Marriage Mentoring with Couples in Marital Crisis: A Qualitative Study
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The current study sought to examine the marriage mentoring model as a method to restore marriages among Christian believers. This thesis first assessed the dissolution of marriages through divorce in order to understand its causes, and included a study of the Christian Scriptures regarding divorce and the topic of marriage. In addition, current literature was reviewed in an attempt to better comprehend how mentoring worked and how it may be utilized as a divorce prevention method among troubled marriages. Interviews were then conducted with Christian couples who had experienced marital distress but were reconciled. The responses were then analyzed. The study was unique in that it examined Christian couples in established marriages that were in marital distress when they started the mentoring process. Thirteen couples participated in the study. The couples lived in various states across the country: Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Christian couples were sought through churches and Christian counseling centers in the continental United States that have a marriage mentoring ministry and also through the recommendation of select seminary professors, church practitioners, or online marriage mentoring websites. Past studies on marriage mentoring have shown that mentoring resulted in an increase in communication and a decrease in marital conflict among pre-marital or newly married couples. The results of the current study indicated that marriage mentoring was also beneficial to Christian couples who had been married for several years and were on the verge of divorce. This study has shown that no matter the severity of the marital distress, marriages can be repaired and can flourish with marriage mentoring.