Vitality – it’s not just about your physical well-being… how do you know if you have vitality in your marriage?
The leading relationship assessment tool for married couples is PREPARE/ENRICH. It is a scientifically validated foundational program for premarital counseling, marriage enrichment, marriage mentoring, and more. (Lori and I are trained facilitators for this program – we enjoy working with couples through the process!)
One of the discoveries made through the assessment is the couple type and marital satisfaction. In essence, the assessment indicates how much a couple agrees with each other, in a healthy way. It’s an assessment – not a test! It focuses on strengths and opportunities to grow…
There are 5 types of married couples:
1) Vitalized – these couples have the highest levels of couple satisfaction within their relationship, and are skilled in communication and conflict resolution.
2) Harmonized – these husbands and wives enjoy high levels of satisfaction across most areas of their relationship.
3) Conventional – these couples often highly committed to one another, but not skilled in communication or conflict resolution.
4) Conflicted – these wives and husbands have a lower level of satisfaction and often struggle with many areas of their relationship.
5) Devitalized – these husbands and wives have the lowest level of satisfaction and have growth areas in almost all aspects of their relationship.
So what can you do if you discover your couple type is not yet vitalized?
Think about competing in a sporting activity. If you are the least bit competitive, it’s hard not to be seen as #1. But if you pick any successful person – in sports, the arts or entertainment, in business – you’ll find a common theme. Hardly anyone started out as #1.
Most people, who today are celebrated as the best in their field, experienced numerous challenges and started out way down the list. While they never lost their dream, the turning point of success was the moment they acknowledged their reality – and decided to take responsibility to change it.
The same is true in marriage. It’s hard not to be considered at the top of your game, even in a marriage assessment. What can you do?
Visualize the dream, and determine the marriage you would like to have. Get clear on your current reality, the way it is today. And then make the commitment to change it – to begin building a stronger marriage.
Working Toward Vitality
To shift your couple type to ‘Vitalized’ you can start by understanding the Value of Vitality.
Vitality means an energetic style; healthy capacity for vigorous activity; ability to survive and grow.
There is a lot of substance here.
A) Energetic. How much energy are you putting into your marriage? Are you waiting for your spouse to raise the bar? Like any fitness program, it starts with you. Pump it up!
B) Healthy capacity. It takes time to build capacity. Maybe first you need to get healthy in the relationship. Resolve outstanding issues and conflicts. Then start small and allow capacity to grow steadily over time. It will grow!
C) Vigorous activity. Healthy marriages have healthy dialogue that is open, respectful, engaging, and forward moving. Just like any other team, a husband and wife team are actively working towards goals, pursing dreams, and living a life of purpose – together!
D) Ability to survive. Bad things happen. Every couple faces challenges, sometimes life-threatening (to the marriage). A vitalized couple work together and not against each other. It’s about commitment!
E) Ability to grow. Vitalized couples don’t remain stagnant. There is an innate need to experience life, to add value to others, and produce visible results that together they’re making a difference!
Vitality is a great value for couples to embrace. If it seems far away, it can become the destination. If you’ve had it and lost it, it’s worth discovering again. And if your relationship is filled with vitality – share it with others.
Life produces more life.
How have you brought vitality to your marriage?