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What is Marriage Encounter?

Marriage Encounter is a weekend spent with your spouse to help you learn to communicate better.  I don't know if that is an adequate way to describe the whole weekend, but that is what Rich and I got out of it. There are many different churches that have Marriage Encounters or something similar. The one that Rich and I went to was the Assembly of God Marriage Encounter.

During this weekend, Rich and I had to write in a notebook. We would separate and write to each other in our notebooks, then we would meet back in our hotel room and read each other the letters.
We could not interrupt while the other was reading. We had to read the letters twice while our spouse listened. After doing so, the spouse who had listened could ask questions about what the other had read to them.  Such as... "what did you mean by...?"
I know this may sound some what silly. But, it actually works.  Rich and I loved each other very much.  Out of the 10 years of our marriage, there was never any lacking in our love or passion for each other.  Our problem was communication with each other. Through that weekend, we learned that we had been misunderstanding each other.  We would tell each other something, but the other person would think something completely different.

I have done a great deal of thinking and praying about this, and I have decided to share with others some of the things that Rich wrote to me in his letters. I want to do this because some of the things he wrote are incredible.  He spoke of death and of time.
He also spoke a lot of God.  In the early years of our marriage, he probably would not have done that.  I share these things because I want others to realize that if you and your spouse love each other, but can't seem to understand each other... something like this can really help. And if you have a spouse that doesn't seem as interested in knowing God, don't give up. As long as you remain faithful and set an example of what knowing God is about, then God can work in their hearts.

By request from some of Rich's family.. I have taken these letters off of the website.  I still want to encourage anyone who is having problems communicating in your marriage to consider Marriage Encounters.

-Sharla