Recruiting Couples That Are Living Together for
Reaching out to couples who live together is different than reaching out
to those who are married.
Studies shows that people who live together but
aren’t married have more relationship problems than
married couples. Also, people who live together
before marriage are more likely to divorce later on
and are less likely to go to relationship education pro-
grams than engaged couples. For these reasons, get-
ting these couples in marriage education is important.
What Type of Relationship Educa-
tion is Right for Couples Living
Couples who are living together do not always want
a long-term future together, so traditional marriage
education is not the best match for these couples.
Although many relationship issues are the same,
couples who are living together and who aren’t mar-
ried can have very different needs from couples who
are already married or planning marriage. A relation-
ship educator should know the needs of each couple
sharing a home to choose what type of relationship
education will be the best fit for them. In addition,
it is important for marriage educators to be mindful
of the message they are sending. Do not criticize
living together or make statements that may sound
judgmental. Instead, tell them you are giving them
the necessary skills for a healthy relationship. For
example, if the couple is in a relationship for life or is
planning marriage, and they are in a physically safe
relationship, going to relationship education together
is best. There, they will learn skills to help their
relationship last. On the other hand, if one or both
partners is not sure about the future of the relation-
ship or feels unsafe, it may be better for the partners
to attend a relationship education program for singles.
In such a program, people learn how to know if their
relationships are healthy and find out how to make
good choices about the future.