Frequently Asked Questions About Florida
Better Marriages

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   Frequently Asked Questions:

Is Marriage Enrichment for troubled marriages?

Almost every marriage has some troubles, so in that sense "yes". But Florida Better Marriages leaders are not (usually) psychologists, psychiatrists or marriage counselors. So for really troubled marriages we urge you to get professional help.

Then what is the point of Marriage Enrichment?

Marriage Enrichment is for every marriage. Experts tell us that only ten per cent of marriages are really happy. Marriage Enrichment seeks to increase that percentage. And, even if you are in that lucky 10% we think Marriage Enrichment or something like it is needed to keep you in there.

Are Marriage Enrichment and Marriage Encounter the same thing?

Marriage Encounter is a different organization, or really several different organizations. Marriage Enrichment and Marriage Encounter have different models about how to achieve a happy marriage. Marriage Encounter usually has a religious component -- Marriage Enrichment usually does not. There are other differences, but we all share the goal of helping to achieve better marriages.

Who is Marriage Enrichment for?

We think it is for every couple. Many of our members have been married for many years. Some couples are newly-wed and a few join before they get married.

Do we have to go away for a week-end?

We think that going on a retreat is a great way to start. You get to spend the time time together (usually in a beautiful location) and really concentrate on each other. But our lives are so busy these days that isn't always possible. Other options include meeting weekly, monthly or other period of time for a series of sessions.

Who is Better Marriages?

ACME is the acronym for The Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment. The Florida  Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment is doing business as Florida Better Marriages.

We all want the same thing, whether our relationship has just begun or we’ve been married for years: We want a healthy, mutually-satisfying relationship with the one we love.

Check us out. We’re confident you’ll find something that serves your interests well.

Better Marriages exists to serve you as a couple, whatever the stage of your life and relationship.

  • We have resources you can use to strengthen the connection between you.
  • We sponsor events, regionally and nationally, to stimulate your ongoing growth together.
  • We sponsor marriage enrichment groups where couples gather for mutual support and encouragement.
  • We even offer training for couples who want to have an impact on the lives of (or, “lead and influence”) other couples.

Who is Florida Better Marriages?

Florida Better Marriages is a group of couples who believe in marriage, know that a good marriage takes some work, and that communication with other married couples really helps improve our own relationships. We are not affiliated with any religious denomination. We are part of International Better Marriages which is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

Who are the leaders?

Florida Better Marriages retreats are led by certified leader couples who are well trained and have taught or assisted in leading events. They are not "full time". Some leaders are psychologists; some are ministers; some are teachers; but those are not requirements. The requirement is that they be trained and certified by Better Marriages. While Better Marriages leaders often facilitate on-going enrichment groups, certification is not a requirement to facilitate a group.

 Features of the Better Marriages Model?

Does Better Marriages have a model of marriage enrichment? Well, rather than referring to an Better Marriages model, it might be more accurate to say that there is an Better Marriages style or that there are distinctive elements which are promoted in leadership training and which characterize Better Marriages enrichment activities.

Experiential Learning:
Couples use their own experience for learning and the focus of any enrichment event is each couple’s own marriage. When information from outside sources is used in an event, couples are helped to take that information and apply it to their own experience.

Group Process:
Couples can help couples. Within a small group, couples can find an environment of safety, trust, and community. Small group process is used as a powerful tool to help couples gain a sense of “we are not in this boat alone;” to gain encouragement and motivation from other couples; to learn alternatives for handling issues common to most couples; and to gain hope or “inspiration” from hearing other couples talk about things that are meaningful in their marriage. Within the groups, there is no confrontation, analyzing, or prescribing — each person “speaks for self,” sharing his own experience and gives others support and encouragement.

Couple Dialogue:
Couples talking to each other about their relationship is central to Better Marriage’s approach to marriage enrichment. Dialogue between couples may occur privately or publicly. In “open” couple dialogue within a small group, couples, one at a time, talk together aloud in the presence of the group. Other couples may respond by their own open dialogue on the same or similar issue and by statements of identification and encouragement. The experience of each couple contributes to the enrichment of other couples.

Couple Leadership:
Leader couples, married to each other, who are willing to share from their own marriage experience provide models, establish the climate of safety, openness, support, and sharing within the group. Leader couples make themselves vulnerable and demonstrate openness within the group. They “work for better marriages, beginning with their own.” Leaders come as participants and not as experts.

Positive Growth Focus:
Enrichment is based on the assumption that each couple has strengths on which to build. Identifying these strengths and building on them is an essential element for an enrichment activity. Growth plans and agreements for specific action by each partner help couples make step-by-step progress toward the goals they set for their marriage.

Better Marriages as an organization is not faith-based. In enrichment events, couples are encouraged to explore meaning and direction in all areas of their lives, as individuals and as partners. Developing the spiritual or faith dimension in marriage may be expressed through dialogue or in other more focused experiences.


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