Signs/Marquardt on Rehms/ Finances - 12/05
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Mon Dec 12 10:21:31 EST 2005
- TEXAS TECH BOWL GAME
- SIGNS OF TIMES
- "BETWEEN TWO WORLDS" STILL BIG AT THE BOX OFFICE
- DISCUSS FINANCES BEFORE MARRIAGE
- TEXAS TECH BOWL GAME
In case any of you are curious after reading that NY Times article, but like
me, don't even know how to look for a football game, here's the info. I
also thank you for all the comments and additional articles connecting
sports/football/coaching to marriage.
> Hi Diane,
> Texas Tech plays Alabama in the Cotton Bowl on January 2nd.
> Kick-off is at 11am and the game can be seen on your local fox affiliate.>
- SIGNS OF TIMES
UNDER CATEGORY OF "BOOKS WE CAN DO WITHOUT" but featured in NY Times "Books
of Style" section yesterday is a book that includes how to plan your wedding
AND your divorce -- all in one book. Puleeze. "The Sweet Potato Queens
Wedding Planner and the Sweet Potato Queens Divorce Guide". The sick gimmick
is that you turn it over and read from the back and upside down for the
divorce advice. They also review a "Color System for Relationships" --
incredibly inane "the world's only validated personality-testing instrument
based on color" -- what are your three favorite colors?! I promise you
won't see this one at Smart Marriages. WHY would the Times waste space on
Perhaps this morning's USA Today feature on the disappointments of Internet
Dating offers a clue. "Blind Dating is Back" -- in a big way because
Internet hook-ups are so hopeless. Plus the numerous articles about couples
in their 40s having babies through surrogates -- the ones that can afford
to. Pretty discouraging reading for the average 30-something.
We wait too long -- not realizing that the optimal time to marry is in our
mid twenties (22 - 27). This is also the time when we're exposed to a
larger pool of suitable prospects -- while we're still in school and grad
school. We are the experts and we need to get the word out about the stats
and the reasons for HOPE -- that there are ways to "Avoid Marrying a Jerk"
(and planning your wedding with a nervous eye on the divorce exit signs) and
information on "Why Marriages Succeed or Fail" and "8 Habits of Successful
Marriage" -- that the answer is not waiting till you're in your 30's and
dependent on the Internet or Blind dates to meet someone -- ANYone. We are
also failing to get the word out that a woman's fertility begins to plummet
at AGE 34.5 and by age 40, 90% of a woman's eggs are not viable. Our advice
should be: "Find a mate while you're in your 20s. Avoid having a child out
of wedlock or a bunch of serial cohabitations that put you in serious
jeopardy of ever having a successful marriage. Take marriage and
relationship courses. Get smart about marriage." We MUST get this
information out there. We MUST. - diane
- "BETWEEN TWO WORLDS" STILL BIG AT THE BOX OFFICE
Elizabeth Marquardt's "Between Two Worlds" has tremendous staying power.
Listen this Wed Dec 14 to her interview on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR. (The
Diane Rehm show will include an author that tackles the idea of waiting to
divorce until after the kids leave home...yeah, just in time to really mess
with their heads as they're trying to decide what commitment and marriage
mean to them.) Also, this week, Elizabeth is taping a show for the PBS
Religion and Ethics show. I'll let you know the air date as soon as I have
it. And, she just did a Q & A interview for Christianity Today, and, the
op-ed below ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer yesterday. This Philly piece
reaches out to the many grown children of divorce who don¹t see themselves
as ³damaged goods² but who still recognize their own challenges in the book.
You can attend a full two-hour seminar with Elizabeth at the Atlanta Smart
Marriages Conference and learn more about how to use the "Between Two
Worlds" materials in your work. One of the challenges we will tackle in
Atlanta is how to deal with the daunting prediction that "children of
divorce are themselves more likely to divorce". Pat Love and her daughter,
Kathleen McFadden, will lead us in a discussion of how we can STOP the
divorce cycle. What can parents do to reduce the odds that they will pass
on a divorce legacy to their children? What should we be doing to prepare
adult children of divorce to improve their odds of success?
Order Between Two Worlds now, and study-up for our discussion in Atlanta.
Only $16.47 on amazon. To order, click:
- CHILDREN OF DIVORCE: WE'RE NOT DAMAGED GOODS, BUT WE'RE STILL DEEPLY
SHAPED BY DIVORCE
December 11, 2005
By Elizabeth Marquardt
> Most of us from divorced families do not see ourselves as "damaged goods," but
> neither are we willing to be held up as convenient proof that kids don't need
> both parents.
For years, our national debate about divorce has focused on badly damaged
children. Most studies show that children of divorce are two to three times
more likely to end up with lasting social and emotional problems - things
like addiction, mental illness, an arrest record, or a teen pregnancy - but
the majority are not scarred in this way. For parents considering divorce,
the take-home message has been clear: Divorce might hurt your kids, but most
likely they'll be just fine.
But now the debate - and the questions - are changing.
Today, one-quarter of young adults between the age of 18 and 35 are grown
children of divorce. These 15 million young people across America have a
very different take on divorce. Most of them are relatively successful. They
don't see themselves as victims or damaged goods. Most have graduated from
high school, maybe gone to college or beyond, gotten jobs, gotten married,
had kids. When they hear the debate about damaged children of divorce, they
cringe. "That's not me," they say.
But in a first-ever national study of grown children of divorce, which I
conducted with professor Norval Glenn at the University of Texas-Austin,
these young people told us that, even if they were not forever damaged by
their parents' divorce, they were still deeply shaped by it in ways that
should make parents think yet again before divorcing.
It turns out that any kind of divorce, whether or not it's amicable, gives
children an entirely new and burdensome job. After a divorce, the parents no
longer have to confront their different worlds - their different values,
beliefs and lifestyles. In fact, their inability to handle that challenge
may have led to the divorce. But the big job of making sense of the parents'
two different worlds does not go away once the divorce papers are signed.
Instead, this job gets handed to the child alone.
Many grown children of divorce told us they had to grow up negotiating two
wholly separate worlds. They rose to the challenge by becoming a different
person with each of their parents. They had a mom-self and a dad-self inside
them and pulled out the one they needed depending on where they were that
day. They had to grow up fast and often felt much less emotionally safe than
their peers with married parents, even compared with some whose parents were
Being the lonely link between two different worlds made the grown children
of divorce more often feel they had to figure out the big questions in life
- What is right and wrong? Where do I belong? Is there a God? - alone.
But doesn't it matter how the parents divorce? If divorced parents don't
fight, doesn't that help? Sure, to a point. An amicable divorce is better
for kids than a bitter one. But it turns out that only one-fifth of the
grown children of divorce say their parents had a lot of conflict after the
divorce. Instead, the grown children of divorce told us that the divorce
itself made their parents' worlds seem forever locked in conflict, even when
their parents did not fight. This silent conflict between two worlds went to
the heart of the child's identity. The children of divorce come to feel like
divided selves. When they grow up, some wonder whether they can be their
whole, true self around anyone.
There's a new debate about divorce emerging, with the grown children of
divorce leading the way. I'm one of them. My parents split up when I was 2
years old. At 35, I'm speaking for my generation when I say this: Most of us
from divorced families do not see ourselves as "damaged goods," but neither
are we willing to be held up as convenient proof that kids don't need both
parents. We needed our parents, living together, married to each other, and
preferably getting along well. And if our parents could not stay together -
and some cannot - we needed to grow up in a culture that didn't focus on
only the most tragic outcomes and dismiss the rest of the kids as being just
fine. We may not have been broken by divorce, but our identities were deeply
shaped by it. In the national debate about the impact of divorce, our
stories matter, too.
Order Between Two Worlds now and study-up before you get to Atlanta:
Only $16.47 on amazon:
- DISCUSS FINANCES BEFORE MARRIAGE
By NEALE S. GODFREY
(Here's a helpful checklist to add to your marriage-prep classes. I also
encourage you to check out the Money Habitude card deck/game developed by
Sybil Soloman and the Financial Harmony add-on/teach-out-of-the-box module
developed by Kelly Simpson. More info following article. - diane)
It seems like only yesterday they were so little, but now your adult child
has announced being ready to tie the knot. What do they need to know?
Nobody enters a marriage thinking it will fail, but the old adage our
mothers used, about an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, is
valuable here. The more aware your children are about what can go wrong
after the wedding, the better prepared they'll be.
Money problems are at the root of many disagreements in marriage, and a
major cause of divorce. Often these problems revolve around control and
You can help your marriage-minded child address some practical issues early
on. Encourage them to sit down with their partner and ask some basic
questions. Do they think about money the same way? Are they savers or
spenders? Here's a quick quiz for them to take together:
When I'm out shopping, I think most about:
a) The stuff I'm getting.
b) The money I'm spending.
If I'm short of money at the end of the month:
a) That's what credit cards are for.
b) I don't buy anything.
If I don't have enough cash for a purchase and I'm not near my bank:
a) There's an ATM on every corner.
b) I'll put off the purchase. I hate paying ATM surcharges.
Money makes me feel powerful when:
a) I use it to get something I want.
b) I hold it as an asset.
At the current rate I'm saving:
a) I have no idea how much I'll be worth when I retire.
b) I can tell you almost exactly how much I'll be worth when I retire.
When I put money into savings, I feel:
When I make an impulse purchase, I feel:
a) A rush.
b) What's an impulse purchase?
When I talk to my friends about money, I'm likely to mention:
a) The great bargain I got.
b) The great undervalued stock I bought.
I am most likely to celebrate a raise and promotion by:
a) Buying myself something special.
b) Jumping in the air and yelling "Yippee!"
I am most likely to react to being passed over for a raise and promotion by:
a) Buying myself something special.
b) Tightening my belt and talking with my boss.
If they give more a) answers, they are basically spenders, if more b)
answers, they're savers. A comparison of scores can be enlightening.
If there's a big difference, the potential for disagreement is high. That
doesn't necessarily spell trouble, but it means they should be aware about
their differing perspectives.
If they are both spenders by nature, it's good to be aware of that. Neither
partner can count on the other to put the brakes on. It can be OK if they
are learning their own techniques of self-restraint. But if they don't learn
how to deal with it, there could be financial stress down the road.
If they are both savers, that's great, but they shouldn't forget that it's
OK to have a little fun, too.
Another important aspect of money management for soon-to-be newlyweds is
financial priorities. Have them take this joint test, answering as honestly
If we had to tighten our belts, we would be willing to cut these things:
a) right away
b) if necessary
c) maybe for one month
d) not at all
Here is the list:
Nice things for the house
Credit card bills
Rent or mortgage payments
Tools or equipment needed for work
Expenses indirectly related to work, such as taking a course
People who love each other and who agree on movies, music, politics and home
décor may have drastically different opinions about what they'll give up
when money is tight. Of course, if they don't agree that payments for credit
cards, housing and cars can not be cut, they might need some help figuring
out their financial priorities -- either from you or an independent
It is possible for people with vastly different approaches to money to find
common ground. The main thing for them to understand when it comes to this
aspect of their relationship is that it's just like anything else: Dealing
with it successfully will require sharing and mutual respect. Asking the
right questions before they exchange their vows will help them understand
what saying "I do" really means.
Neale S. Godfrey is a former bank president and expert on family finance.
MARRIAGE AND MONEY:
You can order recordings of these 90-min workshops from the 2005 Dallas
Smart Marriages Conference for $15 each on CD, cassette or on MP3 at
> Active Relationships: Financial Harmony
> Kelly Simpson, MA
> Money talks. Help couples understand and bridge money styles, family financial
> rules and legacies and teach practical tools to create money harmony.
> Money Habitudes: The Root of All Upheaval
> Syble Solomon, MEd, Bill Bailey, PhD
> Learn to use the Money Habitude card deck to discuss money issues and values
> with your partner. Hands-on, surprising, fun!
Here's more info on the Money Habitudes cards:
> To help new clients overcome the long-standing gag rule on talking money, life
> coach Syble Solomon has developed Money Habitudes, a set of playing cards that
> make it quick and easy to uncover the underlying or even unconscious attitudes
> that shape our financial lives. The deck includes 54 cards bearing statements
> that correlate to six "money habitudes" or financial personality types. The
> game takes about 10 to 15 minutes as a person divvies up the 54 statement
> cards into the categories of "That's me!," "That's not me!," and "That's
> sometimes me."
> Life planner Steven Shagrin has used Money Habitudes more than 100 times with
> his clients. It's part of his regular system for getting to know people, but
> it has also had important results in other situations. For example, the game
> proved to be an invaluable planning aid for a married couple who found
> themselves mired in conflict as they were about to receive a large
> inheritance. The pair, who had argued about money throughout their 18-year
> marriage, were better able to understand what Shagrin terms "the money
> messages from their past" after playing a round of the cards. The husband
> chose cards that categorized him as spontaneous and a free spirit, while the
> wife valued security and targeted goals. As their conversation evolved and the
> pair realized how their money habits were influenced by their childhoods, they
> began to understand their incompatibility in regard to dealing with their
> personal finances. Bringing the conflict to the surface helped them to sort
> things out, Shagrin says, and move forward more cohesively.
You might also want to listen to a workshop on genograms, on dealing with
inter-generational messages that include money, roles, power, etc:
> 755-202 - (90 min recording)
> Marriage Genograms: Beyond the Two of Us
> Rita DeMaria, PhD
> Learn a tool that helps couples understand the powerful influences of their
> family legacies including divorce, gender, ethnic, religious, economic, sexual
> and attachment patterns.
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