Marriage Forecasting -- Changing the Climate of Your Relationship One Conversation at a Time

by Tim Muehlhoff, Ph.D.


Counselors will help their married clients learn:

1. How to build an effective communication climate of acknowledgment, trust, expectations, and commitment.
How acknowledgement is built through eye contact, touching, asking questions, and allowing the other person to speak uninterrupted.
How trust is built upon promises that are kept. How each spouse should say what they expect in terms of respect, love, support, disrespect, connection, and commitment. How the assumption of a future together is what helps couples get through marital conflict.

2. How it takes married couples an average of 9 to 14 years to find a rhythm in their relationship, to adjust to married life, and to work our relationship kinks. And how, sadly, couples divorce in the first seven years of marriage.

3. How spouses can practice mindfulness when their partners are angry: paraphrasing what the angry spouse just said, asking to help or pray for that spouse. How to acknowledge positive things that are done. How wives connect through conversation. How husbands connect through doing things together.

4. How to build marital trust through proper financial management, following through on promises, and being sexually faithful.

5. How to acknowledge empathy for a spouse's emotions (empathy).

6. How to use provisionalism to encourage alternative views.

7. How couples can recognize the two levels in every conversation: The content level, and the relationship level (the degree each perceives being liked, respected by, and responded to by the other spouse).

8. How to call a truce in order to cease hostilities with one's spouse. How to maintain five positive interactions with your spouse for every negative interaction. How occasional marital conflict can motivate spouses to improve their communication.

9. How spouses can assess conflict between each other so they can learn how to respond more effectively, by asking key questions such as "How would you explain this conflict from your spouse's perspective?" (in order to promote empathy for one's spouse) and "Why do you think you feel the way you do about the conflict?"

10. How the best marital solution is a compromise.

11. How to practice forgiveness. How forgiveness is surrendering one's right to get even. How a grudge is an indication of unforgiveness. Acknowledging forgiveness as a command from God.