Iraq Request/CAMFT/Rituals -9/04

Smart Marriages ® cmfce
Sun Sep 19 18:29:02 EDT 2004


subject: Iraq Request/CAMFT/Rituals -9/04


- REQUEST FROM IRAQ
- CALIFORNIA OPPORTUNITY
- MARRIAGE RITUAL FROM ZIMBABWE

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- REQUEST FROM IRAQ

We all know there will be enormous fallout from this deployment - many
broken families. That doesn't make this any easier to read. Many in the
coalition are working hard at helping couples readjust as soldiers return
home, but here's a chance to help while they're still deployed. Let me know
what you send. - diane

Ma'm,
I am an American Soldier stationed in Iraq. I am a Chaplain for Fire, Police
and EMS at home when I am not soldiering. While here, I have become not only
a warrior but also a teacher, coach and mentor to my fellow soldiers. We
have suffered a great deal in this war, but the worst thing we are having to
suffer through is "forced divorce." I have soldiers who have stood in harms
way who are more shaken up by the spouse at home who tells them they no
longer have a home to come back to than by their battle experiences. It is
not everyday you have to aid a 6 foot 7 inch 300lbs man who is sobbing not
because of the gunfight we just went through but the call he just made and
got news that his wife wants a divorce...a divorce he doesn't want! It's a
fact we all have problems, those of us who are married and the ones that are
single, these relationships may have been in trouble before coming here, but
why end it now??Why?not try to work things out.

My own wife has asked me for a divorce while being here in Operation Iraqi
Freedom. Most of the soldiers I have counseled have also been approached
by their spouses as wanting a divorce upon their return home from this
operation. We are members of the Army National Guard. We are covered under
the soldiers and Sailors relief act at the time of deployment so our
spouses can not file for divorce until we are released. In my state, KY,
one must also be separated for 60 days and then go to a parenting class, if
you have children, before you may file for a divorce. My biggest concern
is that it is simply not enough. In most cases, although there have been
problems before the deployment, they have always been able to work through
their problems or they did not rise to this level. I believe there should be
more than just a sixty day separation. In most cases the soldier has been
gone for a year if not more, and these problems take time to fix. They
where not created yesterday. The soldiers themselves and their family
dynamics have changed since he has been gone and no counseling or mediation
is ordered to see if they both want a divorce or if it can be fixed through
mediation. I think the whole thing is crazy! Just because one party wants
a divorce you are stuck without any other recourse with no way to slow
things down or get help.

I have been trying to get several marriage books for several weeks now
including Divorce Busting, The Divorce Remedy and Fighting For Your
Marriage. Our library here in Iraq says they have access to them, but that
they are just unable to get them now.
- - - - -
Ma'm,
Yes, please feel free to use my name and address. I would not mind you using
anything I have emailed you if it would help generate a response. My
soldiers and I need help.

I understand your concern that if you ask your list to send us books, I
might be overwhelmed with the response but I will be sure that any books on
marriage and relationships will be put to good use and left behind at the
library for other warriors to come. I can teach my men to Survive, Fight and
Win on the battle field but relationships are much trickier...

We also have access to CD and DVD players, maybe some of the books are on CD
or DVD? Those would be less expensive to mail.

Whatever anyone can donate, please mail to:

SSG Santiago, Miguel A
766th Trans Bn
2123D TC HET/ 1ST PLT
APO AE 09366
Operation Iraqi Freedom

#######################
- CALIFORNIA OPPORTUNITY
Diane,
I just received the following group email from CAMFT (Calif. Assoc. for
Marriage and Family Therapists) and wondered if anyone who is a member of
the coalition and who is ALSO a member of CAMFT might want to send some
smart-marriages-type literature? Seems like an obvious way to let more folks
know about marriage education programs as an adjunct to practice. - PAJ
---------------
CAMFT's Marketing Team will be hosting a number of exhibits to highlight the
benefits of healthy relationships, to promote marriage and family
therapists, and the services of mental health professionals.

We invite MEMBERS to donate to CAMFT any books, articles, or materials
geared to the general public to be given away at these exhibits. If you
would like to donate materials, please mail them to CAMFT, 7901 Raytheon
Road, San Diego, CA 92111.
marketingteam at camft.org

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

- MARRIAGE RITUAL FROM ZIMBABWE
My husband and i have been traditionally married for two years now and will
be wedding in December. When we were still dating as girlfriend and
boyfriend we reached an agreement that the person who is visited at their
home welcomes the visitor with a HUG AND A KISS.... and we are still doin it
today (amazing). In the morning when we part for work we give each other a
good day KISS, phone as soon as we get to our offices, lunchtime "How is/was
your lunch" and just before we knock off "Hie sweetie, im gettin out of this
place". After work its always a Kiss and "Hie sweetie, how was your day??"
We take a shower together (sometimes) as a way of connecting after a long
day, and sit together to play with our son and prepare him for his bedtime.
We never go to bed without a "goodnite darling/sweetie" and he holds me
closer to him everynight....... We talk less but i'm really happy with the
way we have done our marriage rituals and the different small ways we have
shown our love for each other, and the way we have stayed connected by these
small things we've done and said to each other.. I DON'T INTEND TO STOP
THESE RITUALS!!! For as long as we both shall live.....
Bunjiwe and Mehluli (Zimbabwe)

Great to hear from couples around the world. Continue to send your rituals,
people find them very inspiring. I've added this one to the Marriage Rituals
page at: http://www.smartmarriages.com/intentionalmarriage.html - diane

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