Still Married/Marriage Savers/Infidelity/Cost of Divorce-7/03
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Thu Jul 17 16:24:37 EDT 2003
subject: Still Married/Marriage Savers/Infidelity/Cost of Divorce-7/03
from: Smart Marriages®
- STILL MARRIED
- TEN THINGS TEENS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MARRIAGE
- NOT JUST FRIENDS: MUST-HAVE TAPE
- MARRIAGE SAVERS TRAINING DATES
- DIVORCE EXACTS STIFF TOLL ON U.S.
- REBIRTH OF THE STAY-AT-HOME MUM
- STILL MARRIED
I recently purchased a new home. and, driving around the neighborhood, my
eye caught a car that was decorated with streamers, balloons and shaving
cream. How sweet, I thought, someone just got married. When I got closer I
was able to read the wording on the rear window. It said "STILL MARRIED!" I
could help but smile. I've been a subscriber to the Smart Marriages
newsletter for a year. I thought "Now, THAT'S what it's all about!"
- TEN THINGS TEENS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MARRIAGE
We're all always wishing someone would come up with a piece that's an
appealing, eye-catching, plain-speaking summary of the research and stats on
marriage and cohabitation - suitable for teens! Well, this is it! We've
got to start with the kids - with the next marrying generation - and this
pamphlet gives you the perfect tool. If you missed the Smart Marriages
conference, you missed the release of these incredible pamphlets - we gave
out free samples at the lunch keynote, but you can order them at
www.dibblefund.org. Put your contact info on them and get busy blanketing
your community and helping teens get smart about marriage. What they don't
know can hurt them. If you're already using them, we'd like to hear stories
of how/where and how they're being received. - diane
> Ten Things Teens Should Know About Marriage
> David Popenoe and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead
> According to recent surveys of American teens, most expect to get married
> someday, yet they often have little information about how to prepare for
> marital success in the future.
> Since teens begin to draw roadmaps for their future during their high school
> years, the Dibble Fund for Marriage Education has commissioned a marriage
> facts brochure for teens and the people who work with them.
> Teen-friendly, brief, concise and supported by solid social science
> research, the brochure enumerates some of the ways teens can influence their
> own chances of having a successful marriage in their future. In ten simple
> statements, the brochure addresses skill development, relationships and
> marriage education, the importance of making good choices in youthful
> relationships, the advantages of postponing marriage past the teen years and
> the choices and habits that may have a negative impact on marriage.
> This is a tool that will give teachers, parents and teens themselves a solid
> factual basis for thinking and talking about marriage.
> From: The Dibble Fund for Marriage Education.
> For additional information contact: Kay Reed at 1 (800) 695-7975,
> KayReed at DibbleFund.org
- NOT JUST FRIENDS: MUST-HAVE TAPE
I just watched the Shirley Glass video from the Smart Marriages conference
and wish I could make it required viewing/listening for everyone in the
coalition. I want all of us to have this info under our belt, and in our
Guerilla Divorce Busting arsenals. We can't strengthen marriages unless we
deal directly and preventatively with infidelity. This applies to helping
couples know the danger signs and helping them learn the skills of
commitment and the skills to protect themselves from the slippery slope - to
keep good people in good marriages from slipping over the edge. It also
includes the information needed to help couples recover from infidelity - if
we're too late with some to prevent infidelity, at least we can help prevent
unnecessary divorces. This session is the most all-inclusive, helpful
presentation anyone could hope for. It should be part of all newlyweds gift
package! It's clear - and entertaining - and I can give it my
enthusiastic, unqualified endorsement. It also was among the top 5 highest
rated sessions at the entire conference so all the rest of you would also
give it your strongest endorsement. Available on audio tape, audio CD or
videotape at 800-241-7785.
> NOT Just Friends: A New Crisis of Infidelity
> Shirley Glass, PhD
> Good people in good marriages are having affairs. Clarify commitment, validate
> rational jealousy and construct "walls & windows" to keep friendship from
> crossing the line at work & on the Internet.
- MARRIAGE SAVERS
Dear Mr. Brown,
Diane sent me your email asking about Marriage Saver Training. We
will be training clergy and mentor couples:
Sept. 5-6: Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Sept. 12-12: Winston Salem, NC
Sept. 26-7, Tulsa
Oct. 10-11: Dalton, GA
Feb. 6-7: Farmington, NM
You are welcome to come and be trained at any of these events for
$400 which includes your materials. Register by calling the number below.
Michael J. McManus
Founder & President
- DIVORCE EXACTS STIFF TOLL ON U.S.
Divorce exacts stiff toll on U.S.
By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
>From child care assistance to enforcing child support payments, divorce
costs the nation about $33.3 billion annually, according to a new report.
The study by Utah State University researcher David Schramm also includes a
state-by-state analysis, pegging the cost of divorce in Utah at close to
$300 million a year.
Rather than condemn divorce, which remains at about 50
percent of first marriages, the study aims at providing an estimate of
financial costs of divorce on government budgets, Schramm said.
"About 30 percent of the divorces in the United States involve marital
relationships with a high degree of conflict," said Schramm, who works in
USU's family, consumer and human extension service. "Divorce in these
situations is most often in the best interest of those involved."
That said, it also is widely recognized that the bulk of divorces have
negative consequences for families.
"Women's income drops, they are more likely to experience poverty,
and children are more likely to experience lower levels of education,"
Less understood is "what it's costing state and federal
governments in matter of hard dollars," he said.
Schramm's analysis estimates the direct and indirect governmental costs for
2000. Direct costs include public housing assistance, food stamps, welfare
assistance and Medicaid; indirect costs include juvenile delinquency,
substance abuse and other social problems, which Schramm acknowledged were
difficult to estimate.
In calculating direct costs, he estimated 10 percent to 30 percent of those
by related governmental agencies are spent supporting people who are
Schramm averaged both costs out over all divorces, although
not all couples seek government aid.
In the United States, there were 1.1 million divorces in 2000; in Utah,
there were 9,735 in 2001.
The report is believed to be the second attempt to put a price tag on the
impact of divorce on state and federal budgets.
Five years ago, University of Virginia sociologist Steven Nock presented a
paper at a Smart Marriages conference that estimated divorce costs in the
United States at $11 billion, but his study included no estimate of indirect
costs because they are difficult to calculate.
To the extent that poverty, poor health, juvenile delinquency and
school problems are produced by divorce, then there are large economic
consequences, Nock told The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday.
"It is the legitimate role of our government to monitor and regulate our
economy," he said. "Historically, divorce has been viewed as a personal
problem rather than a public health issue, or public economic issue.
"The reason I presented my paper five years ago on this subject was to draw
attention to the larger implications of divorce."
An alternative argument can be made, too, Nock said, that the divorce
industry is economically beneficial.
"It is an open question, at the moment, as to whether divorce is more
economically costly or more economically beneficial to our overall society,"
Theodora Ooms, senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social
Policy, a think tank in Washington, called the USU analysis "at best a rough
She said the report may actually underestimate the financial costs. Expenses
incurred by separated, but not legally divorced, couples aren't included,
"The exact figure is not of as much interest as the consciousness-raising of
public education this paper provides in thinking about what the costs
consist of," Ooms said.
People are comfortable talking about the public consequences of alcoholism,
drunken driving and smoking, but that recognition is now growing for
divorce, she said.
"It kind of legitimizes government action in this area as well as community
action," Ooms said.
Such government efforts are wide ranging. They include premarital
counseling, marriage strengthening conferences and family wellness seminars.
In Oklahoma, for example, Gov. Frank Keating has committed to reducing his
state's divorce rate one-third by 2010. Four states -- Florida, Maryland,
Minnesota and Oklahoma -- reduce marriage license fees for couples who
participate in premarital counseling.
Utah is among several states that offers marriage conferences. The state
also makes available a healthy-marriage video at county clerk offices.
Schramm recently released the study at the Smart Marriages Conference in
Reno, Nev., and said his work is under review for publication.
badams at sltrib.com
© Copyright 2003, The Salt Lake Tribune.
You can get a copy of the Steve Nock session on audiotape at 800-241-7785 -
tape #759-406. - diane
> #406 - Calculating the Financial Cost of Divorce
> Steve Nock, PhD
> Divorce increases poverty, illness, delinquency, violence, unwanted pregnancy,
> & reduces worker and school productivity. Yet it also increases demands for
> goods, employment, & services! How do we measure the overall costs to the
> nation, a county or a state?
- REBIRTH OF THE STAY-AT-HOME MUM
Here's another one on mom's at home. - diane
The Age (Melbourne)
12 July 2003
Rebirth of the stay-at-home mum
By Caroline Overington
America invented the working mother. But many professional women in the US
now want to stay home with baby, reports Caroline Overington.
Here is an intriguing statistic from the recent US census: rather than
giving birth and delivering the baby straight to a nanny, American women
are increasingly staying home to look after their children. The trend is
regarded as radical indeed in the United States because it was, after all,
American women who led the campaign to get women into the workforce and for
them to be able to stay there once their babies were born. It now seems
that some women - particularly high-achieving women who can afford to stay
home - are rethinking the hard-fought privileges and ditching the boardroom
to be stay-at-home mums.
Writer Danielle Crittenden, the daughter of the late Australian sports
reporter Max Crittenden, lives with her husband, former White House speech
writer David Frum, and their three children in Washington, DC. She thinks
she understands this trend, and her novel about a stay-at-home mum, amanda
bright at home, is selling well in the US.
"Today's professional women aren't thrilled by the idea of spending long
hours in the office when they have a baby at home," says Crittenden, who
grew up in Australia. "They don't see work as a glamorous frontier that
needs to be conquered. They grew up as latchkey kids (those whose parents
were frequently absent before or after school) or in a family where there
has been a divorce, and they want something different for their own
Crittenden, the mother of a daughter, 11, a son, 9, and an 18-month-old
baby, noticed her friends questioning whether to return to work quickly.
They were highly educated and motivated professionals. Then they got
married and had babies, and were "totally unprepared" for how it changed
"They had fully expected to go back to work, and were shocked when they
discovered they didn't want to. I think many of them saw it as a kind of
status symbol, that they could afford to give up a $200,000-a-year job,
still have the suburban mansion and the private schools, because their
husbands were doing so well. But they also wanted to be there for their
Last month, the US Census Bureau reported that the number of stay-at-home
mums was up by 13 per cent in less than a decade. Experts put it down to
the economic boom of the 1990s, which allowed some families to give up a
second income. The increasing numbers of Hispanics in America has
contributed, because they tend to be more socially conservative, expecting
women to stay at home with young children.
Stay-at-home mums are still a minority in the US - 25 per cent of children
in two-parent families have a mother who does not work. But their numbers
are growing, with 55 per cent of women returning to the labour force within
a year of giving birth in 1999, down from 59 per cent the previous year. In
Australia, recent Bureau of Statistics figures show that 62.5 per cent of
women returned to work with a year of their baby's birth.
In Crittenden's novel, the central character, Amanda Bright, was raised to
be career-oriented by her feminist mother. When her first child, Ben, is
born, she goes straight back to work. But it does not work out. When Amanda
drops Ben at the day care centre, she can hear his cries from the car park,
even with "the windows rolled up and the radio switched on". Amanda puts up
with this for a few years because she wants to keep her career on track
but, when her second child is born, she decides to stay home. That does not
immediately work out either: the family misses her income and she feels
bored, insecure and under-appreciated.
"At least when Amanda had held a job, men listened to what she had to say,"
Crittenden writes. "Now who was she in the eyes of men but a house elf, a
drone, a low-status person they had to endure only if she were seated next
to them at a dinner party?"
The story has resonated with many professional women who also found it
difficult to give up their careers, even though they loved spending time
with their children. Mary James, the founder of Moms Clubs in America, says
it was a hard decision to leave work, because she had just landed her dream
"But my baby was like a bungy cord on my heart - whenever I thought about
leaving her to go to the office, BOING, I wanted desperately to be with
her," James says. "I finally realised that if I returned to work ... I
wouldn't be raising her, the day care person would be.
"In the 1970s and 1980s, we bought into the idea that smart women should be
in the office, earning an income and being independent. But the longer we
did that, the more tired we became and the more we realised that while our
brains might like the office, our hearts wanted to be home with our kids."
Like many women, James is "not one of those who gets a kick out of
housekeeping, and I do get tired of reading the same book out loud for the
20th time. Creative things to do with my kids don't come easy to me."
Besides, James was often lonely, which was why she began the Moms Clubs.
After bad weather dashed the first three monthly meetings in a local park,
she hired a room at a local library. "In the next three months, we went
from a handful of mums to over 30 mothers."
Now there are 1800 chapters of the Moms Club, and several other clubs that
report strong membership. Besides Crittenden's popular book, there has been
a flurry of publications, such as All Mothers Work: a Guilt-Free Guide for
the Stay-at-Home Mom, and Staying Home: From Full-Time Professional to
And the National Association of At-Home Mothers has started a magazine, At
Home Mother, which tackles such topics as "What to say when people ask:
'And what do you do?' ". The correct response is: "I'm a full-time mum."
Says Crittenden: "What's so embarrassing about saying, 'I am raising my own
Crittenden, like her peers, can afford not to worry about status in
marriage and in society because she has no financial need to work and has
support at home. She has a husband, a part-time nanny, a career, a home
office and the ability to set her own hours.
She realises she is blessed, which is why she stresses that her main
character, Amanda, was not moulded from her own experience, despite many
reviewers pointing out similarities. Crittenden has what surveys show most
women want: a mix of paid work and time with their children.
But she comes in for some heat from feminists, who think she is a
hypocrite. Her first book, What Our Mothers Didn't Tell Us, encouraged
women to back away from sexual freedom and careers in favour of marriage
Critics say Crittenden's new book promotes a lifestyle she would never
dream of adopting. Crittenden disagrees.
"What I hear feminists saying is, 'Women should go to work, because that's
more fulfilling than staying home raising babies', or else they say men
should do more of the child-rearing, so women can do more of the paid work,
and I just think those ideas are dead.
"What I see modern, professional women saying (to their husbands) is, 'No,
I don't want you to look after the baby so I can go to the office. I want
you to be a manly man, and go to work and make a lot of money, so I can
stay home, and be with my children."
Picture: Julia Tanner, of Arlington, Virginia, was a lawyer before she had
her daughter six months ago. Now she has given up work and is president of
the Mothers of North Arlington club.
Picture: Author Danielle Crittenden.
Caroline Overington is The Age New York correspondent.
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