Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pre Marriage Coaching

Recently a young woman called me to inquire about 'pre marital coaching.' "Do you have a program?" she asked. I said "Do you?" She laughed. I asked her several more serious questions: "Tell me what you think marriage is? What is your vision for you and your honey? What would a 'good' marriage look like? What are some indicators of a 'bad' marriage?

'How many marriages do you know or are familiar with (there's that old word family again) that you respect? Who in your lives could be a good model, a good coach or mentor for you? If your marriage was to fail what would you predict the cause to be?

'Is one of you more serious about marriage than the other? What gifts do each of you bring to relationship?'

I asked a few more. Then she stopped me. "I just wanted to know if you have a program/ seminar or workshop that we could attend," she said. "I haven't really thought about all those questions."

A good introductory 'course' on marriage would include those and many more questions and their answers. Chances are this young couple hasn't had a lot of help in thinking about marriage, chances are that they've seen a good number of failed marriages and that they want to 'do it right.'

We start out with huge hopes for the possibilities of our love. That's the good news. The uncomfortable news is that when this couple marries, few will help them establish a healthy path, few will be there to comfort and encourage, teach or coach them in how to transform their early enthusiasm into a life of rich possibility together.

The answer to her question? Yes, we do offer "pre marital coaching and seminars." We also offer email and phone coaching, resources, and workshops. We believe that marriage is a good thing and people of good will, as is this young woman, need all the support they can get.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The With These Rings Newsletter

New things are happening. This week we launch the With These Rings newsletter. You can receive a free copy of With These Rings, Volume I by subscribing and forwarding the newsletter to your own email address book. Just go to With These Rings or http://www.marriageconversation.com/ and sign on. Of course you'll have to send us your snail mail address as well.

The Newsletter is meant to serve the growing community of people who are interested in and invested in the Marriage Conversation. You'll get advice, tips, resources and articles. And we invite you to send us movie and book reviews (relevant to the Marriage Conversation), as well as any 'heads up' offerings (workshops/ seminars/ presentations) that you know about.

Some will want to take advantage of a new feature we'll be offering: email and phone coaching. Just let us know of your interest info@WithTheseRings.com and we'll respond within 24 hours.

For Therapists, Pastoral Counselors, and other help agents, there is an open invitation to become familiar with the With These Rings model. We offer seminars, online and phone coaching.

Please check out the new speaker's web site: http://www.stephenfrueh.com/ You can download what they call, in the business, a "one page" which will give you a thumbnail description of some of Stephen's keynotes and presentations.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Magnificent Seven: Does it make for a better Marriage?

The Magnificent Seven: Does it make for a better Marriage?

Seven is the atomic number of nitrogen, the number of spots on a ladybug and we know that most mammals have seven bones in their necks. We love seven.

Seven is the international direct dial for Russia. There are the Seven Hills of Rome, seven liberal arts and Seven Wonders of the world. A lot of folks are getting married on July 7th too.

God rested on the seventh day, Jubilee comes after seven times seven years, a Jewish bride and groom are feted with seven days of festive meals after their wedding (Sheva Berachot).

There are seven virtues – Chastity, Moderation, Liberality, Charity, Meekness, Zeal, and Humility. And these correspond to the Seven Deadly Sins.

Seven is the number of notes in the Western Major Scale. So, why don’t more people have seven children?

And look at this: the ‘number’ for women is four (4) and the ‘number’ for men is three (3). Seven represents the union of men and women. And, we are interested in union. It is also true that many marriages begin to break down at the 5 – 7 year point.

And, so we come to July 7, 2007 or 07/07/07 – men and women around the world will join together in holy matrimony on that magnificent day.

What do you think? Do they do this because it will be easy to remember their anniversary date (anything that can help guys remember is a plus). Or do many of us long to memorialize our joining in a way that reminds us of just how special this wedding is?

We live in a time of increasing consciousness about what the wedding is really about, what it should cost, where it should take place. Many couples are less worried about tradition (translate to ‘mother’s opinions’), show and pomp, and are more focused on affordability (as it relates to overall financial health), scale (do we really need to invite everyone we’ve ever met?), and meaning as they find it in their present lives.

We may be getting ready to take marriage itself more seriously – take a look at the recently published With These Rings, Volume I. After all, it is common for couples getting married to come from divorced parents. They will intimately know the pain and displacement that divorce offers children. Perhaps their own marriage will be created will more caution, more thought, and more counsel than that of their parents.

Seven also carries the idea of bringing spirituality and Godliness into the creation – in this case, into the marriage.

We know deep longing for connection to one another, connection that transcends and undergirds physical intimacy. Marrying we marry our hopes and expectations as we see them in relationship to another. Our lover embodies our deepest needs – or so we imagine it to be – and for awhile at least, they may manifest an understanding of those needs. We believe in our partners in ways that they themselves never imagined.

Marriage is widely known to be a challenge after three or four years because the magical effects of newness, hormones and just plain busyness begins to wear thin.

A deep spiritual connection could sustain our love even as a well understood philosophy of commitment would inform our conversations. As we discover ‘who’ it is that we married, and as we slowly withdraw the ideals we put on them – we are invited to discover this stranger who we barely knew but whom we wisely chose.

Marriage is about companionship to be sure. It is also about learning to relate intelligently. Perhaps at a deeper level marriage is about discovering our own capacity to love.

Reported in the L.A.Times this morning, a young man talked exuberantly to a reporter about his coming marriage which would take place at 7am on 07/07/07. He said something like “we can’t miss. This love will last forever.” We all like magic. Perhaps believing in the alignment of sevens will take you where you are wanting to go. For my part, I see continual transformation of your loving as the deepest magic possible.

Stephen W. Frueh M.Div, PhD is a leadership consultant, couples’ coach, mentor, writer and speaker. He is a professional member of the National Speaker’s Association. He lives with his wife and nine year old daughter in Ventura County, California.

He can be contacted at:
805 527 2600