Premarital Coaching

Award numbers 14, 15, & 16. Thank you so much!

We are so thankful to our fantastic brides, and the wonderful wedding professionals we have grown to love, for helping to make this very special recognition a reality over the years! There are thousands of individuals. Too many to mention. We are so very grateful and privileged to have served you. Thanks to all of you!

With Much Love! Damian, Jean, Rebekah & The UMS Team!

OneWed "Golden Feather Award" 2012 - Thank You!

OneWed Best Officiants & Clergy

We are so grateful to the wonderful brides and grooms we have the pleasure of serving as their wedding officiant in and near Columbus, Ohio. Because of you, United Marriage Services, LLC  has been awarded the OneWed "Golden Feather Award" for 2012!

This reflects that we are in the top 5% of Wedding Pros nationwide. The annual, OneWed "Golden Feather Awards" were formerly know as OneWed’s “Best Of Awards” and recognize the top wedding professionals from the OneWed Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, the OneWed "Golden Feather Awards" are determined solely by the reviews from over 1.2 million newly married brides and grooms.

Thank you so much for your kindness and appreciation that had made this honor possible! 

You can find out more by visiting our listing on OneWed. Thank you, again!

Turning Conflict into Dialogue Part 2 of 2

As a marriage coach and wedding officiant in Columbus Ohio, it is my aim to not only officiate for couples on their wedding day, but to strengthen marriages for life as well. This is part 2 of 2 of an earlier entry.

It takes two to tango.

Both must be willing to discuss matters even though communication styles most likely differ in significant ways. You need to talk and communicate in marriage regularly and consistently and abide by the “rules” of healthy dialogue.

An argument can lead to dialogue, but if it does not then it usually involves blame, shame and proving who is right and who is wrong. It is a win/lose scenario where somebody wins and the other party loses, and in marriage since the goal should be to discover ways to strengthen your relationship nobody wins if somebody is out to win. The one who “wins” may feel good and validated as a person in the short run, but lose intimacy with the other in the long run. This is very dangerous to your marriage.

When you find yourself arguing about something pose the question, “Can we dialogue about this instead?” Better yet, when there is a point of potential contention that is important to you to discuss, ask your marriage partner, “Can we get together to dialogue about something?” and then schedule a definite time to talk. Schedule it immediately if possible; not “whenever”.

Healthy dialogue builds a relationship and says to your marriage partner, “I respect and love you.”  By making dialogue the primary way to communicate in your relationship you will build a stronger, happier, healthier marriage…even when your conflicting ideas and disagreements still exist. Over time as you continue to practice the respect dialogue brings, many of your disagreements will get worked out.

Practice healthy dialogue for the future of your marriage and your relationship.

Turning Conflict into Dialogue Part 1 of 2

Healthy Dialogue is essential to a healthy marriage.

Having been successfully married for 26 years I have come to appreciate a form of communication that helps build a lasting relationship. Dialogue. When I work with couples as a wedding officiant and/or marriage coach the topic of effective communication often arises. So, let’s explore together some key points about something that can have a lasting impact on the quality of your marriage, and may actually keep you together as a couple.

What is healthy dialogue? Basically it is “friendly discussion” in a focused setting. It is important that distractions be eliminated or minimized. (Cell phone off, no computer, no TV, etc. etc. – remember you are building your marriage; other non-life threatening emergencies can wait).

It involves listening without judging what is said. When friends discuss things they do so without judging and tend to give each other the benefit of any doubt. They end up feeling closer when done.

To dialogue is to be truly open to hear the other person’s thoughts and feelings. (This may take work if you are not accustomed to this type of communication.)

Dialogue involves listening intently to what your partner is saying with the idea of: “What can I learn about this unique individual who has an equal part in this marriage?”

The listener does not think of how to respond while the other person is still talking.

Pause/reflect/give the ideas expressed a minute to sink in.

Ask only curiosity questions to deepen and expand your knowledge of where he or she is “coming from”. Questions like, “Could you please rephrase that so I can understand better?” or, “I want to be sure that I understand your point, would you please elaborate further?”

Avoid loaded or “gotcha” questions designed to prove your point or belittle your partner in any way. They are poison to your relationship.

To dialogue is to allow the person to explain things from their perspective in a way that validates their thoughts, feelings and perspectives. Validation is not necessarily agreement. Often you are communicating over something you have not grown to see in the same light. However, it is an acknowledgement of your partner’s personal understanding, thoughts and feelings about any issue at any time.

This approach opens up the door to effective communication and growth together as a couple. It says to your partner, “I value you and your opinion and I want to know how you feel and what makes you ‘tick’.”

(Part 2 coming soon)



Marriage Insights - Saving Your Marriage

One of my favorite books to recommend to couples is "The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work" by John Gottman, PhD.

In chapter one page 4 he shares some insights on marriage and divorce. Let' read some of his thoughts:

"The chances of a first marriage ending in divorce over a forty-year period is 67%. Half of all divorces will occur in the first seven years. Some studies find the divorce rate for second marriages is as much as 10 percent higher than for first-timers."

"The chance of getting a divorce remains so high that it makes sense for all married couples-including those who are currently satisfied with their relationship-to put extra effort into their marriages to keep them strong."

One reason that I provide premarital and post-marital coaching is that I really care about your relationship and want your marriage to not only survive, but thrive.

Don't be fooled. No matter how much you love your fiance or spouse, to keep your marriage strong requires knowledge, work, and effort. It will not "just happen" all by itself. The work however, is well worth the lasting benefits of a strong and happy relationship that will affect so many areas of your life.