Program helps solve marital problems

CAMP PENDLETON — A service member returns from deployment to his spouse. He’s back to his daily routine and in high spirits. Then a few months go by and he realizes there is trouble in his relationship. No matter what he says or does it just seems to make matters worse. What does he do?
The Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program helps couples identify and solve marital problems before they begin.
PREP, a one-day workshop to enhance couples communication skills, is held every other month at the Marine Corps Family Team Building here.
“It’s a couples communication workshop that’s going to help both partners understand each other and get some new tools for their tool box, so they can talk to each other in a more productive manner when they are having a disagreement or misunderstanding,” said Lizz Carty, family readiness program trainer with MCFTB.
The class hosts a variety of couples including those currently dating, newly married and couples who have been married for years. The class is based on 30 years of research and has developed along the way. But the common theme at the workshop is a variety of communication techniques and the benefits of developing those skills. The MCFTB trainer’s partner with PREP trained chaplains to divide the different sessions to give a variety of communication examples and techniques during the day-long workshop.
Navy Lt. Justin Hayes, Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton chaplain, said Marines don’t go into battle without training first and it wouldn’t be wise to jump into marriage without preparation either.
“We all come out of high school with under-developed communication skills,” Hayes said. “We have a mixed bag of good and bad skills. We seem to excel at the bad ones and that’s what we use to beat our marriages up with.”
Some of the techniques and topics covered during the workshop are relationship risk factors, communication danger signs, safety and structure in communication and forgiveness.
Participants don’t have to be married or attend with a partner, but are encouraged to come as a couple.
The next workshop is scheduled for Sept. 22. For more information on how to sign up or other MCFTB programs and classes, call (760) 725-9052.

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