Frequently Asked Questions

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Learn more about Relationship and Marriage Education.

Relationship and Marriage Education (RME), a recent innovation to improve the quality of relationships, sparks a number of great questions.

What is Relationship and Marriage Education?

Relationship and Marriage Education (RME) are skills-based educational approaches, often preventive in nature, in which individuals or couples are taught skills to increase effective communication, success in resolving problems and conflicts with their spouse/partner, and skills and attitudes that increase marital commitment and satisfaction as well as family stability.

How is RME conducted?

The typical Relationship Education course is a structured curriculum taught by an Instructor in a classroom setting with a group of participants, and has a variety of learning formats that may include lecture, demonstrations, role-playing, small group exercises, and sharing between spouses/partners.

What is the typical length of a RME class?

Relationship Education classes typically last from 4-20 hours, and are taught in weekend- or once-a-week formats.

Is there any research that proves RME really works?

In eight comprehensive analyses of hundreds of research studies, results show that Relationship and Marriage Education programs work–“to reduce strife, improve communication, increase parenting skills, increase stability, and enhance marital happiness.” The overwhelming consensus among researchers is that Relationship Education programs “are effective in helping families do more than merely survive–that Relationship Education enables couples to learn skills that enable their marriage and children to thrive” (Fagan, Patrick F., Patterson Robert W. and Robert E. Rector. “Marriage and Welfare Reform: The Overwhelming Evidence that Marriage Education Works.” The Heritage Foundation: Backgrounder #1606, 2002).

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Partial funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90FE0104. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.