Do you know that approximately 90% of Americans get married at least once during their lifetime? It’s part of the ‘American dream’ for many people. Unfortunately, that dream is shattered for 40% up to as many as 70% of couples, depending on whether they are experiencing their first, second, or third marriage.

The good news is that pre-marital education can reduce the divorce rate by 30 percent (Olson, D.H., Sigg-Olson, A. & Larson, P.J. (2008) The Couple Checkup, p. 6. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson). Realizing that about 75% of divorced people eventually remarry, pre-marital education is essential for most people in America!

The purpose of this Instructor Handbook is to provide Certified Family Wellness Instructors will the additional theory, content, and skills for conducting pre-marital education to couples considering marriage. The curriculum is an eight-hour series that can be provided in one day, taught in two-hour segments over several weeks, or two half-day classes, depending on the needs of your specific population.

In the Map for Marriage curriculum, you’ll find four specific content areas: Getting Started Together, Two Worlds – One Relationship, Building A Strong Team, and Keeping the Fire Alive. These content areas are further divided into specific topics such as communication skills, commitment, cooperation, family of origin values and beliefs that impact choices, appreciating differences in each other, recognizing challenging areas of potential conflict, problem solving, money management, creating and maintaining intimacy in the relationship, and celebrating life together.

This curriculum is currently being taught to hundreds of couples throughout the state of Texas, in virtually every region of the state, through Twogether in Texas, Lutheran Social Services of the South and most recently, the Family Service Association. The curriculum is also being used in Florida and Georgia, with several other states expressing interest in receiving training in the curriculum.

Handouts are available in the Handbook and on the CD so that instructors may provide high quality handouts to participants at each event.

As with each curricula that Family Wellness Associates makes available to the public, you are encouraged to adapt the material to the needs of your specific population.

Family Wellness Associates is available on-line, via e-mail, and phone to answer your questions and support your work as a Certified Family Wellness Instructor in any way we can! Let us hear from you!