Building a healthy marriage is truly a lifelong investment, and therefore that is why finding time to talk together about ways to increase the joy of your marriage is important. You don’t need to have a bad marriage to think about marriage enrichment. You can have a great relationship, but still, make some changes that will make life together even richer. Talk to your minister to find out if there are resources available for you, or events in your area that may be of help.
It is also good to know where to turn to if there are issues in your marriage that seem impossible to resolve together. The Marriage Council is here to signpost people to Counselling Services both in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. The following list are accredited counselling services which the Marriage Council have endorsed.
Whilst the Marriage Council has no control concerning how counsellors charge for these services, please contact your minister who may enquire about financial support through funds available to the Marriage Council.
Area Details (Name, contact details, website)
Dublin Nadine Brooker
Tel : 085 7467638 email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : 086 2566895 email : email@example.com
Tel : 086 8217486 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Midlands Fiona Burke
Tel : 087 6670633 email : email@example.com
Galway Ray Clarke
Tel : 091 790947 email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Cork Sylvia Helen
Tel : 086 323 0805 email : email@example.com
South West Shawn Jamieson
Tel : 085 878 7641 email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Coleraine Ali Knight
Tel : 07817 884917 email : email@example.com
Belfast Lynne Heber
Tel : 07787 803343 email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional counsellors may come onboard from time to time. If you live in a location that is not covered by counsellors, please contact Aisling Sheridan at Aisling.Sheridan@rcbdub.org
Dianne Morris, a member of the Marriage Council, has provided a short and very helpful guide when thinking about enriching your marriage and making your relationship together a priority.
‘A Good Marriage is made in Heaven, but so is Thunder and Lightning!’
Ecclesiastes 4:13 – A cord of three strands is not easily broken.
Couples come into marriage full of expectation and hopes for their future life together. They may invest in a home, family, business, career, sport, friends, Parish life, moving County, Country. Where there are children they eventually gain “roots and wings” and the couple are then on their own again. Marriage is one of the biggest single investments. The long term hope would be for the relationship to be sustained through the ‘ebb and flow’ of all the changing seasons and circumstances that life brings.
Life, can, unintentionally, distract from giving priority to building into the couple’s relationship. Tiredness, poor communication, unresolved conflict, hurt, illness, family responsibilities, financial pressures and boredom can contribute to the effort it takes to commit to working though issues. This can block clear communication and intimacy. Marriage never has to be average. Research tells us that just as couples can spiral down to a negative place, it often takes a small spark, to spiral up again and feel ‘connected’, and to be each other’s number one priority again. It is not unusual to feel “Stuck” at times. A good enough marriage is made up of two good forgivers, who choose each other again, and again. Just as we NCT and MOT our cars, do CPD and learn new skills and crafts, there is great value in investing time in the couple relationship.
Weekly date nights, time spent together (not just in front of the tv or computer), read a relationship book, find a course, an enrichment weekend, get professional help. There are options available, it may feel like a ‘risk’, and take some courage. However, attending a course doesn’t necessarily mean there are problems, it can make a ‘good’ relationship even better. Begin where you are, there is always something new couples can learn about one another. Making your relationship a priority – even when there is a lot going on – is vital for a long and happy marriage. This is a good investment.
‘A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.’ Mignon McLaughlin