Safety First

Sharing a life together, you will have a mix of highs and lows, and working through the lows together often hinges on safety. In addition to being free from physical harm, and feeling emotionally safe to share openly with your spouse, the PREP programme talks about commitment safety, too.


When you feel safe and secure in your commitment to each other, you both have a long-term view of the relationship and are willing to invest in it. That commitment propels you through the rough patches because you are both in it for the long haul. You don’t threaten to leave your spouse over every minor mistake. When you know you’re both committed to seeing things through, it helps keep disagreements and frustrations in perspective.

For instance, if you and your partner have frequent disagreements about how much money to give to your parents/in-laws, you can disagree about that topic without it jeopardizing the foundation of your marriage. The key is learning to separate the person (your spouse) from the problem (family finances) so you protect your relationship, even when you’re upset about an issue.

When you feel secure physically, emotionally, and in your commitment to each other, you can own your mistakes genuinely, share your hurts candidly, and forgive each other more readily.

When You Need to Forgive

Close relationships are synonymous with vulnerability. When we let our guard down with our partners, we’re free to know and love each other more deeply, and have greater intimacy and connection as a result. But, when we “put it all out there” and share our hearts so fully, it can be disorienting, even devastating, if that trust is violated.

Forgiveness 2

If you feel like your partner has violated your trust, the process of forgiving and healing can be an emotional rollercoaster. Even if your spouse takes ownership and offers a genuine apology, you may still find yourself slow to really forgive. This is normal!

All of the hurt doesn’t vanish in the moment, and it can take time to rebuild trust and heal, especially when the offense is more severe. It’s ok to say something like, “It may take me some time, but I do want to forgive you,” to show you accept the apology, but to make clear an apology alone is not a magic bullet to restore the relationship to its former glory.

When we truly forgive, we leave the offense in the past and don’t hold a grudge. It can take time to arrive there, but once you decide to forgive, it frees you from the stronghold of resentment.

When You Need to Ask For Forgiveness


When you’ve offended your spouse, the path back to each other is paved with ownership and forgiveness. The first step is to seek forgiveness, and ideally, to offer an apology for the hurtful words or acts that led up to this point. You’ll want to really listen to them and understand how you’ve caused pain, and be sure to acknowledge their feelings.

For instance: “Will you forgive me for making that big purchase without discussing it with you first? I know we are a team and agreed we would always run things like this by each other. I got carried away. I know you’re concerned about the cost and upset with me right now. I’m really sorry. Can we talk about it?”

Even in cases where you don’t feel like you’ve done something wrong, you can, at the very least, acknowledge and validate the hurt your spouse is experiencing. Maybe you got into a fight and said a lot of things in anger. Perhaps you stand by your sentiments, but you know the timing and tone were all wrong.

An apology might look like: “I am really sorry for the way I talked to you this morning. I never should have raised my voice like that and got you all riled up right before you had to leave for work. I was really angry when I saw the credit card bill, but I handled that poorly. Will you forgive me?”

If you like what you read, check out other mini marriage PREP tips here!