Landers/Balancing Work & Marriage/Spiritual Dating/Mock Weddings - 11/4/01
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Sun Nov 4 18:19:56 EST 2001
subject: Landers/Finding Balance/Spiritual Dating/Mock Weddings -11/4/01
from: Smart Marriages
LETTER TO ANN LANDERS:
I thought your readers might appreciate this reply I wrote
to Ann Landers who was advising giving up an a marriage when romance
Very good. Now if Ann Launders would just print it!
Thanks for taking the time to write her, and for sharing this.
November 3, 2001
Dear Ann Landers,
I find that I must respond to your disagreeing with "Faithful in Tulsa"
who proposed staying in a marriage despite a loss of romantic feelings.
Usually I think your answers show much wisdom but in this case I think your
advice was shortsighted and encourages the current notion of getting out
when things don¹t look good leaving so many broken families.
First of all, "loss of romance" is not synonymous with "loveless" which
was a leap you made. There is more to love than romance. Secondly, "soul
mates" are made and not a happenstance. My own marriage of more than ten
years had reached a point where romance had faded. We had tried everything
including counseling but the marriage had become an unsatisfying hassle and
we both felt empty, unloved and defeated. I long debated getting out or
sticking out our commitment in resignation. A third choice occurred to me
which is what you and so many seem to miss. That is to give one more shot
but focusing on the positives and desires and acceptance rather than the
faults and frustrations. I didn¹t have much hope but the change began to
make a difference and after a while even romance and passion returned and
grew. Now another twenty years and a few more challenges later, we honestly
agree that our relationship is better and stronger than ever. We could not
have gotten here though without going through there. Most, if not all,
relationship have some good points and are probably not totally loveless.
Love is a choice and can grow through choosing to love through the
"loveless" times. You can¹t know it till you¹ve tried it but it is worth
-The grass is greener on this side
116 Mountain Avenue
Piscataway, NJ 08854
FINDING BALANCE BETWEEN WORK AND MARRIAGE:
This article from a physician web page features Wayne and Mary Sotile who
will present at the 2002 Smart Marriages conference. Although it's about
physician marriages it applies to ALL couples on our ever accelerating
planet. It's interesting that the research presented by Mike Lawler of
Creighton University at the
Orlando Smart Marriages found that balancing work and family is the number
one challenge for couples - no matter the occupation - right from the very
beginning. That study "Time, Sex and Money: The First 5 Years of Marriage"
is highly informative and I urge any of you who haven't listened to the
tape of their workshop to do so.
Successful Medical Marriages
Wayne M. Sotile, Ph.D.
Author of (with Mary Sotile) The Resilient Physician (American Medical
Association Press, 2001).
In our work over the last 24 years, Mary and I have noticed a real shift in
the factors that shape the experiences of physicians and their families as
well as the responses of those families to the extraordinary stresses that
they face. I. Three factors have particularly magnified the extraordinary
strain on medical families.
The first is the exceptional work demands that come to physicians. Three
times more physicians work 60-plus hours per week than any other
professional group. Everybody thinks they work hard, but nobody works as
hard for a lifetime as do physicians. This creates special challenges for
physicians and their families. Medical couples understand early on that the
doctor is going to be working hard, but they often become disillusioned with
how many years this hard work pervades and affects their families.
The second factor is that both men and women these days are compelled to be
more whole people when it comes to work and family. Women who were
historically the support systems for physician families are now driven to do
more outside the home, either with a career or with other non-family
responsibilities. Secondly, in these past fifteen years, families have
entered the hearts of men. The expectations that male physicians have of
themselves at all stages of life regarding family have grown tremendously.
The expectations of physicians' spouses and physicians' children and
grandchildren have grown tremendously as well.
The third factor is that we do not have appropriate, realistic road maps of
what it means to have a lifetime partnership and what it really means in the
trenches to have a reasonable balance between work and family. It doesn't
seem to help young physicians to look at the "road maps" created by the
lifestyles of prior generations. The right formula of work and family life
in the past does not apply to today. And today's generation of aging
physicians faces a different set of external demands and a different set of
expectations of how they are to successfully balance work and family.
Oftentimes there is a script written by other folks--parents, grandparents,
culture, the media--about what marriage is really like that truly is not
applicable to real life.
II. What you can do about it.
If you are going to do the job, accept the implicit demands in
the job. Being married is tough, but it is the best thing we can do to
ensure our health and happiness; we have definitive data about that. Like it
or not--and all concerns about political correctness duly acknowledged--the
truth is that spouses of physicians are happier when they accept that they
will need to function in family life fairly independently of their
physician-mate. This was one of the resounding messages we heard in our
recent, national survey of physician spouses. You must also honor and
facilitate medicine as a part of your family life rather than resenting its
effects. Love your work. Find support from loved ones for your work. Life is
about both love and work. Since the sixties, we have emphasized the love
part of that equation and ignored the work part. If your family is not
supportive of you in the hard work that you are doing, it can be very toxic
to your emotional and physical health.
Protect your boundaries.
Physicians and other busy people married to
physicians need to learn to say no to some of the opportunities and
invitations that are an endless part of a successful career. Choose wisely
how you deal with your most precious commodities: your attention and your
Respect your own mind, body, and spirit.
You cannot have a healthy marriage
unless you are healthy. Physicians spend their careers caring for others but
often do not take fundamental care of themselves. This can result in misery
at home and at work.
Nurture positive personal relationships.
Physicians who have the most
positive personal relationships also tend to be the ones who promote
positive collaboration and collegiality in the workplace. Incidentally,
these same physicians get sued less frequently, are deemed to be better
physicians by their patients, and have better adherence to the medical
interventions they do. Remember, this is a two-sided coin: the quality of
the workplace relationships on one side and the quality of the marriage
relationship on the other.
Physicians typically grow up as doers and achievers,
getting a PhD, so to speak, in denying healthy pleasures, in learning to
self-deny, go numb, and keep on going. To be open, responsive, and able to
grow a relationship, you cannot be numb.
Implement and honor relationship rituals that allow friendship,
communication, and intimacy.
We work with couples who have not had a date in
years, who do not turn the television off when it is time to talk, who only
speak when they are exhausted or angry or irritated. Bear in mind the number
one cause people cite for getting a divorce is a loss of friendship. You
can?t have friendship unless you spend time with a person and give them your
good attention. For physicians who are extraordinarily into their career, I
offer this wisdom: Beware the fatal flaw of every now and then, swooping
into the family and being critical of the partner who is doing the bulk of
the in-the-trenches work. That is the sin that is the hardest to forgive in
medical families. We need to understand that no couple is more challenged
than a medical couple, no family is more challenged across the journey than
medical families, members of no other profession are more challenged than
physicians. To be resilient, you have to take care of business at home and
in the workplace, and the most important requirement for that is caring
connections. In order to promote that, I believe communities of physicians
and their loved ones need to be rallied as emissaries of collaboration and
collegiality. Getting along with each other is one of the greatest ways to
ensure your own resilience and promote the creation of healthy medical
SPIRITUAL DATING CONFERENCE
Minister Vicki Henderson talks to young adults about dating issues during
the Christian Dating Conference at the Canyon Road Assembly of God in Ogden.
Spiritual principles emphasized at Christian dating conference
Sat, Nov 3, 2001
By BETH DOVE Standard-Examiner staff
OGDEN -- Building intimate relationships based on spiritual principles was
the theme of a Christian dating conference aimed at the full spectrum of
daters -- from newcomers to hardened cynics.
But people also need to know that spiritual health doesn"t depend on being
paired, said Vicki Henderson, minister of Integrity Christian Fellowship
Church in Clearfield, which sponsored the event.
"The purpose is to show them they are a whole person, even though they don"t
have somebody else in their lives," Henderson said.
The idea found favor with Marie Minks, 19, who said Utah"s culture exerts
near-constant pressure to wed.
"A lot of times you feel defective because you don"t have a relationship,"
said the Weber State University student. "It"s encouraging to come here and
hear you"re OK."
About 50 youth and adults attended a full day of lectures and activities at
Canyon Road Assembly of God in Ogden, one of several participating churches.
Henderson expressed pride that conference-goers hailed from different
denominations and races.
The day"s theme, "When Adam Goes Looking for Eve," refers to a search that
demands placing the needs of the soul above the body, said guest speaker
Robin Holland, pastor of Living Hope Baptist Church in Colorado.
"The bells and whistles subside," Holland said. "If that"s what your
relationship is based on, you"re in trouble."
Also, when physical attraction takes priority, "you never really get to know
each other, because the deep personal talks are gone," he said.
In another sanctuary, associate pastor Jason Perry and his wife, Sharon,
taught junior high and high school students a similar message: Delay sexual
activity until after marriage and choose dating partners with similar
interests and spiritual ideals.
Perry encouraged the girls to dress modestly and to watch out for signs a
boyfriend could express anger with violence.
"If he will hit you, and he"s just dating you, he"ll do a whole lot more
later," he said.
As an example, Perry told of a teenage girl whose boyfriend, during an
argument, picked up her own graduation cake and stuffed it in her face.
"That should have been a red flag," he said. "But no, she made excuses."
Perry encouraged teens to, instead, set standards and not waste time dating
people who don"t measure up.
Yet the world seems to want people in pairs, said Sylvia Bybee, 43, pointing
out that restaurant tables are designed for parties of two, four or six.
Now a divorced mother, Bybee wants her two daughters, 14 and 16, to avoid
her own mistakes and have "one marriage for a lifetime."
For Bybee, conferences such as this give insight into God"s plan and less
reliance on the standards of society.
"If I"d had more opportunities like this, I would have done things
MOCK WEDDING PROTEST:
This email was sent to cmfce from the web site of Daniel Dick,
- - - - - - - - - - -
This can be outrageously fun! In fact, let's have a race and see who the
first five groups are to successfully pull this off and convincingly perform
a mock wedding ceremony in a public place.
Please email me [ dan at nodivorces.com ] the date, time, and place that your
mock ceremony took place. If possible email me some photo shots of it or
send me a video of it in the mail. I would love to post some onto this web
This may be the most fun you ever had doing something to help your
community and the nation.
Find folks who would enjoy doing a skit in a public place. I think this
skit will blow the socks off folks because nobody will know it's a
skit--they'll think it's a real wedding until it's well underway.
It could be done on the front steps of the halls of justice, or in a
university free speech area, in any place where it's ok--where it is
permitted, but in a very public place.
The cast consists of
* photographer and/or video person
* fill with flower girl, ring bearer, family, friends, bridesmaids,
It's important that people think they're seeing a real wedding. You don't
have to be too elaborate. But, if you want to, you can. You can add
wedding programs and pieces of mock wedding cake for the viewers. A
guestbook for those who would like to learn more and get involved. Some
bumper stickers, business cards, and literature would be great for building
a local chapter. Please let us know so we can add your local chapter,
phone, location, events, etc. to this web site.
Minister: Beloved, we are gathered in the sight of God and man to unite
Jeremy and Linda in wedlock according to the standards of the laws of the
State of California. As you are well aware, marriage is not to be entered
into lightly. Marriage is an institution that will set in place the
foundation of family love for any children you may have, and your
commitment to faithfulness will set an example for your children as well as
others in society around you. Do you understand the significance in
entering this marriage covenant according to the laws of the state of
California (or insert your state here) ?
Groom and Bride: We do. (Look into each others' eyes and smile as brides
and grooms do.)
Minister: Let us proceed. Now, Jeremy, Linda, I want to you take each
others' hands and look into each other's eyes. Jeremy, please repeat after
me. Linda, I love you (Jeremy repeats) and I want you to know that the vows
I say today come from my heart. (repeats) I promise to love and honor you
(repeats) for better or worse (repeats) in sickness and health, for richer
or poorer (repeats). You bring great joy to my life (repeats), and today I
marry you (repeats) for the joy I will receive from you (repeats puzzled a
little), and should that joy end (repeats), should you become seriously ill
(repeats), should we face financial difficulties (repeats), or should I fall
in love with someone new, (repeats) you may be served a restraining order,
(bride and groom are stunned speechless) asked to leave, and asked to stay
away from the children and my new love. You may be asked to pay me and my
new love from the fruits of your labor (alimony and child support) with the
State of California and it's justices serving as my pimp.
Bride and Groom: (ad lib natural responses) What are you doing? Are you
crazy? Who do you think you are to do something like this? What is this?
Minister: I'm so sorry, but I could not marry you with a clear conscience
unless you knew clearly what you were committing yourself to. I could not
lie to you about how the government would hold you accountable. You really
have no right to have a legitimate marriage in the state of California
because no-fault divorce legislation will not allow it.
Bride; I can't believe this. (crying) This is crazy. Are you telling us
that we don't have the right to get married? Are you saying we cannot
commit ourselves to each other?
Groom: (angry and sincere) Listen, I love Linda and I don't want some
cheap, worthless marriage. I want her to know I'm sincere. I want to be
held accountable for my vows to her because I mean them. Are you telling
me I don't have the freedom to do this?
Minister: As long as any state in this nation has a no-fault divorce law,
either of you can flee to that state, take up residency, and file for
divorce. So, no, you don't have the right to enter a real marriage. Every
state in this nation is committed to the destruction of your marriage.
Groom: So, Judges have become the pimps and panderers of the wayward spouse?
Minister: I'm sorry, that is the only kind of marriage available to you in
Groom: This is insane. I don't want this kind of marriage.
Bride: Honey, it's the only kind there is. What are we going to do--remain
Groom: We have to do something about this. I don't want freedom to dump
you. I'm serious about this. I don't want to make some promise to you
that you will always have reason to doubt, and I don't want that kind of
promise from you either. I'm in this for life. But, as long as we live
under this, there will always be some doubt.
Bride: I'm sorry--I don't like it either. What do you want to do?
Minister: Well there are special covenants that are honored in some states
that can provide a little more security--marriage covenants with binding
Groom: Honey, let's go look into these binding arbitration things. I
really love you and want to be with you the rest of our lives, and I want
you to know I will keep my word.
Bride: I love you, Jeremy.
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