Request for couple/Marriage college courses/Marriage Week/Father Summit/

Smartmarriages ® cmfce at
Sun Jan 27 20:39:19 EST 2002

subject: Couple Request/College courses/Marriage Week/Father Summit -1/02

from: Smart Marriages
We've had dozens and dozens of calls and emails requesting Smart Marriages
information and referrals from these articles.  Hope you can help her. -

Dear Ms. Sollee,

Once again I am looking for an African American couple in their 30-40's
that has been able to save their troubled marriage (domestic violence,
infidelity, jealousy, in-law, physical or financial issues) through some
sort of intervention (marriage education/enrichment or spiritual counseling,

This will be the third installment in what has now become a regular feature
for Essence magazine. (The first is ran in the January issue and is
available on The second will run in March) Response has been
very positive. By sharing individual stories, the couples you have helped
me find have helped other couples find their way.

Can you please ask interested couples to respond to me at
oneall at

As always, I appreciate your help.

Best regards,
Lonnae O'Neal Parker
June 10-12, 2002 in San Antonio, Texas
For more information, go to
When is marriage week?

Marriage Week USA is Feb 7 - 14.

For more info, go to:

Wayne Sotile, co-author of "Supercouple Syndrome" and "The Medical
Marriage," will present "How to Be My Valentine for Life" in Augusta,
Georgia, on Thursday, Jan 31, University Hospital auditorium at 6pm. This
entertaining discussion of cutting-edge information on how to make good
marriages great is open to the public free of charge. For information,
contact Susan Cota at 706-774-5112 or  Wayne and Mary Sotile
will present How to Make Your Good Marriage Great and Suffer from
Supercouple Syndrome? at the July 2002, Smart Marriages conference.

Dear Diane:
I would love to see the data demonstrating Dr. Ellis' claim of 1/39,000 for
those couples who participate in church and prayer life as he claims.
Steve Wood

> "Since the bulk of our nation considers itself Christian, I would not be
> surprised with the similarities between the ratios of the nation at large
> and the ratios among those who would call themselves Christians," Ellis
> said. "What we have discovered, however, is this: born-again Christian
> couples who marry ... in the church after having received premarital
> counseling ... and attend church regularly and pray daily together, that the
> divorce rate is approximately one divorce out of nearly 39,000.
I loved the article on Pinsoff's class at Northwestern. I shall contact him
and get more information. I teach a Marriage & FAmily course at a two-year
college, and even though I'm using the standard Introduction to Marriage &
Family title I don't use the standard M&F textbooks. It's much more along
Pinsoff's lines. It's real, it's practical , and it uses many of the works
of many of the people who present at Smart Marriages. I think of my class as
Marriage & Family for non-majors and hope other colleges will do the same.
Marline Pearson 
- - - - - - - 
You know Dennis Lowe and Emily Scott-Lowe at Pepperdine.  They teach a
course at our Law School for married law students and their spouses.  The
course is for law students and their spouses are required to be in the
class.  It has been very successful.  I taught it for many years before
them, but I usually had graduate students assisting me.  Their husband/wife
team is a great model for people in high stress professions. They can be
reached at dlowe at
Clarence Hibbs
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Les and Leslie Parrott at Seattle Pacific University in Seattle teach a
relationship class at their university.  They recently made a presentation
to the staff in our office and would be a terrific resource.

Vince Herberholt
- - - - - - - -  - 
Diane, This is Optimal Model of Marriage discussion is from a lecture I gave
to my Psychology of Well-Being class. It might be of interest to the Smart
Marriage list and those teaching marriage classes.  - Barry McCarthy

When advocating for change there are 4 dimensions:
1.Optimal Model
2.Acceptable Variations
3.Tolerable Alternatives
4.Unacceptable Behaviors

The Optimal Model for Marriage involves an aware, planful process of partner
choice with full discussion of strengths and vulnerabilities, including no
major secrets; be at least 21 and know each other for at least 1 year; take
a marriage preparation course.  In addition to a respectful, trusting
relationship, have a genuine sexual attraction; a commitment to a satisfying
and stable marriage; allow at least 2 years to build a marital bond before
having a child; have positive, realistic expectations about marriage and
marital stresses; and a shared commitment to avoid marital poisons,
especially violence or coercion and extra-marital affairs. Develop and
refine conflict resolution and problem-solving skills; develop an intimate,
pleasurable, and erotic couple sexual style; and be willing to seek
professional intervention when a marital or sexual problem is approaching or
in the acute stage.

Acceptable Variations include the choice of not having children; functional
stepfamilies with a solid marital bond; good enough marriages with involved
parenting; and continued marital therapy or self-help groups to keep
marriage viable.

Tolerable Alternatives include support for gay people and relationships, not
marrying, single parents and the challenges of single parent families, and
divorce for fatally flawed, violent and destructive marriages.

Examples of Unacceptable Behavior include instrumental violence to control
the spouse, marriage with the hidden agenda of sexual attraction to the
woman's children, and a sham marriage to achieve financial security.

The function of this 4-dimension model is to construct a pro-marriage
framework. while accepting individual, relational, cultural, and value



RE: the Heatherington "news."

I have taught a class on the effects of divorce on children for 16 years.
This is an "old battle" that never goes away. Yes, the Heatherington
research is important and shows (what anyone who has look at the research
has always known) some children are better off if their parents divorce and
some are not.

The problem I have with the Heatherington research is that since the 60's we
have defined a 10% adolescent pregnancy rate as a national disgrace and have
called upon society and government to make heroic effort and spend LOTS of
money to reduce this rate. AND yet, now we are told that in the case of
divorce a 20% to 25% rate of "deeply scared" children is GREAT news.

No wonder there is such slow progress in marriage/divorce law reform.

Robert Billingham, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Human Development and Family Studies
Indiana University
Bloomington Indiana


> A woman in my online group was being very negative about her husband and the
> group leader told her to try to think of some positives, even if it were
> difficult.

When I become a marriage and family therapist, I think this is the very
first assignement I plan to give my couples to do - it might be the easiest
solution one could think of.

Then you should study with Michele Weiner-Davis - she has people do this and
then try to catch their partners doing something good and praise it - to
focus on the positives and the times when things are going right, and to do
things that will expand those moments.   And so on.  - diane

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6th annual Smart Marriages conference/Washington, DC
July 9 - 16, 2002

List your program in the Directory of Classes at

Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education, LLC (CMFCE)
Diane Sollee, Director
5310 Belt Rd NW,   Washington, DC 20015-1961  202-362-3332
cmfce at

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