Relationship Advice: Build Your Tool Kit for Success

June 4, 2012 by

One of the most important pieces of relationship advice I offer couples is to develop the tools they need to succeed. It was interesting to see actress Susan Sarandon refer to this idea in a recent interview in “The Daily Beast” when discussing her separation from Tim Robbins after 21 years, claiming you either “have the tool kit when you get to the hard spots where you’ll make it through, or you need to move on.”

I believe there is another option: building the necessary tool kit so you can stay together. In fact, I recommend that couples do so before problems even begin.

Relationship Advice on How to Build Your Marriage’s Tool Kit

From my Portland marriage counseling experience, I’ve seen firsthand how marriage education can help couples to strengthen their relationship, and there’s research to back it up. A recent study in California found that couples experienced an average increase of over 13% in relationship satisfaction after programs that lasted anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. When they checked back 6 months later, that level had risen an additional 14%!

Why? Because those couples had added some new tools to their kit! Marriage education resulted in improved communication. This was true both for couples who were experiencing serious marriage problems and those who were doing well, and the study included a wide range of ages, socioeconomic levels, and cultures. The classes they attended were varied – but they did share a focus on teaching communication and conflict management skills. The tools all couples need to succeed! The Getting the Love You Want Workshop offered by Portland Relationship Center is one of the most complete couple’s toolkits that you will find.

The bottom line: whether you are struggling in your relationship or doing well, seeking relationship advice from any type of marriage education to build up your toolkit can help you make it through those hard spots. Feel free to contact us to learn about our couples workshops and Portland marriage counseling services.