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Premarital / Relationship Inventories

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Premarital / Relationship Inventories


We recommend that couples explore their compatibility issues and expectations as part of a premarital education program like ours. We offer a premarital inventory as part of our program. If you tackle these issues on your own, you won't have the support, skills and understanding to do so most constructively. A seminar like MST gives you a clear idea of how to intentionally approach building a successful relationship.


If, however, you decide to try to explore expectations and compatibility on your own, one inventory you might consider is the one that we use for our seminar, Relate ( It does not predict relationship or marriage success, but it will help you to identify risk factors. While Relate is far from perfect, after carefully reviewing the range of alternative inventories, we've determined that it's one of the best tools available for this purpose. (Prepare-Enrich, for example, requires that results be provided only through a counselor or other trained facilitator, although they have a less comprehensive Couple Checkup that you can buy directly. Foccus is used in the Catholic Pre-Cana and Engaged Encounter programs. There are several others. Each has particular strengths and deficiencies.)


You should be aware that we do not agree with all of Relate's interpretations of the marriage research. For example, we feel that the risks of cohabitation are overgeneralized by Relate and that some of the challenges (and strengths) related to spiritual beliefs and affiliations or lack thereof are not fully articulated. You'll benefit from professional interpretation of your inventory results to help you understand these and other issues and limitations of the inventory.


You might also want to look at a book called The Hard Questions to help you explore expectations. It's available thru Again, though, we urge you to do this as part of a program--ours or another of your choice.

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Copyright 2005, Patricia S. & Gregory A. Kuhlman. You may copy this article for non-commercial use provided that no changes are made and this copyright notice, author credit and source citation are included.







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