The Teacher and I have taken marriage seriously from the start. We received some premarital counseling before we got married and we attend conferences and seminars to enrich our marriage. I have read a few marriage books on occasion when I needed some extra encouragement too, but it wasn’t until 2 years ago that we discovered the beauty and benefit of marriage mentors.
Have you and your spouse ever reached a point when you simply COULD NOT reach an agreement? Or have you ever felt like you disagree over the same issue(s) over and over and over and don’t know how to get past them?
The Teacher and I were tired of having the same disagreements over the same things, so we finally reached out for help. We’ve been so encouraged and believe that EVERY couple needs a marriage mentor.
Why you need a marriage mentor
A marriage mentor can help with conflict resolution.
A marriage mentor’s third party perspective can be really helpful and enlightening. Another couple isn’t nearly as emotionally invested as you and can probably see things that you are simply not able to see because of your closeness to the situation.
Sometimes just telling your mentors the situation can cause you to see the situation a little differently. An issue might seem so large to you at first, but your perspective might change when you sit and tell someone else about it. That exercise in and of itself can be helpful and cause you to re-examine yourself. A marriage mentor can also give you suggestions on how you might be able to proceed in a constructive way so that you both feel heard and valued.
A marriage mentor can help with marriage maintenance.
You don’t always have to meet with a marriage mentor when things are hard. You can meet with your marriage mentor for a marriage well check too. Just like your annual well check with your physician, there is benefit to checking in every now and again. Every marriage needs a little tune up so that it keeps running smoothly, right?
Even though things seem okay at first glance, you may find that there are some issues below the surface that are starting to fester. It’s better to tackle possible issues sooner before they blow up and become bigger issues.
At the same time, if things really are going well then it’s a great opportunity to celebrate! Talk about what is working and what is making the difference. It’s okay to meet with your marriage mentor even when things are going okay.
4 Things to Look for in a Marriage Mentor
1. An older/wiser couple
There is no strict rule about age, but it is important to meet with someone who is a few steps ahead of you in marriage. They don’t have to be a lot older, but they should be a couple who has been married longer than you.
2. A couple that you respect
Think about couples you know that you really admire and respect. They have good character and they have overcome adversity as individuals or in their marriage. These are the types of people you want encouraging you in your marriage.
3. Someone you trust
Talking about your marriage requires a lot of vulnerability and I would not recommend you talk to just anyone. Ask yourself: Does the person tend to talk a lot or gossip to others? What is their reputation? It’s important you think of someone who can keep personal information confidential and that is trustworthy.
4. Natural chemistry
You might find there are certain couples that you naturally gravitate towards. You may get along well for some reason or another or you simply enjoy being around them for some of the reasons I mentioned above. It might be that you have a perfectly good option right in front of you already.
Marriage has been the most humbling experience of my life. I am passionate about marriage, but I don’t write about it as often here because of how inadequate I often feel. Who am I to tell others about marriage when I feel like I fail constantly in mine? But since I’m all about sharing information that might be helpful, I couldn’t NOT share about something that has made a huge difference in our marriage recently.
Just a warning though. Meeting with a marriage mentor is a great thing, but it is not always easy. In fact, at the end of one of our meetings, I had a splitting headache from all the tears that were shed. When the honeymoon is over, marriage is hard work. But it is worth every bit of it, I promise.