Healthy Valentine's Day/Grants - 2/06

Smartmarriages smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Tue Feb 14 13:37:38 EST 2006


- VALENTINE'S DAY HOMEWORK.  AND, A GREAT DAY, THIS IS!
- HEALTHY MARRIAGE: WHY LOVE IS GOOD FOR YOU
- I JUST CALLED TO SAY "I LOVE YOU"
- BILL COFFIN'S VALENTINE'S GIFT TO YOU

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- VALENTINE'S DAY HOMEWORK.  AND, A GREAT DAY, THIS IS!

I hope you all realize what a big deal this is - a NY Times editorial saying
that marriage education is good for men. This is a GREAT Valentine's Day.
 - diane 

> Meanwhile, there haven't been many task forces analyzing men's adjustment on
> the home front. "Women wanted new roles outside the home, but men didn't
> lobby for new responsibilities at home," Haltzman says. "Fortunately, most
> men are glad to become more active parents. We want to help raise our kids.
> But here's the new role we didn't choose: that we become more emotionally
> attuned to our wives. Men are not innately competent at that role."
> 
> The standard advice for bungling husbands is to go with their wives to a
> marriage counselor, but Haltzman disagrees. He's a marriage counselor who
> advises men to BEWARE OF MARRIAGE COUNSELING.  While other therapists urge
> men to get in touch with their feelings and empathize with their wives',
> Haltzman figures this is a losing game because their brains aren't wired for
> it.

Op-Ed Columnist
  Valentine's Day Homework
The New York Times 
By JOHN TIERNEY
February 14, 2006

It's Valentine's Day, husbands. Do you have your To Do list? Sure, you've
gotten the flowers, but unless you've read Scott Haltzman's new book, you
don't know the rest of your duties today — and every other day:

• Tell your wife you adore her.

• Suggest an activity that's fun.

• Do your share of child care.

• Do your part with chores.

• Listen without judging.

• Praise her.

• Support her interests.

• Say, "I understand," when she expresses her emotions.

You will find these jobs in a handy chart in Haltzman's book, "The Secrets
of Happily Married Men," which is a work of marketing genius. Haltzman, a
psychiatrist at Brown University, knows that most guys will not buy a
self-help book unless it tells them how to make more money or actualize
their inner golfer.

So he's aimed this one at women, from the subtitle — "Eight Ways to Win Your
Wife's Heart Forever" — to the Herculean lists of husbandly duties. He has
been busy inscribing copies for wives who are buying it to give to their
husbands on Valentine's Day.

If you get one, do not throw it away. Do not be intimidated by the daily job
chart. The genius of this book is that it looks appealing to women shoppers
while offering male readers a reassuringly subversive message. It's a book
that asks politically incorrect questions about men and women at home — the
neglected front in the gender wars.

Since women have gone to work outside the home, an industry of experts has
been analyzing their difficulties on the work front. How can they balance
work with their maternal urges? Should jobs be restructured to accommodate
women? How can managers be more empathetic to women's emotional needs?
Smarter employers have realized that the old male football-coach style of
management — just do your job and shut up — doesn't work anymore.

Meanwhile, there haven't been many task forces analyzing men's adjustment on
the home front. "Women wanted new roles outside the home, but men didn't
lobby for new responsibilities at home," Haltzman says. "Fortunately, most
men are glad to become more active parents. We want to help raise our kids.
But here's the new role we didn't choose: that we become more emotionally
attuned to our wives. Men are not innately competent at that role."

The standard advice for bungling husbands is to go with their wives to a
marriage counselor, but Haltzman disagrees. He's a marriage counselor who
advises men to beware of marriage counseling. While other therapists urge
men to get in touch with their feelings and empathize with their wives',
Haltzman figures this is a losing game because their brains aren't wired for
it.

They can't express their emotions or empathize as well as women can. Telling
a man to solve his marital problems by talking about his emotions for an
hour is like telling a woman to solve her problems at the office by joining
the guys for a weekend game of paintball.

Even when men can express their emotions, they run a risk. "Women say they
want men to be vulnerable, but I say to men, Take your time," Haltzman
advises. "Your wife is looking to feel a certain degree of security and
trust in you. Until she feels that way about you, it's precarious to talk
about your anger or your fears. Either she loses respect for you or she
begins to panic — if you're not in control, where does that leave her?"

Men are good at fixing problems, not talking about them, so Haltzman advises
playing to your strength. His first rule is to think of your marriage as a
job. Write a job description. Put in the hours at home. Devote as much
energy to knowing your wife as you would to an important business client.
Listen to her carefully. Expect conflict and deal with it. Aim to please.
Check off your daily progress.

And for those husbands daunted by the long To Do lists, he offers one more
useful bit of advice: Don't be fooled by feminist rhetoric about women's
powerlessness.

Yes, husbands may usually make more money on the work front, but wives still
typically make the important decisions on the home front, like where the
children go to school or how to spend the family's money. Wives also (and
Haltzman presents supporting data here on the gender gap in libido) tend to
make the decision on whether to have sex.

Did that last sentence get your attention, gentlemen? Then enough talk.
Start working on that list.

http://select.nytimes.com/2006/02/14/opinion/14tierney.html

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- HEALTHY MARRIAGE: WHY LOVE IS GOOD FOR YOU

This article on the Mayo Clinic website is one to clip and save for your
Community Healthy Marriage Initiative work.  I don't have permission to send
you the whole article, but here are the high points:

Healthy marriage: Why love is good for you

The benefits of a healthy marriage include lower rates of disease, a longer
life span and a greater sense of well-being. Reasons include advantages of
cohabitation, financial stability and strong support networks.
. . . . 
While the benefits are clear, the reason married couples live healthier
lives is more elusive. . . .  But the prevailing explanation has to do with
stress management.

Hallmarks of a healthy marriage: All roads lead to stress reduction

. . . .For example, in a healthy marriage, two people share the task of
mowing the lawn, bringing in income or rearing children. With two people,
you have twice as many resources to address daily demands. Conversely, a
single head of household is more likely to face too many demands with not
enough resources ‹ the very definition of stress.
Marriage-related stress reducers: Basic themes

Many aspects of a healthy marriage contribute to stress reduction, such as:

    * More money. 
      
    * Expanded support network.
    * Improved behaviors.

Committed but unmarried couples don't show the same benefit

For the full article:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/healthy-marriage/MH00108

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- I JUST CALLED TO SAY "I LOVE YOU"

Diane, 
Our newspaper asked for entries for "most romantic Valentine's Day".  Mine
was one of the winners.

Here is my entry:
Our Marriage Gets Juicier Each Year!
The song "I Just Called To Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder became the theme
song of our marriage a few years ago, on Valentine's Day.  My husband, Todd
and I had been out dancing that night, when, for his karaoke song, he sang
this song, looking directly at me, and dedicated the song to me.

Later that evening, as we often do on Valentine's Day, we gave each other
massages.  This time, he sang "I Just Called To Say I Love You" while he
massaged me.  

We also perform a Rhumba dance while he sings this romantic song to me.

We continue to call and email each other at work with these same words :

"I Just Called To Say I Love You".  Now married over 33 years, our love
continues to grow and gets juicier each year, thanks in part, to this song.

Annette Carpien
greatrelationshipstraining.com

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- BILL COFFIN'S VALENTINE'S GIFT TO YOU

To show he's always thinking of your best interests, Bill Coffin is giving
you a heads up about applying NOW to review grants. Those who have reviewed
grants say it turns out to be the very best possible experience to learn how
to write a winning grant.  Heed this advice.  - diane

> Diane
> Since folks who apply for the healthy marriage grants this summer will not
> also be eligible to serve on those grant review panels some may
> want to apply to be reviewers for earlier grant review
> panels at ACF.  For info, they should visit:
> http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/grantreview
> Bill Coffin 
#######################
- GRANT ANNOUNCEMENT: NATIVE AMERICAN HEALTHY MARRIAGE MONEY

Just to clarify, this is a new grant announcement just released today but it
is from funds that existed BEFORE the $100 million a year was approved.
Which is my way of trying to explain that ACF has not yet started issuing
grant announcements on the new funding, not yet.  - diane

For Grant announcement on Improving Well Being of Children - Native American
Healthy Marriage Initiative, go to:
http://www.grants.gov/search/search.do?mode=VIEW&oppId=7985

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