The most powerful thing I took away from our pre-marriage class was the idea of constant open communication through daily practice of the 5 A’s. Which are: Appreciate, Affection, Apologize, Ask, Amen. It is a daily activity you can easily do with your partner at the end of each day. And how it works is each person takes a turn to do the 5 A’s and then the other partner will go and it usually ends with a prayer. Hoan and I have been doing this EVERY single day since we learned of it. It’s definitely been helpful for us in continuing to stay open to one another and share what ever is on our hearts.
You first start out by telling your partner all of the things you appreciated about them today. Ie. “I appreciate you washing my car today, picking up my laundry, your humor and making me laugh in the morning when I was stressed about being late, etc.”
Once you are done telling them what you appreciate about them, you give them a kiss or a hug.
Next you want to ask your partner if there was anything from the day that upset them. This is a great time to be able to share what small little things irked you such as, “leaving the toilet seat up again, not washing the dishes when you were done with lunch and there was a pile when we got home, etc.” I know for myself, little things can get to me so it’s nice to be able to get it off your chest and also help your partner become more aware of your likes and preferences this way.
You want to ask your partner if there is anything you can do for them? For example, you may ask, “can you please help edit my paper tomorrow, or pick up dry cleaning for me after work, etc.” And make sure you are honest about whether or not you can fulfill these tasks and if not, it’s okay, tell them what you are able to do.
Finally, ask your partner what they’d like you to pray for.
Once your turn is done, repeat the process and let your partner go through their 5 A’s. Once you each have gone, then it’s time to pray. Hoan and I usually pray by him starting off and I finish it off. But really, anything works!
Hoan and I have been doing this every day since we learned about the activity last May and have not missed a single day! It’s truly helped us to continue to have open communication, especially when we are upset. We all know open communication is the key to a successful relationship, but what’s challenging sometimes is when something so small irked you and you don’t know how to bring it up so instead you just let it go… but really deep down it’s still bothersome and if/when it does come up again, it’s become even more frustrating. And we find ourselves in a bigger mess than what it really was to begin with. I really hope these 5 A’s can help you and your partner grow as a unit and help strengthen your faith in one another and in God. <3 Lmk how it goes!