-Do you have one or more marriage mentors? Someone/a couple that you and/or your wife go to who is/are farther along on their journey than you and your wife?
-If so, do you regularly get together or do you just talk to when the need arises?
-Are you a marriage mentor? Whom do you influence and how does it occur?
No. We never did in a strict sense: however, in light of my own parents’ dysfunctional and ultimately failed marriage, my maternal grandparents modelled what a healthy relationship looked like to me and my DW our first 8-10 years together. I will always be thankful that God put them in our life at that time.
Although never formally acknowledged by either of us as such, 20-25 years later there were 2 older Christian couples in our church who we admired and tried to emulate in their partnership.
We try to be transparent to our sons (one married, the other divorced) in our conflict resolution, especially since as young boys they sometimes observed me at my most immature, insecure, and selfish.
We have a two couples we regularly converse with who are farther along in their marriage & family situations that we are and several other couples on occasion. One couple has been married over 30 yrs with 5 kids (no divorce) and another has been married 10 yrs and both individuals went through divorces at the same time I did and they have 4 kids between the two of them.
We interact with them at church and various ministries, sometimes DW & I together and other times, separately. We have called them up and asked to go out or come over. Other times are just conversations in “crisis” to ask for wisdom & understanding.
We do have another couple that we are working with on their new blending family journey.
We have never been a part of any mentoring relationship for our marriage. It would have been good to have early in our marriage. The pastor who married us would have been an ideal mentor but she lived two hours from us. The unfortunate situation with our church is that it is an older congregation. Most young people leave and never return upon graduating high school.
Yes, God sent someone right into our lives at the time it was needed and He handpicked our mentor just for us! Although, its me that does the learning and communicating, DH has benefited greatly from it.
We communicate fairly regularly, or anytime I have questions.
We/I am not a mentor for anyone, that I know of. But, you know how that is. Someone may be looking up to us or picking up on our marriage, and we don’t know about it. We are friends with some younger marrieds around here, and I have started getting on to topics of marriage with some of the wives, just on a one to one basis. I hope someday we can be mentors for someone, like someone, who was keen to the HS, is for us.
No formal mentors, although I have previously mentioned our purposeful questioning of 50 year couples before our wedding. I think back on my grandparents’ relationship sometimes and I certainly try to be like my grandmother when I can; she was absolutely a kind and gentle soul who blessed everyone she met!
I would love to formally mentor some young marrieds just because I feel so strongly about it, but that has never happened. There are several couples in our church that we have watched grow up and get married and we try to encourage them whenever possible, but they seem to have such a good handle on things, they really haven’t seemed to have a need for any help. Which is good!
We never had any specific one-on-one mentoring. But when we were relatively newly-married, an older couple in our church, probably married about 25 years, taught a class for a few Sundays for about 5-6 younger couples. I don’t remember how it came about or much of the specific content but I think it was useful. But it was a big group so things didn’t get too deep.
I think we would have really benefitted from some deeper mentoring, but it’s hard to find a match, and easy to be put off my the superficial. As a young couple, we probably had a pretty big chip on our shoulder that “things were different” in some very practical ways – jobs, careers, the economy (this was the 1990s). I remember the older couple above, who were wonderful people, would sometimes give examples about jobs and money and gender roles that just didn’t fit the experiences of the younger couples – particularly the women who were all at least thinking about careers of their own – and this probably discouraged us from going deeper at times.
I think in the same way, as Duchess mentions, it can be easy to view younger couples now and feel that they have such a good handle on things that they don’t need much help. I am not sure that’s true, but I get the point that it’s very hard to intervene if you don’t see an opening. Mentoring is a great thing but it has to be a fairly natural fit.
@NWNL: t is not safe to make assumptions AND just because a couple is OR appears fine now doesn’t mean habits and behaviors aren’t being formed that will destroy a marriage and family later. A relationship and investment with someone or into a couple can open a door for future crisis and/or crisis avoidance.
Absolutely! And we are doing our best to be available and interactive with these couples, actually making real friendships. I guess the biggest challenge we have in doing that is just that we aren’t always confident others want us inserting ourselves into their lives. We can invite and reach out and bless as much as we can, but we can’t make them feel like we are super special and close to them. It doesn’t stop us from trying, but it doesn’t seem like we actually strike oil very often. (But that’s the Lord’s department, so we just keep on.)
it can be easy to view younger couples now and feel that they have such a good handle on things that they don’t need much help. I am not sure that’s true, but I get the point that it’s very hard to intervene if you don’t see an opening. Mentoring is a great thing but it has to be a fairly natural fit.
I would agree. Jesus gave us the example of just doing life with people for years. Personally, I’m frustrated with the devil and how he is sabotaging marriages and families. I know of two couples in our church that are getting a divorce. Granted, they each have had their issues or personality quirks. One was seemingly doomed from the start due to alcohol, baggage and denial but both allowed “foxes into their garden”.
To me, it’s offering what can my wife & I, as well as the church, to challenge, encourage and invest more into marriages so that we can derail the efforts of our enemy to destroy marriages and give hope that good times can happen if perseverance, truth, grace and forgiveness are extended to spouses. I believe we have to create opportunities to go outside of our normal circles and do life with some other couples building relationships SO THAT when a crisis comes we can help the couple see it coming OR they will feel comfortable to ask for help or insight and encouragement during a problematic time. It seems to me, it is not safe to make assumptions AND just because a couple is OR appears fine now doesn’t mean habits and behaviors aren’t being formed that will destroy a marriage and family later. A relationship and investment with someone or into a couple can open a door for future crisis and/or crisis avoidance.