 2017

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.www.workofheart.net.au

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships.

Is conflict resolution a possible Strength Area in your relationship?

Conflict Resolution is your ability to discuss and resolve differences. Also how effectively you are able to share opinions, ideas, and feelings with your partner, even during times of conflict.

Discussion. Do you:

  • Feel understood while discussing problems?
  • Feel individually responsible for problems in your relationship?
  • Say nothing to avoid hurting your partner?

Is conflict resolution a possible Strength Area in your relationship?

Takeaway:

Be proud of your strengths! It is unrealistic to expect you’ll agree on everything, but start by trying to understand one another’s thoughts and feelings. Good communication will help you problem solve and further improve this area of your relationship.

Source: DISCUSSION GUIDE FOR COUPLES, PREPARE/ENRICH 2017

Tune in for more tips next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.www.workofheart.net.au

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships.