Couple's Story: Eric and Shari

Eric is the Marriage and Family Pastor at Harvest Church, in Billings, Montana, where he has been on staff since August 2007. He has been partnered with Communio for two years.

Eric grew up as an only child in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was adopted by a loving and caring couple. Shortly after his arrival to the family, they moved to Helena, Montana.

Shari was born in Rapid City, SD, and during elementary school moved to Helena, Montana. She enjoyed a stable, loving family growing up in the Helena Valley. Shari has spent the majority of their married life homeschooling their four sons but now is a certified Paraoptometric Technician.

Eric and Shari met on a blind date in high school. Within the first few weeks, Eric was very attracted to Shari and interested in a dating relationship with her. She was hesitant at first because their values didn’t immediately align. Upon further prompting from her friend, Shari agreed to go on a second date, after which they began a mutually exclusive relationship together. They continued dating/courting for another 5 years before they married in July 1989 and now have celebrated 34 years of marriage this past summer.

Their faith tradition has been and will continue to be invaluable to their success as a couple. Apart from Eric’s vocation in pastoral ministry, they make it a practice to attend weekend worship services three times each month, pray together, share insights from personal devotions, tithe generously and with regularity, and mentor other couples.

These practices, along with placing a high value on relationship skills, have served them well to remain devoted and committed to their marital vows.

They attend some form of marriage enrichment seminar, retreat, or study at least once every couple of years. This practice has provided them with new insights about their relationship, skills to enrich their marriage, and guardrails to guide them through transitional seasons in life.

“We work hard to communicate clearly and empathically. It’s not enough to share information, it’s vital to understand the emotional state of our partner and demonstrate a willingness to enter into one another’s emotional world.”

Eric and Shari believe it’s important for couples to invest in their relationships through periodic check-ups to prevent devitalization and conflict. They work hard to communicate clearly and empathically, maintaining a strong bond in their marriage.

They are passionate about helping couples work on their relationships and have seen deeper connections, improved communication, and greater understanding and empathy towards each other when working with couples.

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