A Communication Enrichment Retreat for Catholic Korean-American Couples Employing the Trinitarian Mode of Communication
AbstractGood communication, as the ability to exchange precise meanings, leads couples to a deeper mutual understanding and works as a key to enhancing marital intimacy and satisfaction. Communication has been a fundamental issue, particularly for first generation Korean-American couples who have been challenged by the pressure of adapting to the new cultural situation of living in the United States. While still constrained by a strong tendency to maintain Confucian paradigm of marital communication and thereby avoid dialogue, these couples have felt the growing need both for effective communication that deals with tensions and conflicts among themselves and for real dialogue that results in a healthier marriage. The Trinitarian mode of marital communication, which is derived from the marriage analogy of the Trinity, could serve as a Catholic ideal of marital communication. As characterized by the triple interaction of silence, listening, and dialogue in conformity with God's Trinitarian communion of love among God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, it will help Catholic Korean-American couples share their life and love together "in the Lord" at a deeper level and enhance mutual understanding and intimacy in the Second Vatican Council's vision of marriage as "the intimate community of life and love." A Trinitarian Couple Communication that employs "reflection, validation, and empathy" and involves the perspective of silence, of listening, and of dialogue may function as a workable model for daily use to help couples reduce misunderstanding and unnecessary conflicts among themselves and gain more satisfaction and intimacy in marital relationships.This Project in Ministry was carried out in two parts. Accordingly, Part One laid the theoretical foundation for the Project by researches in Catholic Theology of Marriage, Marriage in Traditional Korean Confucianism, Korean-American Marriage in the Challenge of Cultural Transition, and a Catholic Ideal of marital Communication. Upon this foundation, Part Two designed, implemented, and evaluated through surveys the actual retreat program. This Project in Ministry may serve as an effective and workable educational model to enrich marital communication, particularly for Catholic Korean-American couples who have alienated themselves from the existing marriage programs because of the language and cultural barrier.
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