Twilight Zone/NH/Parrott/Singles/Stosny/Late-life fathers-9/04

Smart Marriages ® cmfce
Thu Sep 2 15:03:51 EDT 2004

subject: Twilight Zone/NH/Parrott/Singles/Stosny/Late-life fathers-9/04




> Good afternoon, Diane,
> Recently, I was watching some late-night reruns of the old Twilight Zone
> series, narrated by Rod Serling. The one that fascinated me was entitled
> "The Bewitchin' Pool." It is a story of a wealthy family of four, including
> parents, a daughter and a son. One day while the kids are swimming in their
> backyard pool, they are greeted by a Huck Finn - kind of character who
> simply emerges from the bottom of their pool. He invites the kids to join
> him. The daughter and son dive in and when they surface, they find
> themselves in a river. Their new found guide is on the banks of the river
> and he urges the two kids to follow him. He leads them to the
> gingerbread-like house of Aunt T. She is a grandmotherly type who tells the
> kids that her home is for kids whose parents do not love them. The daugher
> and son have a great time with Aunt T, but they soon return home via the
> river which leads them back to their swimming pool and back home to their
> parents.
> Meanwhile, the parents are planning their divorce and discussing how to tell
> the kids. When the kids arrive, the parents inform them of the impending
> divorce and then demand that the kids choose which parent they will live
> with. What follows is a great example of the loyalty crisis that kids are
> caught in when parents divorce. Rather than choose, the kids return to the
> pool and make their way back to Aunt T's house. While the acting may be a
> little overdone, it certainly captures the message of what kids go through
> when parents divorce. The kids beg the parents not to divorce and promise
> that they will be good kids.
> I decided that this would make a great educational (as well as entertaining)
> tool. In an effort to see if I could purchase this episode, I discovered
> that The Bewitchin' Pool was the very last episode of the series that Rod
> Serling narrated. It was aired on June 19, 1964, the last episode of the
> fifth and final season. Was it a coincidence that this episode aired near
> the time when no-fault divorce began to be implemented in the 1960's?
> I also discovered via one website that sometime during 2005, all of the
> Twilight Zone episodes that appeared from 1959 through 1964 will become
> available on DVD and VHS. So for those who are a TZ fans, as well as
> promoters of healthy marriage, it will be a win-win deal.
> Yours for jumping in the pool,
> Evan Horner, D.Min., LMFT
> evan at

Fascinating. Please let the rest of us know as soon this is available.
Would we just order on
- diane

>> Is that Stosney one ("How to make yourself emotional attractive to
emotionally attractive people") on tape since it was an institute?
>> Marline
> No, Stosny did an institute on his Compassion Program but this wasn't an
> institute, it was a special add-on Sat night singles-only event. We didn't
> tape it. We will next year - we've so many requests for it. And, we're
> opening with it on Thurs night after the opening keynote so singles can meet
> each other earlier in the conference. diane

BTW, this reminds me that I've had several calls asking about the Stosny
Compassion Program training in Maryland this weekend. I just checked and he
does still have a few openings. Here's a repeat of that info:

> The Compassion Power program by Steven Stosny is always one of the highest
> rated training sessions at the Smart Marriages Conference. If you weren't
> able to fit in this training at the conference, you can take the training
> Sept 9-12, Gaithersburg, MD (near Washington DC). The training, taught by
> founder and 2004 Impact Award recipient, Steven Stosny, certifies you to
> teach all the CompassonPower programs, including the new add-ons, Love
> without Hurt, to make your marriage programs violence and abuse-proof and
> Power Love, to make your program male-friendly. The Compassion Programs are
> highly successful in reducing anger, hostility and anxiety and increasing
> coping strategies, well being, and self-esteem. For complete info:
> 301-921-2010 or


> Diane:
> I can't Give You Anything But Love; Would Poor Couples With Children Be Better
> Off Economically If They Married? is GREAT summary of new research...really
> worth all of us downloading if we're working with coalitions, local healthy
> marriage initiatives. If marriage provides poor couples with even a modest
> advantage, despite the stresses and challenges they face, how much more must
> it help all couples?
> Jana Staton

Download from CLASP at:

?Becoming Soul Mates? with Dr. Les Parrott - Live Sept. 12, 1-4pm. Only $30.
Info: 651-3091 or

> September 1, 2004
> AMHERST, N.H. -- Church leaders in southern New Hampshire are getting $50,000
> in federal money to push for stronger marriages.
> The Community Marriage Initiative brings together 19 churches seeking to
> expand pro-marriage initiatives, including counseling for engaged couples and
> those having trouble.
> It has received one of 145 grants given out around the country from the
> Compassion Capital Fund, a federal program that supports religious and
> community programs.
> Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press.

> Family News In Focus
> September 1, 2004
> by Steve Jordahl, correspondent
> An Ohio woman is asking a state court to turn her divorce proceedings over to
> the Catholic Church.
> Bai Macfarlane says she and her husband had a legally binding agreement to
> seek help before they ended their marriage.
> When Catholic couples get married, they make a verbal agreement to follow the
> laws of the church before getting a divorce. When Macfarlane's husband left,
> she said, he broke that agreement.
> "It's like everybody remembers when 9-11 happened and what they were doing,"
> she said. "I remember what I was doing when I opened that letter" announcing
> his attention to leave the marriage.
> Instead of sinking into shock, Macfarlane got a lawyer?not to fight for her
> share of the estate or custody, but to fight for her marriage.
> "It resulted in this defense that essentially there's a de facto prenuptial
> agreement when two people marry within the church," said Macfarlane's friend,
> Judy Parejko, a marriage advocate.
> Macfarlane is asking the judge to remand the case to the Catholic Church for
> counseling. In the process, she's hoping to make it harder for any couple to
> divorce, according to her attorney, Robert Lynch.
> "In theory, it applies to every marriage where you promise," Lynch said. "A
> promise is a promise."
> The real enemy Lynch is going after are the nation's permissive no-fault
> divorce laws.
> "I think it's a two-step process," he said. "First of all, no-fault divorce
> has to be knocked out of our culture. It's . . . one of the large attacks on
> our culture.
> Lynch admits he has little chance of winning the case, but hopes to get the
> attention of some "farsighted" judges.

Christian Science Monitor
September 01, 2004
Kim Campbell, Staff writer

A great career is no longer enough. Many men in their 40s and 50s feel the
urge to start a family.

> Contributing to such trends are women waiting longer to become mothers, and
> men having children in second marriages. But observers say it can also simply
> take a while for a guy to decide it's time for him to be a dad.

NEW YORK x Midlife is typically a time when men are perfecting their golf
game. But some are finding that patty-cake is more their speed. Fatherhood
is on the minds of more men in their 40s and 50s these days, impacting the
dating world and occupying those interested in men's issues. Some of these
men are already married when they feel the pull to become dads. Others are
single and make it clear on first dates that it's a woman's desire to be a
mother - more than her favorite food or CD - that is attractive to them.

"I see this going on really within the last four or five years, and it's
increased a lot," says Jed Diamond, a psychotherapist and author of the book
"The Irritable Male Syndrome." "There's almost this reversal ... where the
men are very keen on having children, in some cases even more so than the

For some men, midlife is a natural time to look back and assess what, beyond
a career, they hope to have accomplished. But many factors today make it
easier for them to contemplate parenthood late in life. It is more
acceptable for men to discuss their desire to be parents, for example, and
for them to be actively involved in parenting. Other trends, including
longer life spans and less satisfying work experiences - i.e., downsizing -
make it easier for men to focus on the importance of children when they
reach middle age.

The urgency, says Mr. Diamond, could also be fueled by recent research that
suggests aging may affect a man's ability to successfully father children
late in life, as celebrities David Letterman, Larry King, and Tony Randall

But that news doesn't seem to be deterring American dads. While the majority
of children continue to be born to men who are 20 to 34, a December 2003
National Vital Statistics Report indicates that birthrates among fathers age
35 to 49 increased slightly from 2001 to 2002, and are up fairly
significantly over the past two decades. Between 1980 and 2002, the rate of
births among men age 40 to 44 went up 32 percent, and up 21 percent for
those age 45 to 49. For men 50 to 54, the growth was 9 percent.

Contributing to such trends are women waiting longer to become mothers, and
men having children in second marriages. But observers say it can also
simply take a while for a guy to decide it's time for him to be a dad.

"They're waiting until they're ready," suggests Armin Brott, author of
"Father for Life: A Journey of Joy, Challenge, and Change." "It's not quite
the same sort of stereotypical thing you see about women with the biological
clock ticking and the pressure to reproduce instantly," he says. "I think a
lot of guys just don't feel that they're ready ... it's something that just
doesn't hit for a while."

Baby boomers in particular may be rethinking what's expected of them in
midlife, say experts, because they are transitioning from the provider/
procreator model of their fathers to the environment of today, where men
balance work and home lives and participate in parenting more equally with
their wives. Men can also feel the desire to be dads for egotistical reasons
- because they want to leave a legacy in the form of a child to carry on
their philosophies.

In some cases, men are having children later because they are still looking
for the right partner. George Greenfield, a literary manager in Montclair,
N.J., was married for the first time in 2001 at age 53, after having been in
several long-term relationships. He and his wife - who is 13 years his
junior - had their first child when Mr. Greenfield was 54.

"It was definitely a priority for me," he says of his desire to find someone
to start a family with. "I ... got out of possible relationships because
somebody didn't want to have children over time."

It's a priority that others in the dating pool share. In a survey in July
2002 by the online dating service, 14 percent of 277 men age 40 to
59 said they always size up a woman's potential as a mother on the first
date. Many more - 44 percent - said they never do. But a majority of this
group (and their younger counterparts) said that if forced to sacrifice one
life goal for another, they would pick children over a career.

Dan Conway, a public relations professional from southern California, was
also looking for the right partner. When he found and married her three
years ago, he didn't think he wanted children - she already had them and
wasn't planning on more - but now "the biological clock is ticking," he

Now in his early 50s, Mr. Conway is grappling with the likelihood that he
will not be a father. He compensates by helping out with his
stepgrandchildren and by doing a lot of soul-searching about the factors
that made him wait: a focus on his career and being single, as well as
caring for a dying parent.

"Sometimes you don't know what you need until you get to a place in your
life when you're able to accept it," he explains. "A major challenge in life
is to find that person you can truly love and someone with whom you have the
greatest possibility of long-term compatibility. In my situation, I found
this person, but then realized that there's a missing piece in my life."

Fathers who've chosen to have children late in life say they often have
concerns about what it will be like to be 65 when their son or daughter is
12. They also have other issues to contend with, such as paying for college
on a retiree's income, or living long enough to provide advice as their
child grows. But many find ways to overcome their concerns and to embrace
the opportunity.

"There's no sense of loss as to what I didn't do earlier," says Mr.
Greenfield. "There is an enormous sense of enrichment, and I can't imagine
not having had this experience."

That's the sentiment Stanford professor Martin Carnoy and his son found when
they interviewed men in the 1990s for their book, "Fathers of a Certain Age:
The Joys and Problems of Middle-Aged Fatherhood." Professor Carnoy was
becoming a father again during a second marriage, and he was curious about
the experiences of late-life fathers.

"They were really neat interviews," he says of the middle-aged men who in
particular were parenting for the first time. "There's no ambivalence on
their part about having the kids. This is what they wanted, this is why they
got married; they finally figured out 'Something is missing from my life,'
and they wanted to have a family."

Older fathers tend to have less physical relationships with their children,
but are often calmer and form strong emotional bonds with their kids, Carnoy
and Mr. Brott say. In some cases, older men can even spend more time with
their children, especially if they are financially secure and don't have to
work as aggressively at a career.

"There are benefits to both sides of the equation," says Greenfield, who is
contemplating having another child. "I think when you're younger, obviously
there's more time. But maturity, I think, has its assets. It's nice to be
centered and calm and know a lot more about myself. I think I'm able to
share a great deal with my son now."

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