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   Home  > Articles

First Aid for Marriage

By Eric Bird of Family College for Marriage Resource

Can I really help?

That depends, not on your professional training or lack of it, but more on the kind of person you are.

If you are the kind of person someone would turn to if they had difficulties, then you are most likely to have the personal qualities needed. People would not usually open up to an unsympathetic hearer. Would you?

If you are married, the person who turns to you may well have noticed things about your relationship that have given them the confidence to talk to you. They may be able to see that you and your spouse get on well together, spend time together, do not complain about each other, or it may be that you have overcome some quite serious difficulties within your own marriage.

You will be able to help not because you are an expert, but because of your experience of life - however, do not assume that other people's experiences are going to be just the same as yours!

It is usually best for people to help those of their own sex, or for a husband and wife to share in giving help to their friends. Avoid one to one meetings, with someone of the opposite sex, who is married to someone else. This can lead to trouble even with professional helpers. Don't even think about it!

What is expected of me?

In this article
- Can I really help?
- What is expected of me?
- Try to avoid taking sides
- Listening
- Where are they coming from, and where do they want to go?
- Different is not necessarily wrong
- Handling conflict
- Life events
- Intimacy
- What next?
- A special kind of help

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