Connecting Families: A Relationship Enhancement Program


To assist participants in identifying their most important relationship values,
conduct the Relationship Values Activity.
Connecting Families Penn State Cooperative Extension
Understanding the Couple Relationship, Session 1 7 2004
Relationship Values Activity
Using the relationship values activity sheets, Handout 1, Relationship Values Sheet and
Session Materials 1, Relationship Values Slips, ask participants to rank their personal
relationship values. Number one value is the most important, number twelve is least.
After ranking their choices, ask participants to write their responses on the relationship
value sheet. If the participants’ partner is not attending the session, ask them to take the
slips and a blank activity sheet home so that their partner can fill in his/her responses.
In a group discussion, have individual members identify their top three values for their
relationship. As a group, identify the value that was most frequently identified. Identify
the value that was the least identified. Give examples of how these values come into play
in our relationships. We become most aware of our values when they are tested by
decisions that we have to make. If an individual highly valued trust, commitment and
financial security, and discovered that their spouse was gambling, how would they react?
With these values, would they be more affronted by the impact the individual’s behavior
would have on the relationship, or how addicted the individual was to a negative behavior?
If the individual highly valued sensitivity of a spouse’s needs, support and companionship
how might the reaction be different? Values are strong motivators that guide our behavior
and reactions to life’s events. The more aware we are of our values, the more
understanding we can have to our reactions and decision process.
What is a “Good” Marriage?
¡ A good marriage will always be
¡ Marriage will make me happy.
¡ If we love each other, everything
will fall into place.
¡ My partner should know what my
needs are.
¡ Conflict means the lack of love.
4. Living in a culture brings with it cultural
assumptions of what marriage involves.
Our culture is no different. As a group ,
use Slide 4 to decide which are true
cultural expectations for marriage. None
of the expectations listed are true.
However, they frequently are idealized as
being true in our culture.
Instructor’s Notes
A good marriage will always be romantic. All relationships experience ups and downs.
Often as a marriage matures, the demands of life cloud romantic feelings. Being in love
and having a good marriage is more than flowers and candy. Romance can be brought back
into a marriage if the couple chooses to do so.
Marriage will make me happy. No one can make another happy. Happiness must come
from within oneself. The marriage relationship has the potential of supporting individual
happiness and well-being, but it cannot be the only source.
If we love each other, everything else will fall into place. Marriage is like all relationships,
it is in a constant state of change. Being sensitive to one another’s needs and being willing
to make changes to adapt to relationship changes are necessary to keep love alive. Having
a caring, supportive relationship is at the core of a marriage. If an individual is demeaning
or abusive in a verbal or physical way, it is not going to be solved by love.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Veronica S. Haggerty


"A strong, healthy relationship can be one of the best things that can happen to you. However, it can also be one of the biggest drains on you if the relationship is not working. Relationships are like bank accounts. The more you put in, the more you get back. Falling in love is the easy part, but long term relationships take work, commitment, and a willingness to adapt and change through life as a team. Learn about ways to keep a healthy relationship strong, or begin to today to work on repairing trust and renewing love for a relationship on the rocks".

Location: New Hope, PA
Credentials: MA, MFT, RN
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