Replies - Teach?/Husbands?/Feminists?/adoption web site - 7/02
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Thu Jul 25 00:35:00 EDT 2002
subject: Replies - Teach?/Husbands?/Feminists?/adoption web site - 7/02
from: Smart Marriages
Replies from CSM/NY Times/our own readers......
CAN MARRIAGE BE TAUGHT?
Jul 24, 2002
The Christian Science Monitor
Teaching couples to say 'I do' - and mean it
Your article "Can marriage be taught?" (July 18) is a wonderfully balanced,
calm, informative treatment of marriage education. But precisely because of
that, it might inadvertently mislead readers through the article's failure
to mention the abundant published research that answers the question it
poses: Can marriage be taught and can these programs do it?
Peer-reviewed, published research on marriage education programs'
effectiveness has gone hand in hand with their development over the past two
decades. Summaries of much of this research can be found at
The Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program, the featured program
used in Oklahoma, has shown dramatic results. It has been used in the public
as well as the private sector, and is widely taught in the US Army.
Whether government can teach marriage is largely a nonissue, since the same
curricula are used in the public and private sectors, and many government
programs would actually be delivered by nonprofit agencies assisted by
grants. Experts who call these programs experimental or say "we have no idea
what works" simply have not looked at the research.
Executive Director Americans for Divorce Reform
WHO NEEDS A HUSBAND?
Replies from Rita DeMaria, then from the NY Times:
I can't resist responding. My husband can do laundry, cook, confide,
express himself, is great with the kids, works, is responsible, contributes
to our community, is a wonderful friend to his friends, has good boundaries
and brings excitement and joy to my life, supports my dreams and comforts my
fears, and isn't afraid to learn. I hope I go first to avoid the pain of
losing him, but if I don't, he will be irreplaceable in my life. But I have
learned to trust that a man can love a woman and need her and still be an
equal partner. What a gift he has given me!
I know that there are men who need women for their own selfish needs, but I
think that we are in trouble when we project the image that men are not
important in the lives of women. A loving, powerful, energetic relationship
between two partners is an incredible experience especially as we experience
what life metes out to each of us.
Who needs a husband? I do!
NEW YORK TIMES LETTERS TO THE EDITOR July 24, 2002
Re "Who Needs a Husband?" (Op-Ed, July 17):
Hila Colman makes an observation that I also noted in my book about aging
and romance. Many older women who lost or left their husbands preferred to
spend their golden years living independently, without a man in the house.
They did not lose their desire to have a loving connection with another
person, but enjoyed the freedom from the demands of marriage.
I married and divorced after I wrote that book. I discovered that a woman's
rights are only as great as her income; neither my husband nor the court was
willing to credit me for the time I spent nurturing my husband and his
business interests, creating a home and raising our children.
While our society may pay lip service to family values, the contributions
that women make generally are not paid and therefore not valued.
Marriage doesn't guarantee romance or security, and dating happily ever
after may be more satisfying. Ms. Colman's opinion represents more than just
women in their 70's and beyond.
DEBORAH S. EDELMAN
Berkeley, Calif., July 17, 2002
To the Editor:
Re "Who Needs a Husband?" (Op-Ed, July 17): Hila Colman's article struck a
chord with this aging feminist, but a dissonant one.
Some of us like me escaped early from the marriage trap (the
old-fashioned way I divorced him) and didn't experience the drudgery of
for decades. Much to my surprise, I was lucky enough in my 60's to meet the
man of my dreams and settle down in wedded bliss.
My husband, it's true, was used to being taken care of by a wife who died
after nearly 40 years of marriage, but I found that the caring went both
If there's any way of life better than two mature people deeply in love,
committed to a life together and sharing as many moments as they can with
other, I don't know what it is.
Unhappily, the real problem with such late-life relationships is that they
can end abruptly. My husband died at 72, not four years after we met. I
point is, Don't worry about the laundry. Seize the day.
CAROL WHEELER WEISSBERG
New York, July 17, 2002
To the Editor:
I mourn for the widows of Hila Colman's generation and mine who have
rebelled so strongly against their stereotypical role of caring for someone
have given up on men except as part-time companions (Op-Ed, July 17).
Speaking for the emancipated men of our age (75) who do their own cooking
and laundry, I would say part-time status misses the intense romance and
intimacy that can occur when two healthy and experienced adults live
I have met about 70 women who share Ms. Colman's attitude during my six
years of widowerhood, and I'm still enough of a romantic to believe that
can delight in taking care of and being taken care of.
Sure, I'll do the cooking and laundry, as well as loving.
New Haven, July 18, 2002
To the Editor:
I am sure that 90 percent of the senior women out there felt that Hila
Colman's article was right on the mark ("Who Needs a Husband?," Op-Ed, July
It would seem as if the only solution for a man is to make sure that he
stays in shape both physically and financially and finds himself a younger
is still dedicated to pleasing a man.
ANTHONY R. AMABILE
Ho Ho Kus, N.J., July 17, 2002
Oh, please! This is just another case of blaming someone else because you
didn't think about what you really wanted. If this woman did encounter the
stresses of raising children, perhaps she would be complaining now, "Why
didn't someone tell me how hard it is to be a mother?" Or, "Why didn't
someone tell me you have to work to make a marriage successful?"
Don't blame it on the feminists. If feminists had been heeded about
women's rights in places like Africa and Afghanistan, the world would be a
much better place.
It's a good thing to provide education about fertility, about childrearing,
and about marriage, but it's useless to blame your mother for your own life
decisions. The problem is not fertility. We are still an overpopulated
world. The problem is supporting the children who are already here, and
whose parents didn't do it right, and also supporting future parents and
I hate to hear a grown woman snivel. OK, you miscalculated. But, get over
it. If you really want a child, foster one of the really hurting and needy
ones in your very own community. As a supervisor of counselors in the
community counseling system, I know how much need is out there. For
education, for support,for foster care, for therapy. But not for
Tina B. Tessina, LMFT, PhD
Long Beach, CA 90804
To the 30-40 something childless adults:
There is nothing holding you back from parenting - biological clock or not,
there are thousands of children in the states waiting to be adopted into a
welcoming and supportive home. Imagine the power that could change the
world if every orphan (ward or the state or county) was adopted into a
loving home. I live in MN where we currently have 657 children on the MN
Waiting Children's list - kids whose parents have lost them and lost
themselves. If you desire children - there are many kids who need you. It
is not easy to adopt a child - but what about parenting is easy? Throw out
your self-pity and whining - and take care of someone else than yourself.
Consider adoption. Contact your local county for more information. If you
are truly a feminist, you would consider the power we command to
collectively help today's waiting children - the power to give them a fair
shot and an equal chance at life.
ADOPTION WEB SITE:
Yesterday's USA TODAY (7/23/02) had a full page spread with photos on the
new HHS sponsored adoption web site headlined "ADOPT U.S. KIDS ONLINE"
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