The 6 Wives?

First let me introduce myself. I’m Amy Pelletier, and although I’ve been involved at Marriage Matters Jackson since it’s early days as an advisory board member, a board of directors member, and a facilitator, I am excited to start my new venture as the Development Director for MMJ!

If you have ever played a musical instrument , did you produce a beautiful sound the first time you attempted a piece of music?  If you have ever played basketball, did you sink three pointer after three pointer your first time on the court?  And if you have ever been married, have you been an exceptional communicator and loving partner during all of your married life?  My guess is that the answer to each of these questions is “No”.  This is because as humans, we get better at things when we practice them.  We improve our skills and aptitude when we learn techniques from teachers and coaches who have more experience and knowledge than we do. 

            About five years into my marriage, my husband and I had two small children, one income and lots of stress.  Our choices were simple…continue to be miserable or do something about it.  We chose the latter.  A weekend marriage retreat gave us a new perspective on our marriage, time away from those precious rugrats of ours and new tools for communicating and problem solving.  Was our marriage perfect after that?  No way, but it certainly  was a lot better and the refreshing weekend away allowed us to feel connected in a way we hadn’t felt for a long time.  We all need refresher courses from time to time in all facets of our life…including our marriages.  So why then, do so many couples fear marriage education?  My guess is that most couples see it as counseling.  Counseling has gotten a bad rap over the years.   Although it isn’t necessary for all couples, I have seen it save many marriages.  While counseling can be helpful and has a place in many marriages, counseling is NOT marriage education.  In fact the term, “marriage education” is a fairly new one. It’s not about saving a marriage in turmoil (although it has) it’s about making a good thing even better.  Think of it as batting practice. I saw the value in it so many years ago that it led me to become a marriage educator.  Now I get to help others see how learning new skills and taking time to improve your marriage can benefit every couple.  We change the oil in our car so it doesn’t break down.  We water the lawn so it doesn’t turn brown and ugly.  What have you done for your marriage lately to keep it from breaking down and getting ugly?