Marriage Bank/Archive/Mentors/Marriage Advice -9/04

Smart Marriages ® cmfce
Fri Sep 10 11:06:35 EDT 2004


subject: Marriage Bank/Archive/Mentors/Marriage Advice -9/04


- THE MARRIAGE BANK
- ONE-DAY MARRIAGE CONFERENCE: ARCHIVE FRUSTRATIONS
- MENTORS FOR MUSLIM MARRIAGES
- YOUR BORING HEART
- MARRIAGES DON'T FAIL, PEOPLE DO, AUTHORS CONTEND
- WE LEAD SEPARATE LIVES, PRACTICALLY

######################
- THE MARRIAGE BANK
Diane,
I saw the episode called "The Marriage Bank " on According to Jim, this past
week. I felt it poked fun at marriage education classes. Jim, wanting to
go on a fishing trip, has the bright idea to suggest a marriage seminar for
him and his wife as a way of making points before he springs the fishing
trip on her. In order to make an entertaining contrast between Jim's
ultimate goal, the fishing trip, and the marriage class, the writers
presented a very stereotypical, silly and trivialized version of marriage
education. As I watched the episode, I wondered if this would have a
negative affect on viewers who have not been exposed to the great benefits
of marriage education. But those of us who are "fully baptized" it might be
fun to use clips in our own circles to poke fun at ourselves.
Nancy Bucci - nanbucci at msn.com
Strengthening Families First
Berks County Healthy Marriage and Family Coalition

Hmmmm.....to look at it on the plus side, it's at least getting the idea to
the public that there is such a thing as Marriage Education Classes. That's
our first hurdle. I suppose these are reruns, so it must have aired in the
regular season. Just wondering how the rest of us might see it. - diane

########################
- ONE-DAY MARRIAGE CONFERENCE: ARCHIVE FRUSTRATIONS
> Diane,
> You recently sent information to the list about a one-day marriage conference
> in Virginia. I searched for it on your archive but couldn't find it. I know
> it's there but I searched for "conferences" and there were 629 results and I
> didn't have time to go through them all. Could you please send me that info?
> Roxie

I agree, it IS getting more difficult to find things on the archive - 8
years of posts are cataloged and that's a lot to search through. I found it
immediately by searching for "Seventh Day Conference" but that's because I
remembered the sponsor. Here it is again. You could also have found it on
the Directory of Programs on the smartmarriages web site. The Directory
lists resources like conferences in addition to the marriage ed classes.

This conference will also be offered in Toronto, Nov 6. The Virginia
conference is $129 per couple and includes lunch and comes highly
recommended. -
diane

> From This Day Forward: One-day Marriage Conference
> Presented by The Seventh-day Adventist Church Family Ministry Oct 9, 2004,
> 9am-5:30pm, at the Sheraton National Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia and Nov 6
> in Toronto. A team of dynamic and inspirational speakers will teach you how to
> make your marriage come alive and to keep the passion, intimacy and commitment
> thriving in your marriage. Group rates available. To download a complete
> brochure, visit http://family.nadadventist.org/events.html#OCT04.
> To register:
> 800-732-7587
> Web: plusline.org

####################
- MENTORS FOR MUSLIM MARRIAGES

(Nice to see that the mentor approach is taking root around the world.-
diane)

Sept 10, 2004
Singapore - With more than a third of Malay/Muslim marriages ending in
divorce within the first five years, the new Family Development Network is
going all-out to tackle this problem, in particular among low-income,
lowly-educated couples aged 20 to 24 years old.

.In a plan introduced yesterday, the network's 21 ambassadors x who include
mosques and family service centres x have identified "mentor couples" to
guide a small group of vulnerable young couples.

.Their aim is to prevent divorces by addressing potential problems before
they arise.

.These experienced mentors in their mid-30s will help deal with issues such
as infidelity, financial management and raising a family.

."The first five years of a marriage are critical. We want to reduce the
risk factors of divorce by intervening early and giving them the necessary
support. There will be marriage guidance courses for them to seek help,"
said Dr Mohd Maliki Osman, the Parliamentary Secretary for Community
Development, Youth and Sports, and Health, and one of the network's
chairmen.

.Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs and Minister for Environment and Water
Resources, Associate Professor Yaacob Ibrahim, will officially launch the
network on Sunday, when further details of this and other initiatives will
be released. x Lee U-Wen
#######################
- YOUR BORING HEART
>
>> Mrs. Shechtman says you can bore your mate into adultery by becoming a real
>> stick-in-the-mud and not pursuing any of your interests outside marriage.
>>
>> If you want to prevent adultery, she says, find a hobby or vocation you're
>> passionate about and go for it. This will give you plenty to talk about with
>> your spouse and keep him or her interested in you.
>
This certainly sounds like a simplistic idea. While having some outside
interests is valuable, it is certainly no guarantee against a spouse's
adultery. One could even find some cases of adultery that might originate
from the neglect of a spouse due to involvement in outside interests.
Madeline Johnston

- - - - -
Diane,
I found a longer article that features the couple you asked about, the
Schechtmans. Hope this is useful. I'm curious, why are you asking?
Arnold

I was curious because someone sent in the Boring Heart clip and I'd not
heard of them. Looks like a kind of "tough love" approach to marriage.
If anyone figures out how to contact them, ask them to email me. - diane

- MARRIAGES DON'T FAIL, PEOPLE DO, AUTHORS CONTEND

Kansas City Star
Sept 7, 2004
BY EDWARD M. EVELD Knight Ridder Newspapers

(KRT) - You and your spouse don't need to spend more time together. You
don't need to chat incessantly about your day. You aren't "growing apart."
Your marriage doesn't require "fixing."

Marital problems most often boil down to one person's unhappiness being
aggravated by the other person's unhappiness, say Morrie and Arleah
Shechtman, authors of a blunt new book about marriage.

"Our approach is that relationships don't have problems, people do," Morrie
Shechtman said. "Each person has failed to grow individually. They have lost
a sense of vision and purpose in their lives. They stopped setting goals.
They stopped having interesting lives independent of the marriage.

"It's like two 5-year-olds dressed up in adult clothes trying to have a
marriage."

The Shechtmans, authors of "Love in the Present Tense" (Bull Publishing,
$16.95), say couples who feel dissatisfied with their marriages often come
to spectacularly wrong conclusions about the problems.

The couple, who have counseled people for 30 years, wrote the recently
published book because they perpetually hear the same complaints about
married relationships and are convinced a different approach is the answer.
Growing apart is a term they often hear.

What's crucial in a marriage is that the two share common life values, said
the authors, who are married and live in Montana. The good news is that
people are remarkably good at choosing a mate with whom they share values.
They do it almost subconsciously. And that means they have a strong
foundation for a good marriage.

But strains are inevitable, and the Shechtmans say they know right away when
people head down the wrong path in assessing what's wrong. The issue of time
is a typical strain that drives couples apart.

One spouse, for example, will complain about not getting enough attention,
as if he or she were a child vying for a parent's time. When couples first
become romantically involved, they want to spend all their time together.
That stage of the relationship naturally evolves.

"Marriages are not about spending time together, they're about intensity,"
Arleah Shechtman said. "It's that deep emotional connection."

The usual advice that couples carve out time for "dates" is fine, unless the
time is spent staring blankly at each other or talking about a child's
soccer game, the authors say. Instead of a date, couples should go learn
something together, the authors said. Or take a vacation in which they
confront a new culture together rather than sit on a beach.

Moreover, the authors said, spouses must confront and challenge each other.
They should expect that_require it_from each other. "Relationships need to
be vibrant," Arleah said. "There should be questioning and conflicts. If
not, you see people daydreaming, glazing over, drifting and having affairs."

Communication is another issue that typically creates division. Spouses will
grumble that their partners seem uninterested, for instance, in how their
day went. While communication is essential to a marriage, the authors said,
many people don't understand the essence of good communication.

"Most married couples do data dumps," Morrie said. "As in `let me review the
18 things I did today.' At about item No. 9, their partner is ready to blow
their brains out.

"Don't share details of the day with your partner. It's like a bad CNN
broadcast." Explore instead one of the day's happenings that had a real
emotional impact, the authors said. Talk critically about how you reacted
and analyze why you reacted that way.

"We're talking about people taking emotional risk," Arleah said.

Another mistake couples make is to elevate raising children to a
single-minded goal of the marriage, the authors said. Having a family is
valuable and worthy, but adults who see raising children as their only
mission end up burdening their children. Adults should not expect children
to make them feel fulfilled in life, the authors said.

"Make sure there's not a hidden agenda," Morrie said. "It's not the
children's job to make you feel better."

Good Marriages:
Here is Morrie and Arleah Shechtman's list of core values they think make
for a great marriage. If each partner agrees to these, they say, emotional
intensity and intimacy will follow.

_Personal growth: Commit to learning about yourself, expanding your point of
view and extending yourself into the world.

_Willingness to challenge each other: Demand the best from your partner. To
do otherwise is to give up on him or her.

_Pre-eminence of the adult relationship: Make the marriage a higher priority
than any other relationship in your life, including with friends, family or
children.

_Dedication to your life's purpose: Commit and be actively involved in your
own endeavor outside the marriage.

_Inner renewal: Tap into your own source of inner renewal, such as religion
and meditation or through other avenues, such as nature and art.

_Personal responsibility: Assume full responsibility for your inner life;
your spouse is not the cause of your unhappiness.

_Accountability: Keep your word, follow through on commitments and accept
the consequences of what you do and what you neglect.

_Quality communication: Communicate with your partner about your inner life.

x 2004, The Kansas City Star.

#########################
- WE LEAD SEPARATE LIVES, PRACTICALLY

I receive hundreds of emails like this a week. Maybe I should forward them
to some of you to answer? Just sharing so you see what comes in. So many
looking for classes. I wish more of you would post your classes on the
Directory! That would help. - diane

> My name is K--- and I have been married for 11yrs. My husband is unwilling to
> change and is always right no matter what. He is content and I dont even like
> the word. We lead seperate lives practically. And most of our fighting stems
> from him not helping me with our 2yr old son. he spends most of his time
> with friends and wants to please them. His world is outside working in the
> yard. He can sit and talk to his friends all night and day but with me he
> falls asleep. Please can you give me some advice about this? thanks k----
> d------

In some ways you're describing a pretty good husband. Content, confident,
does the yard work, and has good male friends. He probably is also employed
and a good provider. Probably also cooks on the grill and loves his son but
thinks child care and what goes on inside the house is woman's work. You
don't describe someone that is unemployed, drinks, gambles, womanizes or
abuses you, your son or your mother. Perhaps I'm jaded by the really
pitiful emails I receive, but it sounds like you just want - and need - to
improve the relationship between the two of you - and, that you're starting
from a pretty good place. And, of course, I'm optimistic because of all
things people write to complain about, this one is easiest to fix.

I suggest you start by getting some of the tapes from the Smart Marriages
conference.

Then, armed with ideas from the experts, you might be able to get him to
take a marriage class with you. Tell him it will help your marriage be all
the more fun, satisfying, sexy and contented. The classes are incredible -
can work miracles. In a nutshell, you learn together new ways to interact
and new ways to communicate - to be a satisfied marital team. Check the
Directory of Programs on the smartmarriages.com website. Suggest to him
that you leave your son with your family and go off for a weekend somewhere
and take a marriage education class in a place that's fun - like New
Orleans, make it a marriage "vacation" - kill two birds with one stone -
time away for the marriage and learning some new ways to build intimacy.
Maybe plan this for your next anniversary. Or, your birthday.

And/or, you might be able to get him to listen to certain tapes. Tell him
you really liked this one or that one and you wonder if he'd like to listen
to it sometime - with you or without you - maybe #807 "The #1 Key to
Incredible Sex" or #802 "Keeping Love (and Sex) Alive" or #801 "Being an
Intentional Couple in a Crazed World". There are dozens of tapes from which
to choose. Share them with your girlfriends - all marriages face
challenges. Call 800-241-7785 to order the tapes.

You should also read some of the books/workbooks on the Smart Marriages web
site - click on Books by the Experts and start with books like "Divorce
Remedy" by Michele Weiner Davis or "Marriage Makeover: A Woman?s Guide to a
Better Marriage" by Sam Bradley. You'll find ideas and strategies about
how to change your marriage so you can also enjoy it. It's not fair that
you don't. Get back to me if you need more info. - diane

###########################

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