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Family and Consumer Sciences

College of Agriculture, Life Sciences and Natural Resources

LIFE - Individual Growth and Development


Creativity expresses the inventiveness and life-giving spirit of a growing relationship. Each partner’s development—increasing knowledge, maturity, and people skills—is indispensable to the growth of the relationship. Couples who view their wedding as a starting point, rather than culmination, accept and use change to advantage. Balancing the pace of change and needs of each partner takes a unique combination of discipline and spontaneous adjustments. Like great composers or painters, creative spouses blend genius—talents and inspiration—with discipline—daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly rituals and refinements. At each stage and challenge, their previous works, growing skills, and confidence as artists enable them to cope and create beauty even in difficulty.

Couples make their relationships a work of art through…

Personal Growth and Wellness

-Physical Health: Partners color their own capacities with health practices

  • Nutrition, sleep, and exercise contribute to overall wellness and stress-coping abilities
-Mental Health
  • Creativity traits such as openness, insight, ability to generate new ideas, and flexibility enhance individual and couple coping and growth
  • Personal and partner monitoring of lifestyle or distress effects (addiction, altered moods, anger/violence early in relationship
-Personal Development:
  • Time to self and opportunities to develop talents at home or work serve to enhance a relationship and keep it growing
Quality Couple Time
  • Rituals and routines can be effective ways to maximize time together, cohesion, and affection
  • Spontaneity, often experienced through recreation and humor, contribute greatly to a couple’s ability to adapt to stress and enjoy life together
Stress Coping Strategies
  • Mutual social support reinforces security and encourages openness, both critical to creative problem solving and relationship satisfaction
  • Partners who employ a variety of coping strategies (maintaining togetherness, developing self-reliance, cultivating network support, reframing, learning about a problem, reducing tension) handle stress more effectively
  • Problem-focused coping (vs. denial or avoidance) predicts higher marital satisfaction
Designing a Life Together

Create a couple mural including favorite objects, memories, and hopes, fastened to a panel which each has painted colorfully.

Plan a new ritual (cooking together on Saturday night, celebrating a holiday differently) which incorporates more than one stress-coping strategy.

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