Paul and I had been married for a glorious eleven days before we had our first big fight. It was over something silly, of course, but it didn’t seem like it at the time. I felt like all our future happiness and self-respect was hanging in the balance, teetering on the outcome of our fireworks. There was a great deal of shouting, a little theatrical crying, a dramatic exit, and a stony silent treatment that would have made Clara Bow proud. Thankfully, it didn’t last long. Within an hour, the clouds had blown over. Our newlywed hearts went predictably mushy, and we approached each other sheepishly, full of regrets and apologies, ready to work out an adult solution to our impasse.
And from that day to this, we’ve never had another argument.
Okay, okay. If you’re married, you already know that last line is laughably untrue. In fact, I could barely type it with a straight face. While Paul and I have what I would call a blessed marriage, we have driven a long and rugged road, full of potholes and wrong turns and flat out car wrecks. Marriages, the best marriages, can be almost transcendent with joy, but even the happiest ones (I should say especially the happiest ones) require effort, sacrifice, and thoughtfulness to become the fairy tale.
We all believe in the fairy tale, or we did at one time. If we hadn’t, we wouldn’t have gotten married. In our hearts, we carry around a beautiful picture of married love: best friends, shared joys, warm affection, great sex, acceptance, supportive encouragement, meaningful conversation.
Unfortunately, many married people have given up on that picture. Natural conflicts and unmet expectations dull the focus. Disenchantment sets in. Some unhappy people leave their spouses, sure that they can create a better picture by starting over with somebody new. Others, disappointed, simply resign themselves to the idea that “good enough” must be as good as it gets.
I am happy to tell you that it’s not true. Anybody can have a wonderful marriage. And if your marriage is already wonderful, believe me: it can get even better!
This summer, Paul and I traveled to Vancouver to be trained as facilitators for an extraordinary course called Dynamic Marriage. Dynamic Marriage is an 8-week, interactive course developed by the nationally recognized experts at Family Dynamics Institute . It meets for a couple of hours once a week and is directed by trained facilitators (like yours truly), who are not just leading the class but are actively participating in it. It is not just another marriage seminar or lecture. It’s an experience, one that over the years has changed the trajectories of thousands of marriages across the country.
During our three days of training, we joined a group of other facilitator couples and met in a separate classroom to experience the Dynamic Marriage materials firsthand, as participants. We had homework to do, both together and by ourselves, just like class participants. The sessions were structured just like every other Dynamic Marriage session. What took place was astounding. Although all the couples in the training already considered themselves to have good marriages, we each found that there were areas of our marriage that needed attention. Some of the breakthroughs that we witnessed were life-changing. Paul and I were able to talk to each other about things that had never come up before in our marriage, and as a result, we’ve made changes that have blessed our friendship and our romance. If this kind of transformation can take place over one weekend, I can’t wait to take part in the 8-week experience.
I came home with a big “Wow!” bubble hanging over my head, frothing over to tell everyone who asked me how great this resource could be for marriages in our community.
Now comes the fun part: You are invited. We have our first course starting this fall, on September 23rd. The class is open to any married couple who lives close enough to Coeur d’Alene to attend. Old or young, Christians or non-Christians, even engaged couples who are soon to be married are welcome. If your marriage is struggling, you can find healing. If your marriage is good, it can be great. If you know of a young couple just starting their married life, encourage them to join; a scholarship to Dynamic Marriage would make a perfect wedding gift! Unfortunately, there is only space for 12 couples in each session, so registrations will be first come, first served. But if you don’t make it into this fall’s class, don’t worry; we have another session coming up in February, led by our friends and fellow facilitators, Mike and Cindy Woods. The registration fee of $150 per couple covers all the class materials and is easily the best investment you’ll ever make in your future marital happiness.
Click here for more information, and please contact us or leave a message in the comments if you have any questions. We are so excited to be able to offer this resource to our community; we can’t wait for class to begin!
Dynamic Marriage Q&A
*Note: This video is older, so the price of materials has gone up $10 from the price mentioned in the video.