Berks County!!/Learning Sobriety/Sadie Hawkins/Speakeasy -3/04
Smart Marriages ®
cmfce at smartmarriages.com
Thu Mar 4 23:53:18 EST 2004
subject: Berks County!!/Learning Sobriety/Sadie Hawkins/Speakeasy -3/04
from: Smart Marriages®
- CONFERENCE BROCHURES - SNAIL MAIL LIST
- TAH DAH! BERKS COUNTY, PA WEB RESOURCE CENTER ON-LINE
- LEARNING SOBRIETY TOGETHER
- BREAK OUT THE CHAMPAGNE!
- CONFERENCE BROCHURES - SNAIL MAIL LIST
The Smart Marriages Conference brochures were mailed on Feb 18th.
If you haven't yet received one, it means your on this email newslist, but
not on our regular snail mail list. If you'd like to receive a brochure,
you need to send me your mailing address. If you'd like extras for
colleagues or to distribute at conferences, just tell me how many to send
you. OR, you can download the complete brochure on the web site. Go to
smartmarriages.com, click conference and then download brochure. - diane
- TAH DAH! BERKS COUNTY, PA WEB RESOURCE CENTER ON-LINE
> Hi Diane, The Berks County Coalition for Healthy Marriage & Families,
> "Strengthening Families First," marriage resource website is now on-line at
> www.strengtheningfamiliesfirst.org. We invite anyone in the county to send us
> listings of their classes and resources.
> Sandi Kissinger
> sandiprprdgbrkscc at comcast.net
I've added the Berks County resource directory to the Registry at
smartmarriages.com. You can reach the Registry from the Community Healthy
Marriage Initiatives page or from the Directory of Programs page.
To set up a web-based Marriage Resource Center in your region, see the
easy-to-follow instructions at http://www.smartmarriages.com/stoica.oc.html
As soon as it's ready, send me your listing and I'll get it posted. We need
a resource center in every city/county/state.
- LEARNING SOBRIETY
> I just listened to the "Learning Sobriety Together" workshop tape from the
> Reno Smart Marriages conference, and am absolutely excited about their
> approach. I don¹t see couples for addiction problems, but Birchler &
> Fals-Stewart¹s high-structure approach to couples counseling is EXACTLY what
> all of my couples need....I¹ve been waiting for something like this! it will
> help me organize and create the same kind of structure and safe environment in
> my private sessions that I have created in my classes. My couples fit the
> chaos-conflict picture they describe, and many of them struggle with excess
> drinking behaviors, even though I¹m not part of an addictions treatment
> program (just plain old private couples therapy). Their Couple Promises and
> contract approach are strategies I¹m going to build into my marriage education
> classes as well.
> I want to encourage everyone sign up for their one-day institute this
> year....if you¹re not sure, get the Learning Sobriety Together workshop tape
> first and you'll be convinced.
> Jana Staton Missoula, MT
I second that. I've had several inquiries from people this week who say
they've already taken PREP, PAIRS, RE or CC and want to know what training
they should take next. Learning Sobriety Together is a perfect next step -
a great course that will help anyone working with couples. Here was my post
to the list after I listened to this same tape Jana that so impressed Jana -
> Nov 17, 2003
> And speaking of tapes, I just listened to the workshop, "Learning Sobriety
>> Learning Sobriety Together
>> Gary Birchler, PhD, William Fals-Stewart, PhD
>> This program works with couples together - the drug/alcohol abuser & spouse -
>> to improve communication skills, build cohesion and to both promote &
>> maintain sobriety.
> This session dispels the myth that when substance abuse is handled - viola!
> - the couples relationship will suddenly work. It turns out that it doesn't
> work that way. It's almost as if there is a formula whereby the number of
> years of substance abuse equals the amount of damage done to the
> relationship AND also to nutrition and eating patterns, to the sexual
> relationship, to sleep patterns which are disturbed during recovery, etc.
> The Learning Sobriety program provides step-by-step guidelines for helping
> couples through this period into not just sobriety together, but back into a
> loving partnership that works and has a chance of surviving. Listening to
> this session I thought of what a great partnership this program would be
> with the PAIRS program - with the need to put joy ("riding the pony") - back
> into the relationship after recovery. This is a great tape. AND, Bill and
> Gary have agreed to teach a day-long workshop on Thursday in Dallas. I highly
> recommend it for marriage educators or private practitioners. - diane
I also recommend the tape for couples dealing with substance abuse issues.
To order the 90 minute workshop audio tape or CD ($15), call 800-241-7785
and order "Learning Sobriety Together" Tape #753-307.
And, here is the info on the Thurs, July 8 training institute in Dallas:
> 113 Learning Sobriety Together, 8:30am - 5:30pm, 7.5 hrs CE
> William Fals-Stewart, PhD and Gary Birchler, PhD
> Learn to recognize and understand the complicated interactions between
> alcohol/drug abuse and relationship dysfunction and how to help couples
> achieve and maintain sobriety and, in the process, improve communication and
> parenting skills, reduce conflict and increase intimacy. Workbooks & CDs for
> educational or counseling setting.
For more info, visit their web site addictionandfamily.org
- BREAK OUT THE CHAMPAGNE!
New York Daily News
February 29, 2004
> This article quotes Scott Haltzman who is presenting twice at the Dallas Smart
> Marriages conference - "Win Your Wife's Heart Forever" and "Corralling the
> Stallion". "Wife's Heart" is always one of the highest rated sessions at the
> conference - so much so that we felt we had to repeat it. And, it looks like
> he's got another winner with "Stallion" - according to the early registration
> reports this one on how to get men into marriage education classes must be one
> you all feel you need - it's going to fill up fast. - diane
Break out the champagne!
An old custom says today's the day for women to propose marriage
BY SHERRY AMATENSTEIN
On leap day, it's customary for women to propose marriage.
Diane Uyar and her fiance, Christopher Smith
Amber Gross has been looking forward to today, which is leap day, Feb. 29, a
date that comes along only once every four years. She has a proposal to
make. Today, according to the unofficial rules of leap day, a woman is
"allowed" to propose marriage. Gross, 26, thinks the time is right. She and
her boyfriend have been together for 3 years, yet her finger remains
unburdened by a ring.
"Mike and I met in college," says Gross, an actress. "It took four years of
my flirting for him to finally ask me out. He's terrific but not the type
to examine the future or plan things. I've had to initiate every stage of
No matter the calendar date, according to a recent survey, more and more
ready-to-wed women are taking the initiative. Almost 31% of Americans know
someone who has proposed to her man. There are no data on how many guys
accepted the offer, but 77% of the men surveyed consider it "socially
acceptable" for a woman to be the first to suggest the M word.
Still, many men are "territorial" about reserving this ultimate romantic
gesture for themselves. "In the same way that planning a wedding is the
fantasy of a vast majority of women, it's true that many men have fantasies
about exactly how and when to pop the question," says Scott Haltzman, M.D.,
a Rhode Island psychiatrist specializing in couples counseling.
"If a man is truly tied into the romantic notion of proposing, even if he
accepts her offer, a feeling of being a failure might persist for him
throughout the relationship. However, for men attracted to powerful,
assertive women, being proposed to is a turn-on."
A subtle ultimatum
Nineteen years after his girlfriend of two weeks spontaneously proposed
while they were running along the East River, Fred Yager is happy that,
despite his initial shock, he didn't let her run out of his life.
"I was 37 and I'd had women ask me to dance - never to get married," says
Yager, a communications executive. "But Jan's very straightforward. She knew
what she wanted and went for it."
Yager was one of 120 respondents to his now-wife's personal ad in New York
magazine. The two felt an instant connection. Still, not instant enough for
him to cry, "Let's set the date!" when she made her startling proposition.
"I suggested we take it a bit slower," he recalls. "I needed more time. She
then announced she'd continue dating until I was ready."
Four days later, on Christmas, he gave in to the inevitable. "We were
driving back into Manhattan from visiting my parents upstate. I pulled off
the road, stopped the car and asked if she still wanted to get married." The
wedding was Dec. 30.
"Jan put no pressure on me whatsoever. If she had, I'd probably have
Jan Yager says her proposal "just came out. I wasn't nervous. There were no
manipulations. I was 35. Fred was one in a gazillion, but nothing was going
to stand in the way of my starting a family. I had made an appointment at a
dating service. When Fred proposed I canceled the appointment." The couple
now has two sons.
Molly McElwee and her husband also felt an immediate bond when they met on a
camping trip in 2000. The bond was strong enough that three months later
McElwee said yes when her boyfriend popped the question, "Will you live with
An Off Campus Housing Coordinator for NYU's School of Medicine, McElwee, now
26, recalls: "I moved from Virginia to be with Robert, so after a few years
I felt ready to make a deeper commitment. He'd have been fine living
together the rest of our lives."
Like Jan Yager, McElwee didn't plan her proposal. If she had, the setting
would have been more romantic than the No. 2 train during the morning rush.
"Robert was never gonna ask and I was tired of waiting so I said, 'This is
what I want. What do you say?'"
Also like Yager, McElwee's offer was long on love, short on ultimatums. "You
can't say, 'Marry me or else' to a commitment-phobe. Robert knew I wasn't
leaving." Just as the No. 2 pulled into the next station - Wall Street,
McElwee's stop - she got her "yes."
Two weeks later, on Oct. 17, 2003, the pair eloped at City Hall. "I didn't
want to give him time to back out." He still hasn't bought her a ring but
she's not complaining. You pick your battles.
No second chances
The leap day reversal is sometimes known as Sadie Hawkins Day, which
originated in Al Capp's "Li'l Abner" comic. Fearing that his homely
daughter, Sadie, would end up a spinster, Dogpatch resident Hekzebiah
Hawkins created a footrace to take place Nov. 15, 1937. Unmarried girls
pursued the town's bachelors, who, if caught, married their captor. By 1939
colleges were holding Sadie Hawkins dances.
Leap day's chronological function is to keep the calendar in line with the
seasons and has been observed since 46 B.C. Its association with female
proposals supposedly originated in fifth-century Ireland, when Saint Brigit
convinced Saint Patrick to designate one day for hopelessly single women to
choose a mate. In 1288 a law was passed in Scotland decreeing any man bold
enough to decline a proposal on Feb. 29 must by default give the lady a kiss
and a pair of gloves or silk dress.
Ten years ago, Dave LeBron was the recipient of such a proposal from his
on-again, off-again girlfriend. He turned her down. "For one thing, I always
imagined my 'Will you marry me?' moment taking place somewhere gorgeous, not
in the back of a bar called Finnegan's Wake accompanied by the smell of
Guinness," he says.
Given a second chance, Chris London would accept his ex's proposal. The
40-year-old lawyer believes in female empowerment. "Miranda's my favorite
'Sex and the City' character because she proposed to Steve," he says. "But
women shouldn't be macha when it suits them, then lapse back into
conventional viewpoints of romance when it doesn't. I'll still hold the door
open but do I always have to play protector? Sometimes guys need caretaking
So why did London say no thanks? For one, he didn't believe his girlfriend -
a sixth-place finisher at the Ice Dancing Nationals who looked like a model
- really thought he was good enough for her. ("I'm an eclectic,
acquired-taste kind of guy.") Secondly, at 30 he thought, somewhat
erroneously, that the pool of New York women deemed by him marriage-worthy
("not excessively materialistic") would never shrink.
Was London's turndown a self-fulfilling prophecy? "With no period of
mourning Leslie took up with a Tad Hamilton clone that was a Ph.D. at MIT
and an alternate on the U.S. ski team."
Proposing is emotionally risky business no matter who's asking whom. But
it's gutsier for a woman. Jason Rich, the author of "Will You Marry Me?:
Popping the Question With Romance and Style" (New Page Books), offers advice
for someone on the cusp: "Should you do it? Evaluate the relationship. Do
both of you feel pretty good about where things are going? Does he think
something will happen in time? Have you dropped hints? Are the two of you
basically open with each other?"
Couples therapist Haltzman says, "A woman doesn't have to read tea leaves to
know if she's in a healthy, equal relationship, but she does need to figure
out if her man is comfortable enough and nontraditional enough to be pleased
to have his partner take the initiative. Is he the type who lets you pay for
dinner? Would he be excited or repulsed if you put a blindfold on him and
drove him to a surprise picnic?"
Syndicated radio host Dr. Linda Olson (www.americaslovedoctor.com) adds:
"It's not in the relationship's best interest to be passive-aggressive. You
don't want to back him into marriage with an ultimatum. It's about being
proactive and setting limits: 'I'm ready to get married. Now you need to
decide what you want.' This is the difference between making threats and
putting the ball in your partner's court so he feels some control."
His mom's influence
Okay, you've decided to go for the gold band. Haltzman suggests: "Don't do
it in a public place where everyone can overhear. He might feel
emasculated." Olson recommends a romantic gesture: "Give him a gift to
symbolize your commitment - a journal, some piece of jewelry. One woman
wrote a song. He can still go out and get you a ring. It's a reciprocal
Just as a man doesn't react well to pressure, neither will a marriage-hating
woman. In 1997 Diane Uyar proposed to her longtime live-in boyfriend after
years of her refusing to make him an honest man. The 37-year-old insurance
defense lawyer recalls, "Every once in a while, like when we'd return home
from a wedding, he'd say, 'What about us having a beautiful ceremony?' I'd
answer, 'I don't believe in marriage.' Christopher was always decent about
What softened her rock-hard, anti-nuptials stance?
"One day I was commenting on the pressure my folks were putting on me to
finally do it. Christopher's parents died years back. I asked, 'What would
your mom have said about my not marrying you?' The answer: 'What's wrong
with my son?'
"That really shed light on his perspective," Uyar says. "For the first time
I got there were two of us in the relationship. I was hurting him."
The two had a quick, ringless ceremony. She made an unexpected discovery: "I
get a kick out of being a wife."
Amber Gross knows intimately what it's like being involved with a
commitment-phobe. The actress muses, "Maybe I'll show Mike this article to
jump-start a talk about marriage. I'm not in a rush, but if he'll never be
ready, at least I'll know where I stand."
To SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE, or Change your subscription address,
use the form on our website (http://www.smartmarriages.com). Click
Newsletter - 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
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 in with your signature.
To read ALL past posts to the newsletter, visit the Archive at:
8th Annual Smart Marriages Conference, Adam's Mark Dallas, TX July 8 - 11,
2004. Pre and Post Conference Training Institutes July 6 - 14, 2004
Subscribe to the free e-newslist at www.smartmarriages.com
List your program in the Directory of Classes at www.smartmarriages.com
Order conference audio and video tapes at 800-241-7785 or at playbacknow.com
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