3 minute read

Marriage Enrichment

The Future Of Marriage Enrichment

At the same time that popular magazines describe a decline in marriage, primarily because of the increase in cohabitation or the postponement of marriage, there is a resurgence of interest from the family therapists and family professionals. In a sense, marriage has become a priority for many societies because of the high cost of divorce and its impact on children. This greater emphasis on the health of the marriage and the preparation for marriage will, in the long run, benefit couples. Findings suggest that a happy marriage is conducive to a long, healthy life, (Waite and Gallagher 2000).

Researchers have focused on problem marriages and ignored the special needs of racial minorities, remarrying couples, and cohabiting couples. But a concerted emphasis has begun to address issues of marital health and growth for the broader population. This interest in marriage enrichment and education is overdue. It is welcomed by the existing organizations that have served as the pioneers in the field. Ideally, the new marriage movement and the pioneer marriage enrichment movement will join hands in promoting couple strengths. The potential positive outcome of this resurgence is that more couples will marry with a realistic understanding of the work involved in building a strong marriage. They will also recognize the impact the couple relationship has on the children who are nurtured in their homes.


Arp, D., and Arp, C. (1996). The Second Half of Marriage. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

Catron, S. (1989). Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Enrichment Newsletter 17(9).

Diskin, S. (1986). "Marriage Enrichment: Rationale and Resources." In Marriage and Family Enrichment. New York: Haworth Press.

Dyer, P., and Dyer, G. (1989). Marriage Enrichment, Process, Methods and Techniques. Winston-Salem NC: Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment.

Dyer, P., and Dyer, G. (2001). "Education for Relationships and Marriage." In Family Life Education: An Introduction, ed Powell, L., and Cassidy, D. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Gottman, J. (1994). Why Marriages Succeed or Fail...and How You Can Make Yours Last. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Hargrave, T. D. (2000). The Essential Humility in Marriage. Phoenix, AZ: Zeig, Tucker and Theisen.

Heitler, S. (1997). The Power of Two: Secrets to a Strong and Loving Marriage. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Hof, L., and Miller, W. R. (1981). Marriage Enrichment: Philosophy, Process and Program. Bowie, MD: Robert J. Brady Co.

Institute for American Values. (2000). "The Marriage Movement, A Statement of Principles." New York: Author.

Mace, D. R. (1985). Getting Ready for Marriage, revised edition. Nashville, TN: Abingdon.

Mace, D. R. (1979). "Marriage and Family Enrichment...A New Field?" The Family Coordinator 28(3):409–413.

Mace, D. R. (1982). Close Companions: The Marriage Enrichment Handbook. New York: Continuum Publishing.

Mace, D. R., ed. (1983). Prevention in Family Services: Approaches to Family Wellness. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Markman, H.; Stanley, S.; and Blumberg, S. L. (1994). Fighting for Your Marriage. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Miller, S., and Miller, P. (2000). Couple Communication II: Thriving Together. Evergreen, CO: Interpersonal Communication Programs, Inc.

Miller, S.; Nunnally, E. W.; and Wackman, D. B. (1975). Alive and Aware. Minneapolis, MN: Interpersonal Communication Programs.

Olson, D. H., and Olson, A. K. (2000). Empowering Couples, 2nd edition. Minneapolis, MN: Life Innovations.

Olson, D. H. (1998) PREPARE/ENRICH Counselor's Manual, Minneapolis, MN: Life Innovations.

Parrott, L. and Parrott, L. (1995). Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

Schnarch, D. (1997). Passionate Marriage. New York: W. W. Norton.

Silliman, B., and Schumm, W. R. (1999). "Improving Practice in Marriage Preparation." Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 25:23–43.

Smith, A., and Smith, L. (1989). "Enrichment and Counseling—Two Ways to Improve Marriage." Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment, Marriage Enrichment Newsletter 17(7, 8).

Stanley, S. (1998). The Heart of Commitment. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Waite, L., and Gallagher, M. (2000). The Case for Marriage. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wallerstein, J., and Blakeslee, S. (1995). The Good Marriage. New York: Warner Books.

Williams, R., and Williams,V. (1993). Anger Kills. New York: Harper Perennial.

Williams, R., and Williams, V. (1997). Lifeskills. New York: Times Book.


Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaRelationshipsMarriage Enrichment - The Marriage Movement, Developments, The Future Of Marriage Enrichment