How to get started after ordering
the Marriage Builders® Online
Seminar and Home Study Courses
Within one or two days of your order of the Marriage Builders® Online Seminar and Home Study Courses, an email will be sent to you that will explain how to login to the online seminar. I encourage you to begin viewing that entire seminar as soon as possible. Since it will take you about 8 hours to view it and complete all of the questionnaires, plan to spend your next weekend viewing it together.
Don't wait until you have a break in your weekend schedule, because if you're like most couples, you'll find there are no breaks. So as soon as you have the login information, drop whatever you're both currently doing for the weekend, and complete this first assignment together.
After you view the online seminar, you will have completed a Marital Problem Analysis. It lists the six Love Busters and ten important emotional needs, and asks you to rate them according to the problem that they cause in your marriage. A rating of 1 indicates the most pressing problems and 4 indicates those that are no problem at all. To select a sequence of lessons from the home study courses that makes the most sense, I suggest that you choose lessons that tackle the 1s first, then 2s, then 3s. And I also suggest that you take turns deciding which lesson to do after one has been completed.
If you feel that abuse is so serious that you cannot possibly address your emotional needs before you stop hurting each other, then complete the first five lessons of Love Busters, which address abuse and control in marriage. After completing the assignments of those lessons, you may then decide to address unmet emotional needs by switching to the His Needs, Her Needs course.
On the other hand, if you feel that your neglect of each other's emotional needs is more serious than problems you may have with abuse, then complete only the first six lessons of His Needs, Her Needs, which address the four intimate emotional needs of affection, sexual fulfillment, intimate conversation, and recreational companionship. These lessons will also help you understand the importance of time for undivided attention, because without that time, these needs cannot be met. When you complete the assignments from those lessons, you can then begin the Love Busters course.
As you can see, the sequence of lessons should be determined by your most pressing concerns. Abuse may not be as great a problem for you as independent behavior (living parts your life as if your spouse doesn't exist) or dishonesty. So I encourage you to tailor the courses to your advantage, completing lessons that are most relevant first. But eventually, you should complete all twenty-four lessons, taking them in any order that works best for you.
The first lessons are the most difficult to complete
Each of the twenty-four lessons you complete will make it easier to complete the remaining lessons. That's because the more needs you meet, and the less you do to hurt each other, the easier it is to meet other needs and avoid hurting each other in other ways.
So it goes without saying that the first few lessons will probably be the most difficult for you. In fact, you may find that it's only when most of your marital problems are solved that you'll actually feel like doing what it takes to solve your marital problems. Until then, you will have to force yourselves to do the right thing.
For example, it's very hard to avoid abusive habits when important emotional needs are not being met. But it's also very hard to meet important emotional needs when abusive habits persist. If you could somehow stop being abusive and start meeting each other's important emotional needs all at the same time, both would be much easier to achieve.
But these two problems (abuse and emotional needs) cannot be completely solved simultaneously, and you must start somewhere. But which should you address first? Should you eliminate abuse before you are meeting each other's emotional needs, or should you try to meet each other's emotional needs before you eliminate abuse? Either way, the first few lessons will be particularly difficult to complete.
How long will this take?
Most couples take an entire year to complete all the lessons because some problems require more than a week to adequately address. So be certain you have a good plan to overcome one problem before you tackle another.
But you should not expect to completely solve a problem in the week or two that you are completing a lesson. It should be used only to put a plan into action that will eventually solve the problem. That's because the solution to each marital problem will require a change in habits, and new habits usually take months to create. However, if you stop following the plan before the problem has been solved, you should immediately return to that lesson.
I mentioned earlier that the first few lessons may be difficult to complete, because the more problems you have, the harder it is to motivate yourselves to solve any of them. But if you commit yourselves to completing the first few lessons, and doing what I suggest, each lesson will become easier for you as you grow in your love for each other.
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