Marriage Mentee Frequently Asked Questions
What benefits does marriage mentoring offer to us?
Many! It is a place to be real, and to be encouraged. It's an opportunity to discover things about your spouse — and yourself. It's a safe place to ask questions, wrestle with challenges and seek feedback. Your mentor couple can serve as a model to aspire to, and a reminder that you and your spouse can also weather the storms and enjoy a thriving, successful, lifelong marriage. You'll also receive objective, honest insights about your relationship from people who are committed to the two of you and want what's best for you. We won't try to tell you it will always be easy, but we will promise it will be worth it!
Is looking for a marriage mentor a good idea if we are struggling with a serious issue (adultery, addiction, etc.)?
Yes, but first we'd urge you to seek the help of a Biblical Counselor. In addition to a counselor, you'll also want to make sure you have a strong support system around you — and a mentor couple can be a significant part of that. A mature, "safe" couple can serve as a wonderful outlet for support, encouragement, feedback and honest dialogue as you make progress in your counseling experience. Trusted confidantes like these can also help you overcome the shame, isolation and loneliness that often accompany such struggles. You might want to look for a mentor couple who has some experience or familiarity with the particular issue you're wrestling with. Talk to the director of Marriage Mentoring to get a sense for which Mentor would be the best fit.
How do we make the most of our time with our mentors?
First, talk in advance of each meeting with your spouse: What do you hope to accomplish with this meeting? What areas would you most like to grow in? What aspects of your marriage are creating friction? Are you encountering new challenges? It might be helpful to jot down a few questions you want to ask or issues to address. Consider letting your mentor couple know ahead of time what you'd like to discuss so they can come better prepared. You'll also want to be real with your mentor couple. Let them get to know you so they can understand how best to come alongside and encourage you. After each meeting, be sure to discuss with your spouse what your "takeaways" were and what your next steps will be to continue growing and strengthening your marriage.
How do I bring up delicate issues in our marriage with our mentoring couple without hurting my spouse?
You're on the right track by asking the question. It's important that both spouses check their hearts and motives before exploring potentially difficult areas. Sometimes a spouse will bring up an issue hoping it will pressure their partner to change. Or they may want to get the mentor couple on "their side." Neither of these are healthy approaches. Rather, it's important to see you and your spouse as a team. Keep your own heart open in the process. Freely admit your own faults, and be open to areas where you need to grow and change. That kind of mindset allows you to tackle tough topics in a way that works for the good of your marriage rather than placing blame and driving a wedge between you. Finally, keep in mind the Apostle Paul's formula — "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15) — and you'll seldom go wrong.