Encourage couples and professionals to focus more on the strengths of marriage, especially remarriage and the creation of stepfamilies, rather than only problems

In 2010 David Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg & Peter Larson carried out a study in the US using >50 thousand premarital couples (both partners), whose marriages were about to create a stepfamily. The survey identified the Five Keys to Intimacy, which is made up of the top five strengths that clearly distinguish great relationships from unsatisfying ones, along with the Top Ten Strengths of Happy versus Unhappy Couples Creating Step Families.

Using these top ten strengths, it is possible to discriminate between happy and unhappy marriages with 90% accuracy. This survey also identifies the top twelve Remarriage Stumbling Blocks.

The top five categories in rank order of importance were:

  • Personality
  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Leisure activities and
  • Couple flexibility

While most past studies have identified the importance of communication and conflict resolution, the significance of couple flexibility and couple closeness identified demonstrates their growing importance in our high stress society.

In order to empower couples, it is important to focus on the resources
used by strong marriages. This study of marital strengths is in contrast to most studies of marriage that focus on only marital problems.


  • David H. Olson, Amy Olson-Sigg & Peter J. Larson 2010: National Survey of Remarried Couples

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

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