Tango/Joe Jones on TV/Managing Conflict/Japan facing Dearth - 12/04
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Mon Dec 13 16:16:02 EST 2004
- REACH 100,000 TARGETED READERS: SEMINARS, BOOKS, TAPES, ETC
- DO THIS ONE THING FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE
- JOE JONES AND BRUCE WILLIS IN "TRUE DADS" DOCUMENTARY: FRI DEC 17
- UNTIL DEARTH DO US PART:JAPAN
I'd be happy to hand out conference postcards but I remember last year you
sent me flyers that had lots more information. These had the puzzle piece
and info on the front and back. I think they even listed the institutes.
Could I get some of those to post around school?
You can download the flyer and print up an many as you need from the website
Or, if that doesn't work for you, let me know how many to send you - and
where to send them.
I'll send as many flyers or postcards as anyone needs. For all the
expensive ads we put in professional newspapers, it's the postcards or
flyers handed to someone by an enthusiastic spokesperson - someone who tells
them WHY they will love this conference - that works. Almost everyone that
attends the conference says they heard about it "by word of mouth" - that's
YOU. - diane
- REACH 100,000 TARGETED READERS: SEMINARS, BOOKS, TAPES, ETC
Tango, a new upscale lifestyle magazine launching this February is offering
a special marketing opportunity to Smart Marriages Coalition members.
Tango covers communication, career, sex, money, leisure, home, spirituality,
family, and culture all through the unique lens of love and relationships.
Tango offers a rich mix of gripping stories, expert advice, celebrations of
enduring love, and much more. We are targeting educated women, 25 to 44
years old and launch nationwide with a rate base of 100,000.
Tango is offering extremely discounted rates to members of the Smart
Marriages coalition who wish to advertise in our premiere issue. Having been
very impressed at the conference this past summer, I am highly motivated to
include you in Tango! To learn more, please visit online:
Or call me directly: phone number: 646 773 3060 and email:
andrea at tangomag.com
Time is of the essence as the first issue is closing December 28th. Call
Andrea Miller, Founder and President
- DO THIS ONE THING FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE
Dec 11, 2004
'We're done!' can be predicted before a couple says 'I do"--if they lack
one relationship skill: the ability to resolve conflicts. Those who know
how to argue without hurting one another and resolve their areas of
disagreement are almost guaranteed a long and happy marriage, according to
researchers from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., reports
HealthDayNews. In contrast, the No. 1 sign that couples are headed for
divorce--even before they walk down the aisle--is that they make negative
comments about the relationship or each other.
Led by Mari L. Clements, the research team studied 100 couples over 13
years to predict and confirm the couples' marital satisfaction or distress.
When the study began in 1980, all the couples were planning their first
marriage. Before the wedding, each couple took a variety of tests,
including a marital adjustment test that evaluates happiness, disagreement,
and confidence, a test that allows a partner to rate the effect of his or
her spouse's communication, and a relationship problem inventory. During
the 13-year study period, 58 couples stayed happily married, 22 remained
married but were not happy, and 20 divorced.
"The ones who stayed happily married were likely to handle conflict
constructively," Clements explained to HealthDayNews. "Even in the midst of
a difficult issue in their relationship, they were likely to treat each
other with respect. They were likely to listen to each other."
However, couples who were headed for divorce were more likely to make
negative comments about the relationship or the partner, and this was
plainly evident before the marriage ever took place. "Couples who ended up
divorced viewed each others' communication more negatively," Clements told
HealthDayNews. She said the study findings are good news because conflict
resolution and communication are learned skills that can be taught to
couples. The study findings were published in the Journal of Marriage and
- JOE JONES AND BRUCE WILLIS IN "TRUE DADS" DOCUMENTARY: FRI DEC 17
Joe Jones, President/CEO of the Center for Fathers, Families and Workforce
Development, and one of the most acclaimed keynote speakers at the Smart
Marriages conference, will be featured in a new Documentary, "True Dads".
- True Dads with Bruce Willis
There is a family crisis in America - one out of every four homes with no
father in sight. Spike TV takes on this issue by exploring the meaning of
fatherhood with an original documentary special True Dads with Bruce Willis.
The Emmy®-Award winning actor and father of three, hosts the two-hour
special that premieres on Spike TV Friday, December 17 (9:00-11:00 PM,
More than ever, fathers are taking a more active role in their children's
lives and find fatherhood to be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. True
Dads with Bruce Willis paints an evolving picture of fatherhood from the
perspective of six everyday dads. Through their personal stories and
experiences, viewers see the full spectrum of fatherhood and learn that
although it can be challenging at times, fatherhood can also be the most
creative, fulfilling and enriching experience of a man's life.
True Dads with Bruce Willis also includes commentary from some of America's
most famous dads. Celebrities including Matt Lauer, Cedric the Entertainer,
and NY Yankee catcher Jorge Posada offer their personal anecdotes and advice
Please note additional airing times for True Dads and check web for details:
- UNTIL DEARTH DO US PART
The Japan Times
Dec 12, 2004
By ERIC PRIDEAUX
> . . .the country's now widely accepted definition of a sexless marriage. This
> is one in which, "in the absence of any reason of which they are aware, a
> couple forgoes consensual sexual intercourse or sexual contact for a month or
> more, with no change expected in the foreseeable future. . . . a survey of
> more than 1,600 married women across Japan -- found that 45.1 percent were
> sexless. ????!!!
We have to figure out how to get some of these Japanese therapists to the
Dallas Smart Marriages conference to hear Pat Love present on "Hot Monogamy"
and Barry McCarthy present on "Rekindling Desire" and "Marital Sex as it
Ought to Be". - diane
. . . . . . . .
It is a condition that many married Japanese know all too well.
The wedding bells fell silent years ago and the lovingly framed photo -- she
in her gown, he in his tux -- has long since been put away in a drawer.
The couple has settled into a routine of comfortable domesticity. Real
closeness, though, has become as distant a memory as the exact date they
first held hands. Or what floor their honeymoon suite was on.
Or the last time they made love.
No matter the country or culture, sexual passions are prone to cool after a
man and woman exchange vows. But in recent months, a torrent of magazine
reports have been detailing how many marriages in Japan not only chill but
plunge into sexual deep freeze, and looking at why they do so, and the
suffering it causes.
Headlines like "Women's Tales of Sexless Hell" and "Take Me! Take Me! Take
Me!" may lure readers -- but they are a barometer of a nationwide malaise as
well. Though Japan may to some extent simply be facing up to problems that
existed all along, experts believe the number of cases really is on the up
In a reflection of the trend, respected psychiatrist Teruo Abe, a pioneer in
the field of Japanese sexuality, reports visits from 165 sexless patients
this year to his Tokyo clinic, nearly nine times the 19 he saw in 1993. For
her part, Keiko Watanabe, a sex counselor and researcher across town at the
Japan Society of Sexual Science, says that of her 100 or so new cases a
year, the percentage involving sexlessness in marriage has grown
Even though it takes a lot to shock Myongan Kim -- who is an outspoken
authority on Japanese sexuality, a sexual anthropologist and counselor to
hundreds of women in sexless marriages -- he admits to being taken aback by
the spread of the phenomenon.
"I can't tell you how many of my clients have never -- not once -- had sex
while married," Kim said at his office, also in Tokyo. "Their marriages
shouldn't even be called unions between man and woman."
In the early 1990s, Abe helped lay the foundation for researching the
problem when he created the country's now widely accepted definition of a
sexless marriage. This is one in which, "in the absence of any reason of
which they are aware, a couple forgoes consensual sexual intercourse or
sexual contact for a month or more, with no change expected in the
By that standard, a survey of more than 1,600 married women across Japan
conducted by Mayumi Futamatsu -- author of "Tonari no Shinshitsu (The
Bedroom Next Door)," a book on marital sex published this year -- found that
45.1 percent were sexless.
Futamatsu's findings are in line with data appearing in the mass-circulation
magazines Aera, The Yomiuri Weekly and the women's tabloid Josei Seven.
By way of international comparison, it also dwarfs the 15 percent of married
couples in the United States believed by researchers there to have extremely
low sexual activity, or the 20 percent rate among married people under 24 in
Britain reported in the mid-1990s. Such data is difficult enough to
establish even from countries like these, and unfortunately it appears to be
non-existent from countries with more rigid and traditional views on
Back in Japan, though -- a land rife with risque fashions and explicit
comics for both genders -- it is surprising to learn of such a widespread
lack of libido.
Yet if some find it easy to be skeptical of surveys on such sensitive
subjects, it is harder to ignore the results of an international study of
sexually active adults by UK-based condom-maker Durex published in October.
That survey, of 350,000 respondents, ranked Japanese as the least active
lovers in the world, with an average of only 46 encounters a year compared
with the chart-topping French on 137 and an average across all 41 countries
surveyed of 103.
A few sexless weeks may do no more than put a husband or wife on edge, but
when months, then years go by, bad things can happen.
Kim blamed sexual deprivation for a long list of nervous-related ailments
among his patients, including chronic sleeplessness, skin inflammation,
eating disorders, alcoholism and depression accompanied by sudden bouts of
In the case of mothers, such anguish can take an even greater toll. "Most
end up subjecting their children to verbal violence," Kim said, adding that
their violence also sometimes turns physical. "The cause of all the problems
that children have today has to lie in bad relations between parents," he
Men's response to sexlessness is no less worrying.
According to a survey of 1,000 middle-aged males published in September by
the magazine Shukan Gendai, more than a fifth of respondents who made love
to their wives twice a month or less said they visited sex clubs -- far more
than the 12 percent who had sex with their wives at least once a week.
That suggests that those men diverted their energies into the sex industry,
in turn feeding organized crime and other social ills. (The Shukan Gendai
survey, like those in other Japanese magazines, did not cite any margin of
Meanwhile, Japan's divorce rate has more than doubled since 1975, with
almost four people divorcing annually for every 10 who marry. Yet in a
survey of 609 married women in the Nov. 8 and Nov. 15 issues of Aera, 53
percent said sexlessness was not enough of a reason to leave their husband.
However, without radical changes in sexual relations, Kim said he believes
that sexlessness-related divorce will "rise and rise."
"Many of the women haven't worked and they have no money," he said. "And
their husbands have showered them with insults over a long period of time,
so they have no confidence as women, and think to themselves, 'If I divorce,
who will have me?' "
So just why are so many Japanese marriages going cold?
Some factors have been around for ever, such as power-draining overtime for
salaryman Dad, the hardship of childrearing for stay-at-home Mom and the
custom of young children and their parents sleeping together. And it isn't
easy getting it on when you share a home with your parents or in-laws -- as
many married Japanese do -- and your bedroom's privacy is only protected by
To all this, add upbringing.
"In this country, we don't hug, kiss or touch. Sexual and bodily senses are
not well developed," quipped one Japanese woman, a media professional who
has lived overseas almost 20 years. "As a result, we cannot really express
love in an affectionate manner. This applies to Japanese women as well."
In a book published this year, "Sekkusuresu no Seishin Igaku (The Psychiatry
of Sexlessness)," psychiatrist Abe cites a sharp recent rise in sexual
aversion among Japanese males, a condition he says was once limited mostly
Japan's most prevalent forms of male sexual aversion, Abe believes, result
from quirky shifts in the roles played by the woman and man after marriage.
In the most common case, the wife assumes a caring, yet dominant, role as
"mother," while her husband becomes the "son." Though this may be the result
of increased familiarity and affection, it can also make sexual relations
feel too close for comfort.
These are the most human of foibles. And yet, the ways in which many men
handle the inevitable consequences can appear very inhuman indeed.
Women tell of husbands who neglect to tell them they're beautiful (you don't
flirt with "Mom"); some men insist on using omae (a coarse way of saying
"you") rather than addressing their spouses by name; and Kim says that one
in 10 of his female clients are victims of domestic violence.
In the sexual arena, there are men who insist on having intercourse while
peering over wives' shoulders at porno videos or covering their faces with a
pillow -- ways of disassociating from the real-life woman that Kim calls
"nothing more than masturbation, or domestic rape." There are also men who
lash out at wives who initiate intimacy themselves. "Such women are often
called whores," said author Futamatsu, who also heads a nationwide
organization of 10,000 housewives. "I get so much e-mail from people saying
they've broken down in tears after being told that."
It is little wonder, then, that the Aera survey of married women found they
almost never initiated sex, and that half only rarely experienced orgasm, or
never did or didn't know one way or the other.
Faced with such facts, it's easy to forget that not all husbands are bad.
For them, in fact, survey results suggest that their wives could do a whole
lot more to up the temperature in bed. Aera, for instance, found that 42
percent of women who said they were sexless also acknowledged being
habitually not in the mood. And Josei Seven's survey of 200 married women
found 67.8 percent saying they didn't want to have sex with their husbands.
Reasons cited included "We are both tired," "I have no sexual desire,"
"After the second child it's too much" and "It's a nuisance to do it."
Moreover, for firm proponents of the institution of marriage, one of the
most disturbing patterns also emerging from such data is of accompanying
infidelity -- and anybody who thinks Japanese men hold a monopoly on
cheating is in for a surprise.
No fewer than 17 percent of the women in the Aera survey said they had had
extramarital sex, often with different boyfriends -- a figure little
different from their spouses, whom some 21 percent of the women knew or
believed had cheated, with a higher percentage in sexless marriages.
Also, a survey of 500 married men and women in the Sept. 12 issue of the
Yomiuri Weekly showed that while a third of female respondents and half of
males had fallen in love outside their marriages, women who did so were more
likely to develop a relationship.
Husbands who won't touch their wives, wives who turn to other men -- it's
enough to make traditionalists throw up their hands in despair.
Or is it?
The Japanese of old actually appear to have been less befuddled than their
descendents by the realities of human sexual desire.
During the Heian Period (794-1185), marriages were not so much one-on-one
affairs as arrangements in which men could divorce a spouse at will, and
were commonly allowed several wives, each of whom would have their own
living quarters that the man would visit.
The "Manyoshu," the oldest existing collection of Japanese poetry, and whose
final entry is dated 759, describes an ancient custom called utagaki or
kagai, in which groups of men and women, married and unmarried, feasted and
danced at a sacred site and -- when the fun reached boiling point -- joined
in group sex. Similar practices are said to have continued well into the Edo
"Falling head over heels for a variety of people wasn't necessarily thought
a bad thing, but rather just the way the human heart worked," said Mizue
Mori, a university lecturer on Japanese religion.
Seen through this perspective, then, today's troubled marital times could
almost be interpreted as a yearning for a return to ancient attitudes toward
Or, perhaps, for a new model altogether -- one that embraces even
Yuko Ishizaki, a sociology researcher at Nihon Joshi Daigaku (Japan Women's
University), questions the very framework of the modern Japanese marriage.
With its emphasis on sex involving penetration, she believes this reduces
the universe of human sexuality to just one kind of event, with anything
else deemed an irrelevance or aberration.
And even slightly older Japanese who end up getting married are redefining
the terms of that contract. Not only are more men helping out with housework
in a way not common in past generations, but a steadily growing number are
opting for the role of househusband to take care of children while their
Taken together, such factors point to married couples making choices that
may profoundly influence social mores down the line.
In a similar way, said Ishizaki, if society came to a better understanding
of how real people think about sensuality, all the hand-wringing over
sexlessness may cease.
"If society were a bit more receptive to a new set of values about sex,
maybe these problems wouldn't arise," she said. "It might be easier to find
a solution if this society accepted homosexuality alongside heterosexuality,
and a gradation of all kinds of unions."
That, she said, would include those not having sex at all.
"Having sex," she noted, "is not the only way to have an intimate
Send replies to this newslist to: diane at smartmarriages.com Do not hit
"reply" - that goes to a filter. This is a moderated list. Replies are read
by Diane Sollee, editor. Please indicate if your response is NOT to be
shared with the list. PLEASE include your email address with your
To SUBSCRIBE, or Change your subscription address,
use the form on our website: http://www.smartmarriages.com. Click Newslist -
right under the puzzle piece.
This newslist shares information on marriage, divorce and educational
approaches. Opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by members of the
To read ALL past posts to the newsletter, visit the Archive at:
9th Annual Smart Marriages Conference, Adam's Mark Dallas June 23 - 26, 2005
Pre and Post Conference Training Institutes June 21 - 29, 2005
Subscribe to the free e-newslist at http://www.smartmarriages.com
List your program in the Directory of Classes at
Order conference audio & video tapes/CD/DVDs: 800-241-7785 or
Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education, LLC (CMFCE)
Diane Sollee, Director
5310 Belt Rd NW, Washington, DC 20015-1961
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
FAIR USE NOTICE: This e-newsletter contains copyrighted material the use of
which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We
make such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of
marriage, family, couples, divorce, legislation, family breakdown, etc. We
understand this constitutes a 'fair use' of such material as provided
for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17
U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit
to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included
information for research and educational purposes. For more information go
to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use
copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond
'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
More information about the SmartMarriages