Life is much easier when you have some help from those who are further along the trail. Their wisdom and insight will prove to be invaluable in your own journey together. That is why it is important to find a mentor couple to invest in your marriage.
Mentoring is becoming even more important as the majority of the population today comes from homes that experienced divorce.
You may have never lived with both a mother and a father. How are you supposed to know what an intact family looks like? Who is going to model for you how to work through conflict if your own parents decided to abandon their marriage? So, how do you find a mentor couple?
Look for a mentor couple who has the love that you’d like to have.
Observe and see who holds hands, and who acts kind to one another. Observe who opens the door, and who prays for one another or for other couples.
Look for a couple who has done what you want to do.
Some careers have unique marital pressures. A few are physicians (especially ob-gyn!), politicians, ministry and clergy couples, CEOs and entrepreneurs, and media military personnel. Look for a couple who have not only survived in your particular fishbowl but thrived and found a life that has served them and their families well.
• Look for a mentor couple who lives in your world.
They will be stronger mentors if they live in your neighborhood, are a part of your world, or attend your church. You will be able to see them in a variety of circumstances. That way they will be there to answer those day-to-day issues and questions that may crop up. A great way to discover a marriage mentor is to joining a marriage enrichment class offered by your church or by organizations like United Marriage Encounter or see Smartmarriages.com for many options. By attending a class or conference with a group, you will meet couples who are interested in having a strong marriage. Some of those couples may have some wisdom to share.
• Look for a couple who shares something in common with you.
We have three sons, and we have enjoyed having mentors who raised all boys. We have benefited from mentors who are clergy couples and ones who are writers and speakers. It has been enjoyable attending sporting events with sports-minded mentors, exercising with them, or even vacationing with them.
• Look for a mentor couple who is willing.
They don’t have to be perfect. No couple is! They don’t even necessarily need to be trained marriage mentors or professional marriage educators. It’s just that they need to have a strong, stable relationship themselves.
Make a list of two to five couples who might be willing to mentor you. Decide which couple might be the best fit and invite them to dinner. See how the dinner goes. Ask them questions about how they met, what advice they would give to newlyweds, and the like. If this dinner goes well, make a follow-up appointment for coffee or dinner.
Ask them if they would be willing to spend some time with you. You might suggest they lead you and some friends through a marriage enrichment book if they enjoy teaching.
You might ask if they would just be willing to meet for a meal on occasion or be available for questions as they arise. Be sensitive about the amount of time they might have available for you. Decide when you will get together next, and make sure to thank them for their willingness.
This article comes from the book, Every Marriage Is a Fixer-Upper: A Do-It-Yourselfer’s Guide to Bringing Out the Best in Your Relationship—written by Bill and Pam Farrel, formerly published by Harvest House. This book (which is no longer being published) is a do-it-yourself guide to bringing out the best in your relationship.
— ALSO —
We have learned the importance of having a mentor couple to help you. Here is our experience:
To learn even more on this subject as far as what to look for in a mentor couple, please read the following article written by Bobb Biehl. And then afterward, read the article from the Stay Married blog:
If you have additional tips you can share to help others, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.
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Filed under: Marriage Counseling & Mentoring