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Photo by Malena DeJarnette of MD Photography
About a month and a half ago, Andy and I went to a marriage retreat hosted by my church. It was so informative and I really enjoyed it that I couldn’t wait to do another relationship course. So when The Big Know contacted me about their free relationship course, I couldn’t wait to try it out! The course provides helpful tips on how to strengthen a relationship. With years of research, relationship expert Dr. Pepper Schwartz has found proven tips for what to do, and what to avoid, to build and keep a happier, healthier relationship between you and the one you love.
I watched it on a Saturday morning while Andy was sleeping. It took about an hour to complete (a little longer for me since I was taking notes to write this post.) When Andy woke up, he joined me for the second half of the course.
The course is divided into two parts: communication in relationships and building love daily. It’s interactive, allowing you to participate in polls and course discussions with other course participants. I loved getting to read others’ relationship advice, such as “continue to be yourself” (imagine two overlapping circles such as a Venn diagram– they share a good portion together, but they both have their own separate parts), “forgive”, and “trust”.
The journal prompts really made me think. For example, one asked me to list 3 strengths in the relationship and 3 things we can work on. I never thought about it, but one of our strengths is our many adventures and dates we go on. However, our communication isn’t great (yet!) and I seriously need to work on how I handle disagreements.
I won’t share with you the entire course (seriously, just take it for yourself!) but one other thought stood out to me. “No one should give their partner advice unless it’s requested if there is no shared risk (i.e. no one is in danger.)” I don’t do this in my relationship with Andy, but I’ve noticed it with family members. I remember once I suggested to my sister how to properly load the dishwasher when she didn’t ask for my help. She got so mad at me, and rightfully so! I try to consciously remember since then that others (like my fiance) will do things differently than I do. It’s not wrong, just different. I really need to work on this because it could be toxic to my (future) marriage. Also, I’ve noticed I’m usually the one who starts a fight, so I was grateful for the tips on arguing in relationships.
One aspect about the course that I really liked is it links to other relevant “Life Reimagined” courses in case you want to go further into a topic (such as the Build a Better Together course) which I really liked. I plan to do the other courses in the coming weeks.
If you switched browser tabs on your computer, it stopped the video. I’m a frequent multitasker (writing this blog post while watching the video) so it was a little frustrating at first, but then I realized this information is very important so I definitely need to pay attention.
The course’s ability to strengthen a relationship is for real– Andy and I both walked away feeling empowered to improve our almost-marriage.
I thought this was a perfect analogy since Andy is a video gamer: marriage isn’t the end goal. Like in a video game, it’s just a level of achievement. You have to keep playing the game… until the game is over, which for Andy and me, will be “until death do us part.”
Overall, I really loved The Big Know‘s FREE relationship course “Grow Together.” If you’re married, engaged, dating, or just want to be in the future, you should check it out!