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Essay on Couples Relationship Education (CRE) programs

Many Couples Relationship Education (CRE) programs base their curricula content on social learning theory and changing relationship quality and satisfaction through the improvement of couple behavioral skills. In the same manner, behavioral theory talks about people experiencing increased stability and commitment based on the positive demeanors they have fostered in their relationships. However, in order to attain this increased commitment and stability and improved relationship satisfaction and happiness, individuals must work on the self by developing positive concept of self and identity through social interaction as advocated by the Symbolic Interactions Theory in this research. These are the Symbolic Interactions Theory-based concerns in the premarital education program that are addressed in this research through ELEVATE, Within My Reach PREP and Mindfulness-Based CRE programs. Problems in relationships and marriages emanate from discordant risk factors perpetuated by the relationship between couples. Thus, most couples have preferred to tackle the issue of stress in couples’ therapy or opted to find amicable management solutions as a couple (Markman and Rhoades, 2012). However, most of these problems are harbored in an individual’s mind and are not figments of emotion that can be collectively held in twofold minds, at least not in the same magnitude as evident in this research. Thus, in as much as marital problems, as elaborated in the premarital education program in this research, can be managed in couple’s therapy, it is equally important to manage or solve these problems on an individual level through individual oriented relationship education (Rhoades and Stanley, 2011) for Saudi women before merging solutions.

Being mindful Essay on Couples Relationship Education (CRE) programs

An individual’s self-esteem, confidence and problem solving skills are influenced by his or her beliefs or perception of himself or herself, as well as, the material they let into their body, be it physical or mental. Thus, the attitude that one projects as a person and in his or her relationship or marriage is the outcome of their mental and emotional health in this present moment. The results of this research evince that most married Saudi women find themselves at the precipice of losing their identity and isolating themselves from filial connections due to their dedication to their marital roles and new families. It is for this reason that most participants desired their daughters to get well acquainted with viable and amicable ways of solving problems in marriage and resilience to maintain their identity amidst the responsibilities they are expected to perform in marriages. Some of the things that the participants needed their daughters to know before marriage include: believing in themselves, having their own lives or maintaining their identities amidst pressure to put their husbands’ and families’ needs above theirs and gaining sufficient knowledge about sex.Essay on Couples Relationship Education (CRE) programs

Certain participants reported losing their identities by giving up on their interests and focusing on meeting the needs of their families and being submissive wives. This finding reiterates the notion of Symbolic Interactions Theory put forward by LaRossa and Reitzes, who stated that based on the social interactions in the unit of marriage, an individual can lose his or her identity as a result of the other person’s demeanor or character in the marital relationship (LaRossa and Reitzes, 1993). Thus, in as much as wives are tasked with fulfilling their roles and responsibilities in marriage, should these be overwhelming, they might refrain from focusing on their self-conception and instead focus on their husbands and children.

Symbolic Interaction Theory indicates that individuals seek to verify their identities through social interaction. This process is constructed on whether individuals succeed in verifying their identities to others or fail in getting others to verify them (Turner, 2012). Furthermore, if individuals succeed in verifying their identities by the responses of other, they will experience positive emotions and higher self-esteem. On the other hand, if they fail to verify their identities, they will experience negative emotions (e.g. distress, anxiety) and lower self-esteem (Burke & Stets, 1999). In marital life, when spouses feel that their partners appear disrespectful or seem to underestimate their thoughts and decisions, they will experience negative emotions, such as anger or stubbornness, and may end up yelling and lying, as well as decrease their self-esteem. These negative emotions will drive a lack of respect between spouses, which is considered a third challenge that Saudi women face in their marriages. In fact, this lack of respect and low self-esteem often resulted in another marital weakness, in which couples refrain from sharing their thoughts and feelings out of fear of being judged by their spouses.

Fortunately, maintaining one’s self-identity and building self-esteem can be taught in Mindfulness-based CRE through skills such as acknowledging and focusing on arousal triggers, physiological changes, as well as, finding demeanors to aid in calming these responses (Rodriguez, 2015). Essay on Couples Relationship Education (CRE) programs

Research found that sexual satisfaction and communication independently predict satisfaction in marriage (Litzinger and Gordon, 2005). In the case of choosing communication and problem-solving skills as prominent topics to include in premarital education, Ahmed (2015) stated the importance of these topics for Saudi couples when he said that the most of marital maladjustment occurred because of the deficiency of spouses’ communication skills, their inability to express feelings of love, cordiality and respect for each other, or their inability to recognize the same.  Thus, they are unable to make proper decisions to face family problems as they arise. Communication, sexual satisfaction, anger management and ways of strengthening self-esteem and confidence are things that the participants in this research wish they had known before marriage. The mindfulness program as elaborated in Mindfulness-Based CRE and ELEVATE under care for self will provide sufficient knowledge to Saudi women on matters regarding sexual satisfaction, stress reduction, temperance, problem-solving, communication and anger management as they impact their identity, self-esteem and confidence.














Works Cited

LaRossa, R., & Reitzes, D. (1993). Symbolic Interactionism and Family Studies. In: Boss, P.G., Doherty, W.J., Larossa, R., Schumm, W.R. And Steinmetz, S.K., Eds., Sourcebook Of Family Theories And Methods: A Contextual Approach. Plenum, New York, 135-163..

Markman, H., & Rhoades, G. (2012). Relationship Education Research: Current Status and Future Directions. Journal Of Marital And Family Therapy, 38(1), 169-200.

Rhoades, G., & Stanley, S. (2011). Using Individual-Oriented Relationship Education to Prevent Family Violence. Journal Of Couple & Relationship Therapy, 10(2), 185-200.

Rodriguez, P. (2015). Exploring Participants’ Variation in Relational Outcomes based on Couple Relationship Education Curriculum.