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Marraige & Family

Building and Maintaining a Joyful Marriage

10/01/2007 - Marriage can be one of the most joyous aspects of our lives, and it can also be one of the most heartbreaking. We know that more than half of the couples in our nation find themselves in the heartbreaking category to the point of seeing no other option than divorce. There are many factors that contribute to an unhappy marriage. At one point or another we all fall into traps in marriage.

One of the traps is busyness. Our world is moving at such a fast pace. It is very easy to fill our plates with many good activities. Before we know it, we have no time for each other. Making time to connect is critical in having a strong marriage.

It seems that busyness or other issues lead to a problem state in marriage. This is where we begin to notice there is a problem, but we do not know how we got there or what to do to stop it. We also begin to notice something else…everyone else seems to have a great marriage. Everywhere we look people are so happy – laughing and full of joy. "What happened to our marriage?" This is a very dangerous trap. During this stage, we begin to think two things -

1.We are the only couple who has problems.

2. I must have married the wrong person.

These are lies! Every relationship has problems and every relationship can be filled with joy. It takes commitment and work. No matter if the couple is engaged, wants to maintain and strengthen a great marriage, is in crisis, or has entered the empty nest stage – all good relationships require work. The best news is that this work can be a lot of fun and extremely rewarding.

We are very fortunate in Natrona County to have many resources to help with the work of having a great marriage.

·The Natrona County Marriage and Family Alliance was created to be a source of information on marriage preparation and enrichment.

·Wyoming Healthy Marriage Initiatives (WHMI) has provided many opportunities for our community.

oA resource library has been donated to the Natrona County Marriage Coalition and is housed at the Natrona County Public Library. This resource Library includes 10 Great Dates, Prepare to Last, Marriage Mentoring, Marriages, Active Parenting, Active Parenting for Step Families, Smart Steps, Love U2, Connections-Dating and Emotions, Art of Loving Well, Fighting for Your Marriage, Five Love Languages, and more.

oWHMI has contracted with consultants to help churches implement marriage programs and marriage ministries using many of the above mentioned programs. They also have a consultant who works with non faith-based organizations to provide these opportunities. All of these events are open to the public and a great benefit to our community.

·Many churches have a wealth of resources for marriage enrichment and preparation available upon request.

These resources (and many others not mentioned above) provide the opportunities for couples to make time to connect while learning the tools we all need in order to have joyful marriages.

If you would like more information, please contact Terry Winship, Chairman of the Natrona County Marriage and Family Alliance, at 473-2275.

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