Before You Tie the Knot (BYTK) is a premarital couple’s education curriculum that blends practical skills with an understanding of human needs to enhance healthy relationship knowledge and skills. BYTK is research-informed, meaning a research-based program designed to help premarital couples to: 1) recognize their own and their partner’s needs; 2) parent positively; 3) negotiate conflict successfully; 4) communicate effectively; 5) manage money skillfully; and 6) develop and maintain healthy lifestyles. This 5 Session hands-on training will engage participants in learning and practicing the core principles and skills research has identified as essential to maintaining healthy and stable relationships. Participants attending the BYTK class will receive a workbook and will learn in Session 1: 8 Needs of Every Partner, Parent, and Child; Session 2: Positive Parenting; Session 3: 9 Important Communication Skills: The 4 Don’ts and the 5 Dos; Session 4: Your Money Matters; and Session 5: Healthy Lifestyles.
An incentive for participants in Manatee County, Before You Tie the Knot classes, is upon completion of the series, the Manatee County marriage license fee will be reduced by $32.50. UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County is registered with the Clerk Circuit of Court in Manatee County as a premarital provider.
One couple attended Before You Tie the Knot (BYTK) in hopes of learning better communication skills to improve the relationships of their blended family. As a new step father to a teenage girl, the male partner was struggling to communicate effectively and fill a role as a parental figure. This was placing added stress on the couple’s relationship. After stressing the 9 skills and communication techniques and practicing them throughout the program, he reported that his eyes had been opened to a new approach in effective parenting. He stated that the program and techniques helped to open his mind on how to communicate not only with his partner, but also his children and step child in a more caring and effective manner. Previously he practiced a “do as I say” method, but as a result of what he learned in the program he applied a “teamwork and let’s communicate” approach to guidance rather than authoritarian. Having a discussion with his step daughter where he expressed his reasoning for what he was asking for her resulted in a more accepting response from the step daughter. This is a great example of how the principles and research based skills presented in this program can be applied to not only romantic relationships but also other relationships and strengthen families.