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Ethics & Religion
March 26, 2020
Column #2,015
How to Help Your Marriage Grow
By Mike McManus

Millions of people have been asked by their employers to "work from home" as a result of the coronavirus. This is a new experience for most people.

It can be a bit shocking for married people who suddenly have huge amounts of time with one another. Some will find themselves irritated, while others will gain a new respect for the work of their spouse, which they may not have witnessed at such a close range.

I have a suggestion for how this new time together could be used to build your marriage to a higher level of respect, collaboration - and yes, a fresh burst of love for one another.

I suggest that you take a Couple Checkup - an online assessment tool designed to identify the unique relationship strengths and growth areas. Couples receive a 15-20 page report on their relationship and can download a free Discussion Guide designed to help them learn proven relationship skills.

Research has shown this process improves relationships by stimulating honest dialogue, increasing understanding that empoweres couples.

The Couples Checkup costs $35, and is a good investment.

It can be taken by couples who are dating or engaged - in addition to those who are married. It is designed for any couple who desires to enrich their relationship.

After indicating the stage of their relationship, the Couple Checkup will automatically select applicable questions, making the assessment valuable and relevant, as it is tailored to each couple's unique relationship stage and structure.

As soon as both partners have completed their portions of the Couple Checkup, they can login into their account and download, view, or print their report. I recommend that every couple print out their report so they can discuss it most thoroughly.

Each couple will receive a detailed analysis of their results, broken down into relational categories. A free Discussion Guide is also available and should be downloaded as well. Here is a path for all participating couples to help them improve their relationship.

What topics are covered in the Couple Checkup? Twenty important relationship areas are explored. They include: communication, conflict resolution, financial management, relationship roles, affection and sexual relationship, couple closeness and flexibility, family closeness and flexibility, personality and family of origin.

I heartily recommend taking the Couple Checkup. I know its creator, an organization called PREPARE-ENRICH, which developed the inventory which my wife and I have used to train thousands of Mentor Ccouples to use in preparing couples for marriage.

After using this inventory for marriage preparation, a fifth of couples in our church decided NOT to marry. But of the 225 couples who did marry, more than 90% were still married two decades later.

The Couple Checkup is professionally designed, is reasonable in cost, and will help you and your spouse evaluate the quality of your relationship and how it could be fortified.

I should add that it can be taken by couples who are only dating, or who may be cohabiting - as well as by those who are married.

(If a couple has issues that they are not able to resolve, it is important for them to get professional help before their problems escalate.)

Now that millions of people are being asked to stay at home to limit their chances of catching the coronavirus, why not use this increased time together to build your relationship to go the distance?

Constant closeness due to the order to remain home could breed an irritability with one another. However, this time could be used advantageously to build your marriage to a new level of joy and mutual respect.

What's more likely to happen without this intervention? Usually, we talk about everything other than our feelings for one another. We are likely to complain about various matters, or express irritation with one another over minor issues.

However, Couple Checkup offers a practical, easy way to set aside time each day to concentrate on how to build our marriage. It offers a roadmap, a strategic plan to strengthen our feelings for one another and build a relationship that adds joy to our lives.

To learn more, go to Couple Checkup on line (

Scripture urges us to "love our neighbor as ourselves." What closer neighbor is there than our spouse? Taking a Couple Checkup is the perfect way to deepen that love.


Copyright (c) 2019 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.comm. Hit Search for any topic.


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