North VA Summit/John Gray/Chronic Illness/Brides-8/04
Smart Marriages ®
Mon Aug 23 16:25:06 EDT 2004
subject: North VA Summit/John Gray/Chronic Illness/Brides-8/04
- LOUDOUN COUNTY/NORTHERN VIRGINIA HEALTHY MARRIAGE SUMMIT SEPT 25
- MARRIAGE AND CHRONIC ILLNESS
- MARS AND VENUS IN A NEW LIGHT
- REACHING BRIDAL MAGAZINES?
- LOUDOUN COUNTY/NORTHERN VIRGINIA HEALTHY MARRIAGE SUMMIT SEPT 25
The Purcellville Town Council has issued a proclamation in support of the
Loudoun County Healthy Marriage Initiative - more evidence of the good
response to the initiative and the mobilization of our community.
We invite those interested to attend the Loudoun County Marriage Summit on
Sept 25 in Leesburg, VA from 8-10am. Please also plan to send couples for
marriage mentor training on November 5 & 6. Find more information and
register at www.vachurchalliance.org.
Loudoun Church Alliance
Jackstagman at adelphia.net
- MARRIAGE AND CHRONIC ILLNESS
> Hello Diane,
> We received a call yesterday from a couple requesting marriage
> mentoring. The husband is suffering from renal failure and requires dialysis
> three times a week. The disease and financial drain is causing a lot of
> stress in their marriage. Does anyone on the Smartmarriages email list have
> data showing how severe illnesses impact married couples? (eg martial
> satisfaction, divorce rate, etc).
> Dick & Carol Cronk
> Christian Life Center Marriage Builders Ministry, Dayton, OH
> cronkra at erinet.com
I'm sure Wayne Sotile can help not only with data but with ways to help. He
received rave reviews for his session in Dallas on working to strengthen
marriages in couples facing chronic illness.
Here is the description of his 90-minute workshop in Dallas. Order the tape
or CD at 800-241-7785. More and more marriages will be facing these issues
as Baby Boomers age.
> After the Diagnosis: Marriage Matters!
> Wayne Sotile, PhD
> Good marital functioning is never more important than when facing chronic
> illness. Learn a practical, tested model to help couples not just manage but
Here is his listing from the Smart Marriages Directory of Programs that
includes his contact information:
> Marriage Skills
> Wayne Sotile, PhD, and Mary Sotile, MA
> Learn the skills resilient couples of all ages use to enrich or revive
> friendship, communication, and passion. Based on insights from more than 7,000
> couples and 25 years of health psychology and marital research. Since 1978,
> the Sotiles have taught marriage skills in motivational keynotes, one-day, and
> weekend seminars. Tailored Marriage Skills programs are available for: engaged
> couples, busy couples, empty nesters, heart patients, and physicians at your
> location. See website for? schedule.
> Real Talk, Inc.
> 1396 Old Mill Circle
> Winston-Salem, NC 27103
> Toll free: 336-765-3032
> Email: wsotile at attglobal.net
> Web:? www.MarriageSkills.info
- MARS AND VENUS IN A NEW LIGHT
Sept issue of Good News
Mars and Venus. Simple enough. John Gray wrote a lot of books, and helped
couples master some of the essential communication differences between women
and men. I?ve never been a huge fan of John Gray?s, but I have always
respected his ability to translate couples research into something usable
for the general public. At Smart Marriages this past summer John gave a
luncheon talk. He was funny, he was honest, and he taught even this old dog
a few new tricks. I may have become a fan.
Of course John stayed with his essential theme that women and men are
fundamentally different in their communication. What he expanded, however,
was a focus on the essential humanness of wives and husbands. It?s such a
simple concept that it is easily overlooked. Everyone needs to feel loved
and appreciated. The secret to marital happiness, according to John, is to
understand what makes the other feel loved and appreciated, and provide it.
It?s often difficult to take a partner?s perspective x to see what they see
and understand it the way they understand it. We make it so complicated.
Although understanding and agreeing are essentially different, couples often
treat them the same way: If I understand what you are saying and
experiencing, then I must also agree with you. This causes many couples to
be unable to act understanding toward one another. When you do not behave
in an understanding way, your partner cannot experience your love and
appreciation. To love another, we have to view their world from their lens,
and to give them the experience of our love we need to attend to them on
their own terms, not on ours. Lets drift back into the simplified language
of John Gray: Why is Man?s best friend a dog rather than his wife?
After a long day away from home, you are driving into your garage. As you
put your hand on the door to go in, what is your greatest desire? If you
are a man, you want to be wanted, and want others to be happy that you are
home. Dogs are always happy to see you. Dogs wag their tail even when
they?re tired, hungry, and want to go out. They don?t say, "Hey, why didn?t
you put out fresh water before you left this morning?" they say, "Alright!
You?re just the guy I want to see." It is their nature to wag their tails
and welcome us under all circumstances.
I?m hearing the wives out there: "Sure, he?s a man, so he understand men.
But what about women?" He brought it down to the language of wallets and
purses. Men simplify, they typically own one wallet, and frequently have it
as light as they can make it. Women put their wallets inside of one of
their many purses, of various shapes and sizes, and are the antithesis of
their male partners. Men travel light, women shoulder as much as they can.
Most purses are full of the little stuff. It?s the little stuff that makes
women happy, and the little stuff that makes them crazy. It is common that
women whose lives feel burdensome, or out of control, carry around very
large purses. Purses big enough to carry the weight of the world. Rather
than putting their purses down, and lightening the load, they labor with it
until it is noticed and shared. They carry their purses, with their stuff,
their husband?s stuff, and their children?s stuff. They may also pick up
stuff along the way. Women welcome the opportunity to connect with
important others about the load that they are carrying. When they get home
after a long day they want someone to notice, and to give them an
opportunity to share the stuff that makes up their burdens. They do not
want to hand off their stuff, they do not want help in shedding their stuff;
they just want someone to want to learn about it with them. Listening is
caring. Thoughtfulness is caring. Frequent caring, according to John, is
what women need to experience. Don?t buy a dozen roses and give it as one
bouquet of thoughtfulness on a single day. Give a single rose each month of
the year to show you care all year long.
John has related this perspective to the biochemistry of Mars and Venus that
provide evidence that being right, and being the hero is important for men?s
peace of mind, and that being cared for and connected is important for
women?s peace of mind. It makes sense. It?s simple. It might just work.
At Smart Marriages you are able to purchase copies of the presentations, so
I obtained my own copy of the talk so that I could share it with my husband
during our road trip to Yosemite. Some of John?s ideas have found their
way into our ways of understanding each other, and some parts of our
relationship are just better because of it. Now I find myself telling
every couple I know to buy a copy of his tape and listen to it with each
other. In fact, it would be a great idea to have it as a couple?s study x
listen to the talk, and use it as a springboard for discussion and support.
So as I write this article, on the eve of my 17th wedding anniversary, I
remember the "secrets to marital longevity" that are found in the very words
used in marriage ceremonies today:
_ "Honor and keep the vows and promises you make until death do you part."
Leaving takes a number of forms, only one of which is physically leaving.
Abuse, addiction, and affairs are all ways of psychologically and faithfully
leaving the marriage without physically leaving. Decide not to leave.
_ "Each be to the other a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity, a
comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy." It?s the little things that
_ "Give them such fulfillment of their mutual affection that they may reach
out in love and concern for others." Couples can over work their
relationships, give too much focus on their ailments, and be so
self-absorbed that they are unable to look beyond themselves and their
relationships. Reaching out creates a triangle, which has a built in
balancing function for the couple. Don?t be afraid to reach out.
(You can obtain your own copy of John Gray?s Plenary speech by going to the
SmartMarriages.com web site and clicking on the 2004 Smart Marriages
conference information. There is a link to the company that produces the
copies of the talks.)
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It's pretty clear as I read the evaluations, that if a Smart Marriages
attendee wasn't already a big John Gray fan before the conference, they
probably are after seeing this luncheon presentation - the most highly-rated
session at the conference. That means on the evaluations where we ask "What
was your favorite session at the conference?" he won hands down. I also know
it was the most talked about session - people identified - felt like he was
describing them and their marriage. You can order the keynote of his
session on video tape, DVD, audio cassette or CD at 800-241-7785.
Vicki Loyer-Carlson who wrote this article also presented at the Dallas
Smart Marriages Conference also in a VERY highly rated session, Relate With
> to order session #754-703 at 800-241-7785:
> Relate With Your Mate
> Vicki Loyer-Carlson, PhD
> This program uses the RELATE inventory, Gottman conflict styles & a host of
> skills in a teach-out-of-the-box format to enhance any marriage ed program or
> with private couples. Marketing tips.
- REACHING BRIDAL MAGAZINES? - and help them help themselves?
> Diane, I've been a subscriber on the list for over a year and had to write..
> I am getting re-married in a few weeks, and like most excited brides I'm
> pouring over bridal magazines looking for ideas for my wedding. Most of it is
> vendors droning on about how important it is to have the "right" dress,
> flowers, food, limo, etc. blah, blah..(BUT, I know that stuff has nothing to
> do with keeping a marriage together).
> I never saw anything in the magazines about what it really takes to make a
> marriage work. And this is supposed to be advice for brides. Until today! In
> the Fall/Winter issue of Wedding Bells, page 84, there's an article called
> "Lessons for Life". It's all about marriage education! Amazing!Finally! You
> are quoted several times. Check it out.
> Claudette Rotella
It is amazing Bride Magazines don't realize that their readers long for this
information. It seems like it would be a no-brainer marketing decision to
weave info about how to build successful marriages in among the ads for
bridal gowns. I'm on the editorial board at Wedding Bells. Wish we could
infiltrate more of these magazines and our target audience. Would certainly
help us get our job done. Ideas? - diane
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