Marriage mentoring is a couple-to-couple relationship that seeks to help couples live out their vision for marriage. For couples who are intent on building a happy marriage, mentoring brings sage advice, personal support and encouragement, and help in hard times.
Good marriage mentors are willing to accept differences between themselves and the couples they mentor. Marriage mentors should not expect the couples they mentor to interact and behave like they do. Couples being mentored should be able to maintain their own identity and not feel pressured into assuming the personality or exact value systems of the marriage mentors.
What are the qualities of good marriage mentors?
- Marriage Mentors are non-judgemental: Marriage mentors should not act, or be perceived, as relationship experts. Marriage mentors should serve as a guide and a resource for couples to draw from. Judgment has no place in the mentoring experience. The marriage mentors purpose is to walk beside couples and to help them build skills and resolve issues in order to strengthen the couple relationship.
- Marriage Mentors are sincere: It is important for marriage mentors to express a sense of sincerity when working with couples. Couples need to know that their mentors are truly invested in the mentor process and genuinely care about the well-being of the couple’s relationship, now and in the future. Just like in any other relationship, when someone is simply “going through the motions” of mentoring a couple, not putting much of their heart into the process, the mentored couple will quickly pick up on this and consequently invest less of themselves in the process.
- Marriage Mentors are warm: Having the ability to convey a sense of personal warmth is essential, especially in the early stages of the mentoring process. Initially, couples can sometimes feel intimidated or apprehensive about meeting with marriage mentors, but if they are immediately welcomed, and shown a sense of warmth and kindness, the couples’ anxiety is quickly reduced. A warm, non-judgmental relationship can often be the most powerful aspect of mentoring.
- Marriage Mentors are willing to self-disclose: Ideally, marriage mentors should feel very comfortable sharing their own experiences as a married couple, both positive and negative. Marriage mentors need to be willing to laugh at themselves as they relate past stories of awkward times in their marriage. This provides good perspective and hope for premarital and newlywed couples who are currently working through relationship adjustments. Premarital couples ﬁnd it comforting to hear personal stories dealing with the same issues they are experiencing. Self-disclosure helps to strengthen the relationship bond between marriage mentors and the couples they are working with. Couples being mentored often cite hearing the marriage mentor’s personal experiences as the highlight of the mentoring process.
Tune in next week for more qualities of marriage mentors and the beneﬁts to couples and marriage mentors through the mentoring process.
The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.
The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customisation of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.