replies - PSAs/Veal cutlets/Husband class/cohabitation - 1/16/02

Smartmarriages ® cmfce at
Wed Jan 16 20:49:01 EST 2002

subject: replies - PSAs/Veal cutlets/Husband class/cohabitation - 1/16/02

from: Smart Marriages

In today's article about the defeat of the Virginia legislation, it says:
> McDonnell said several other states require premarital counseling.
This isn't true, is it?
Scott M. Stanley, Ph.D.

No, it isn't true.  There is NO state that requires premarital counseling.
There are states that offer incentives for couples to take premarital
education courses through reductions in marriage license fees and a shorter
wait for the license for those who take the classes.  Those states are:
Florida, Maryland, Oklahoma and Minnesota.

The Greater Grand Rapids Community Marriage Policy has developed 3 PSA TV
commercials on marriage (which are relatively specific to Grand Rapids), as
well as a radio spot that was designed specifically to be remixed for use in
other communities (the theme is hope for your distressed marriage, with
voices from a variety of ethnic groups).  We'd be happy to share whatever
materials we have with others.

Mark Eastburg
> I've seen so many postings on marriage of a Christian bent. There are many
> from a Jewish perspective too. I'm sure that other religions have good
> writings on making a marrige work as well. It might be helpful to separate any
> writings or comments according to religion and then according to a
> non-religious/general catagory.  ABILOON

Great idea.  Problem is there's just me here - no helpers and I'm already
swamped. Creating categories will have to be done in the heads of those who
read the posts - or file them, or whatever you do with them.

And this is a good time to reply to other suggestions - I get at least one
of these a day.  Send only one item per post. OR, don't send so many posts,
combine them all and send only one a day.  Or, one a week. Then there are
the two recurring complaints - "too much about legislation, research, dry
stuff" OR "too much corny, wild stuff about affairs, marriage, singles,
divorce"  As the saying goes, you can't please all the people....   If the
traffic is too much (and I can see that it could be) - or the topics
annoying, unsubscribe (on the web site) and visit the newslist archive when
you're in the mood. Then you can browse and read only the ones you want to
read, at your own pace.    - diane
Diane, just an FYI: This article is actually more than two years old. A
nexis search finds that it first appeared on Jan 10, 2000. -

You're right!  It sounded familiar.  It turns out I ran it on our list as "A
Class Feminists Might Abhor" - March 5, 2000.  It was sent to me again
yesterday and I didn't check the archive.  Which I think means it's still
making the rounds in various papers across the country in this rewritten
version? - but  it's clearly about the same class taught by the same woman.
Wonder if she's even still teaching it?  I envy you that you have nexis!

SPEAKING OF HUSBAND CLASSES, at the July Smart Marriages conference,
Neil Clark Warren will present a seminar on FINDING THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE
that identifies the 29 factors crucial to successful mate selection and that
improve the odds of not just finding 'em, but staying happy.

And, Scott Haltzman will teach a "HUSBAND course" -  WIN YOUR WIFE'S HEART
FOREVER.  It's for men only.

Of course, all the sessions at the conference will help you with this -
finding ways to help couples keep each other happy.
 - diane 

Marriage doesn't have to grow stale with the passing of years.   Ann
and I have been married 42 years and it's still an exciting ride.
You have to work at it.   If you're willing to invest a little
energy in creativity, you can keep the excitement going twenty,
thirty, forty, fifty years and beyond.

How do you do that?  I don't know all the techniques of keeping a
marriage exciting, but I'm sure I know of at least one thing that
works remarkably well.  EXPRESS APPRECIATION OFTEN!

In one of his famous Lake Woebegon monologues, humorist Garrison
Keillor described a long married couple.   Every night the husband
consumed a generous portion of the same menu offering.  (Breaded
veal cutlets as I recall).   Every night over the course of four
decades, the husband devoured the cutlets, wiped his face with a
napkin, pushed his chair away from the table and looked his wife in
they eye.   He smiled at her and spoke in a tender voice, "That's the
best you've ever done."    It may sound monotonous to you, but to her
his words of appreciation sounded like sweet music.

When Ann and I married, we drove to Fort Worth, Texas and spent the
night.  We got married on Saturday night, got up early the next
morning and drove to a small West Texas town where I delivered one
of the most pitiful sermons I've ever preached.   We went out to
dinner on Sunday evening and went to a movie on Monday.   On Tuesday
morning, I reported for work on a construction project.  That was our
honeymoon.   I don't really recommend doing it that way, but it did
give us a lot of room for improvement in terms of building an
exciting relationship.

By way of contrast, consider today's affluent newlyweds.   They may
book a cruise to some spot in the Caribbean or fly to Europe.   They
stay in the finest hotels, dine on elaborate cuisine and experience
just about every luxury they've dreamed of up to that point in time.
 That doesn't leave them a whole lot of room for building
excitement.  Often the flavor has gone out of the marriage by the
time the honeymoon ends.  They begin focusing on one another's
faults.  They settle into a pattern of complaining and faults become
magnified.  Criticizing gets to be a daily habit.   They would never
be able to understand the guy who would praise his wife's breaded
veal cutlets every night.

I really enjoy certain foods. Lasagna is one of them and Ann makes
delicious lasagna. I'm not sure how I well I would handle it if Ann
fed me lasagna every evening. She probably wouldn't hear me say,
"That's the best you've ever done."  However, I do know that
praise resonates quite well in our relationship. The more we
display thoughtful consideration and express genuine appreciation,
the more we grow as a couple.

This clip is from the All About Families free e-newsletter & is by
Norm Bales, Editor
Subscribe by sending a message to
 aaf at with the Subject line SUBSCRIBE FAMILY
Don't know whether you've seen this article, but it is from the Fall 2001
issue of the Leadership Journal, an influential Conservative Christian
Journal aimed at Church leaders.    See it at:

Where Have All the Marrieds Gone?

Traditional couples are still the majority, but just barely.

"Watch the changing attitudes toward marriage," contributing editor Lyle
Schaller alerted us. "That's the next big issue for the church." Three
reports over the next three weeks confirmed why he's the guru of church

The next big issue, it appears, is not the role of women in the church or
homosexuality; it's the growing aversion to marriage itself and the
corresponding acceptance of cohabitation, sex included, by evangelicals.

The statistics: New analysis of census data confirms a major trend, the
decline of the two-parent family and a sharp increase in unmarried couples
and people living alone.

» In the year 2000, there were 54.5 million married-couple households, 52
percent of the nation's 105.5 million households. That means 48 percent of
all adult householders are unmarried. Ten years ago, married couples
constituted 55 percent of households.

» Unmarried partner households are up 72 percent to 5.5 million, 7 percent
of all adults.

» Single-mom households total 7.5 million, 9 percent of all households, an
increase of 25 percent. A third of all babies are born to unmarried women
whose median age is now late 20s.

» The number of one-person households, at 26 percent, is up 21 percent in
ten years and has doubled since 1960.

Traditional households are declining, but single moms aren't the only
factor. We're living longer, having children later, and postponing marriage.

More people are simply moving in together and finding it accepted.

The attitudes: Gallup reports 60 percent of Americans find nothing wrong
with premarital sex, and 52 percent say living together is okay.

Young Christians increasingly support cohabitation. A study by Evangelical
Alliance found that 33 percent of British evangelicals, ages 18 to 35, say
they have no problem with living together. That's up from 28 percent
approval only six years ago. The 33 percent still trails 83 percent approval
by non-Christians there, but is likely an indicator of shifting opinions
among Christians worldwide.
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6th annual Smart Marriages conference/Washington, DC
July 9 - 16, 2002

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