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Marriage Advocate Training: 1.1 through 1.6

This training will provide you with tips and tools that will help you address the most common moderate-level marriage issues. From simple miscommunications to apologies, from forgiveness to trust – we will cover the basic Biblical relationship skills that can get a marriage back on track and moving in the right direction. It will help you build confidence and feel equipped to advocate for the marriages of the couples you are helping!

As you get closer to a couple, problems will hopefully be exposed. The purpose of this material is to give you the courage and tools to address the most common moderate-level marriage issues.
"I" Statements and Stop Action: 1.1

Summary of issue:
Most conversations seem to devolve into conflict. There is often tension even when the topic is benign. Lately, the conflict appears to be damaging our relationship. Escalation of volume and/or intensity is almost always the result. At this point, we either both escalate further, or one of us disrespectfully exits the conversation and probably the room. It seems like we talk less now, probably as a defense mechanism.

Healing Apologies: 1.2

Summary of issue:
Apologies are seldom offered. When an apology is offered, it almost never brings healing or closure. An apology is more likely to result in an “eye-roll” than a sincere response.

Forgiveness/Trust: 1.3

Summary of issue:
Forgiveness and trust are foundational for a healthy marriage. As trouble enters a marriage, it may appear that those foundations are eroding. It is important to have a proper understanding of these two words, as well as establish appropriate verbiage to communicate concerns.

Reversing Negative Conversation Momentum: 1.4

Summary of issue:

Isaac Newton’s first law of motion states that “an object will not change its motion unless a force acts on it.” The same is true in conversations with the momentum in either a negative or positive direction. Without intentional and active change, a conversation with negative momentum will continue to become more and more negative. In this training we describe a technique to stop the negative momentum and change the direction to one more positive.

Reacting vs Responding: 1.5 

Summary of issue:
If we pay attention it is possible to determine if our mind or our emotions are in charge of us during a conversation. When emotions, and more specifically negative emotions, are driving our words the brain is typically out to lunch. When the mind is in control we “respond” in a rational manner. When emotions are in control, we often “react” in a harmful “knee-jerk” manner. The ideas presented here are designed to help you catch yourself reacting, and provide a tool to return to healthy responding.

Marriage Breathing: 1.6

Summary of issue:
Long term marriages “breath”. Healthy marriages “breath-in” (connect) by spending time together,
and “breath-out” (distance) by spending time apart. The connecting times are not simply being in
the same place at the same time, but rather are times of engaging with each other. Likewise, the

distancing times are not simply time apart, but rather intentionally doing something that is “life-
giving” but is best done apart from each other.

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