Military: Marriage Education/Markman on NPR's Morning Edition - 4/05
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Thu Apr 21 13:06:07 EDT 2005
- HOWARD MARKMAN ON NPR THIS MORNING: ARMY PREP
- MARRIAGE EVER MORE CRUCIAL TO THE CORPS
- HOWARD MARKMAN ON NPR THIS MORNING: ARMY PREP
If you missed Howard Markman this morning on National Public Radio, you can
listen to the show on-line.
> Morning Edition, April 21, 2005 · Long deployments make marriage especially
> difficult for military couples. In an effort to reverse the high divorce rate
> in the armed services, the Army has created a marriage-counseling program that
> teaches military couples basic relationship skills.
It's only about 5 mins and it's great. To listen:
You can see Howard Markman present several times at the Smart Marriages
Conference including a keynote and workshop on yet another adaptation of the
PREP program: in prison. He'll also present a workshop on Friday, "What's
Love Got to Do with It?" with Jan Levine. And, most amazing of all, you can
spend three full days with Howard Markman and Scott Stanley and be trained
by the program founders as a certified instructor in their PREP program.
> 101 Three Days - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
> The PREP Approach
> Howard Markman, PhD, Scott Stanley, PhD, Natalie Jenkins
> Videos, role play and research shed light on both marital failure and success.
> Qualifies you to present the PREP program to help couples communicate, manage
> conflict, and nurture fun, friendship and intimacy in marriage. $150 spouse
> discount. Couples will receive two leader manuals and will share the
> instructor kit and book.
> 102 Three Days - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
> Christian PREP
> Scott Stanley, PhD, Howard Markman, PhD, Natalie Jenkins
> Attend #101 and spend lunch (Tues, Wed & Thurs) with Scott Stanley for a
> Christian PREP focus. Qualifies you to present the PREP or Christian PREP
> program. $150 spouse discount if both spouses attend Christian PREP. Couples
> receive two leader manuals but will share the instructor kit and book.
Click for more information: http://www.smartmarriages.com/prepinstitute.html
You can also be certified in Dallas as instructors in many other programs
currently being used with Military couples including PAIRS and Christian
PAIRS, Couple Communication, Relationship Enhancement, Family Wellness, 7
Habits of Healthy Marriages, Active Relationships, IMAGO for Churches, How
to Avoid Marrying a Jerk, Compassion Workshops, etc etc etc. See the
institute page for details: http://www.smartmarriages.com/institutes.html
And, here are just a few of the Dallas conference workshops that will focus
on Military marriages:
> 215 - Fri June 24
> 7 Habits of Highly Effective Military Families
> John Covey, EdD, MBA
> This experiential, activities-based program helps couples face the challenges
> of parenting, communicating and staying connected before, during and after
> 415 - Sat June 25
> PICK a Partner Program
> John Van Epp, PhD, Ron Thomas, MDiv, Ted Futris, PhD, CFLE
> Learn how the Army uses the PICK Program (aka How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk) to
> impact the attitudes and knowledge of single soldiers about marriage and mate
> 507 - Sat June 25
> Great Military Marriages
> Katherine Robredo, MSW, Maureen Griner, MA
> Learn strategies to help military couples face the trauma of separations and
> reunions -- stay connected, restore intimacy, manage PTSD. Add to any marriage
> program or teach as a stand alone.
And, if you're interested in working w/ military couples I strongly
encourage you to attend the MORNING ROUNDTABLES Thurs, Fri and Sat at
7:30am. Learn what works and doesn't in military settings and how to help.
- MARRIAGE EVER MORE CRUCIAL TO THE CORPS
Marines are learning to cope on home front
By Rick Rogers
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
April 21, 2005
> "This is absolutely a retention issue. We are trying to get spouses involved
> so they don't want their Marines to leave the service," she said.
> "I think we (had) better understand that we recruit the Marine, but we retain
> the family,"
There's an old saying that if the military wanted you to have a spouse, it
would have issued you one.
The adage is being shot down as duties in the Middle East stretch into the
fifth consecutive year, straining marriages and causing some troops to not
Several studies have shown that about 20 percent of couples divorce within
two years after a spouse goes to war.
At Camp Pendleton, unit commanders are emphasizing the importance of
matrimony by sending hundreds of Marines and their spouses on marriage
Similar programs are in place across the nation as the military tries to
preserve its most precious commodity its men and women.
The reasons are humane and pragmatic, said Lt. Col. Lori Reynolds, an
advocate of marriage-enrichment programs that earlier generations of
officers might have dismissed as being too touchy-feely or none of anyone's
"This is absolutely a retention issue. We are trying to get spouses involved
so they don't want their Marines to leave the service," she said.
"I think we (had) better understand that we recruit the Marine, but we
retain the family," said Reynolds, commander of the Camp Pendleton-based 9th
Communication Battalion, which maintains telecommunications links across Al
Anbar province in Iraq.
Keeping troops and their families intact has become critical for the U.S.
For nearly a year, the Army has failed to meet its monthly recruiting
benchmark; the National Guard has experienced similar shortfalls since the
In January, the Marine Corps missed its national recruiting goal for the
first time in nearly a decade and went on to miss its quotas for the next
The pool of married service members is large, and so too are the financial,
emotional and logistical stresses put on their marriages, the military says.
About 44.5 percent of 178,000 active-duty Marines are married; slightly less
than half the Army's total force of 494,300 is single.
"The people . . . coming back from war are often coping with multiple
issues," such as making the transition back to civilian life,
re-establishing intimacy with their spouse and reconciling everyday
activities at home with traumatic memories from the battle lines, said David
Fassler, a child and adolescent psychiatrist who studies the effects of
deployments on military families.
"For a lot of couples, it is very difficult to catch up," said Fassler, a
professor at the University of Vermont. "It's too early to tell if the
marriage programs are working, but they have aspects that appear promising."
Reynolds, the lieutenant colonel, said she observed marital strain among her
Marines in Iraq and again after half of her battalion returned to Camp
Pendleton last fall.
"I was seeing kids who were looking for some help," she said. "My experience
in the past year is that there are a lot of young families who just need a
little bit of coaching and mentoring."
Reynolds was searching for a solution when she overheard officers talking
about the Chaplain Religious Enrichment Development Operation or CREDO
and its marriage programs.
Despite her battalion being short-handed, Reynolds sent married Marines to
the CREDO enrichment retreats, which focus on communication, intimacy and
"Communication is everything," said Cmdr. Daniel C. Stephens, who runs CREDO
for Marines stationed west of the Mississippi River from his office at Camp
"If you can't talk about it, you can't fix it. And if you are having
problems in your sex life and can't talk about it, well, the marriage is in
trouble and that's often when people go out and spend money to compensate."
Stephens said an increasing number of commanders are making the same
decision as Reynolds. Though CREDO has been around for 34 years, he
explained, demand for and acceptance of the marriage classes has never
Combat duty in Afghanistan and Iraq has propelled the trend, he asserted.
"Before the war, if a couple went to a commanding officer to get into a
marriage enrichment class, the (officer) would probably say something like,
'Why? I haven't seen you on the (police) blotter,' " Stephens said.
"Just live with it was the old thinking. When we promote CREDO now, it is an
easy sell because of the stress the Marines are under now."
The heavy lifting of marriage enrichment is done during two-day getaways at
rented religious resorts, such as Rancho San Juan Capistrano or Palomar
Christian Conference Center.
These retreats are more spiritual than religious, Stephens emphasized, and
participating couples usually 19 to 40 of them are not required to
attend church services.
Under Stephens' direction, nearly 200 couples attended marriage retreats in
2003. The number rose to 275 in 2004 and more than 300 couples are expected
to go through marriage enrichment this year.
The CREDO program is so successful that returning combat commanders are
asking Stephens to tailor retreats for their individual units.
"It is an investment," Reynolds said.
The retreats aren't designed to save marriages. That's why they're called
marriage enrichment and not marriage saving, Stephens said. But he contends
they've done just that by getting people to deal honestly with their
"Here's the key," Stephens said. "The majority of the problems in marriages
happen within the first two years, and it's a no-brainer why. It's all the
stresses and expectations of two people becoming one. You are having to
learn how to live with that person."
First Lt. Rex Laceby and his wife, Ashley, attended a marriage retreat in
November. He had returned to Camp Pendleton after being wounded in Ramadi,
Laceby said the couple wasn't on the brink of breaking up, but they wanted
to strengthen their marriage by learning how to better resolve conflicts and
fulfill each other's emotional needs.
"The whole thing was super-positive," said Laceby, a infantry platoon
commander from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. "We just worked on stuff that
a lot of people take for granted, such as communication skills."
During his 12 years in the Corps, Laceby said, he's seen the culture turn
more "pro-family." Now a company commander, Laceby said he planned to send
his Marines and their spouses to the retreats.
"My wife and I would go back every year if I didn't feel guilty about taking
a slot away from someone else," he said.
© Copyright 2005 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
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