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   Home  > Articles

First Aid for Marriage

By Eric Bird of Family College for Marriage Resource

A special kind of help

All of us will have tackled jobs around the house - decorating, replacing doors, putting up shelves, maybe plumbing or electrical work. We call it "Do-it-yourself'. Most of us will have the car serviced regularly (if only for the M.O.T.) and some will "Do-it-themselves".

What about marriage? Your friends may not value your help. They may not want professional help either. But things are not what they ought to be. And just as a car that is neglected is more likely to breakdown on the motorway, so is a neglected marital problem likely to end in divorce.

To meet this need Family College have produced a "Do-it-Yourself' Kit called "Time for Each Other". Why not purchase one for your friends?

The pack consists of more than two hours of highly entertaining video presentation designed to provoke serious thought about marriage, together with two sets of five workbooks which will help the couple to work on their own relationship.

The video and workbooks can be obtained from Christian Publicity Organisation, Garcia Estate, Canterbury Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 1BW, tel 01903 263354, e-mail:, website: It costs 25, additional workbooks cost 2.00 per pair.

Further training

If you would like to develop your skills further in this area, you could attend a Marriage Supporter training day for couples. The day begins with the Marriage First Aid Session and continues with group work, role play, instructions on how to use the "Time for Each Other" video and workbooks as a tool to help others and information on starting a local Marriage Supporters Group. To find out more contact Marriage Resource, who can tell you how to obtain a Marriage Supporter's sample pack (7 including P&P) which includes a Marriage Supporter's Leaders handbook, a copy of the Marriage First Aid article above in booklet form and other material necessary.

If you would like to put on a Marriage First Aid training evening, Marriage Resource can supply a pack for 6 (including p&p) telling you how to do this. It also contains a Marriage First Aid booklet, two "read-off-the-knee" dramas and instruction sheets.

References/Useful books

"Marital Breakdown and the Health of the Nation", published by One Plus One, 12 New Burlington St, London W1X 1FF

"The Exeter Family Study", by Cockett and Tripp, published by the Department of Child Health, Post Graduate Medical School, University of Exeter, Heavitrees, Exeter EX2 5SQ

"Broken Homes and Battered Children", by Robert Whelan, published by Family Education Trust, 322 Woodstock Road, Oxford Ox2 7NS

"Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus", by Dr John Gray, published by Thorsons.

"You Just Don't Understand", by Deborah Tannen, published by Virago

"Cohabitation and Marriage", by Flanagan and Williams, published by Belmont House Publishers, 36 The Crescent, Belmont, Surrey SM2 6BJ

"Man to Man about Women", by Dr James Dobson, published by Word.

"The Sixty Minute Marriage", by Rob Parsons, published by Hodder And Stoughton.

What next?

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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