Dependent / Animal Insights / Grant/ Brooklyn / Divorce stats / Tallahassee - 2/ 16/ 07

Smartmarriages smartmarriages at
Fri Feb 16 16:15:51 EST 2007


Can you please send this to your list serv?

I am a reporter for the NY Times science section. I am writing a
story about "dependent personality disorder". Based on new research,
psychiatrists are considering changes to the diagnosis--which now describes
a very passive person--to also include an aggressive dependence. The sort
of dependence that is so afraid of losing a relationship that it can be
actively destructive.

Dependent traits are also valuable in many relationships, though: an
absence of it puts distance between people, and can undermine commitment. I
am hoping to interview a few people who have had to learn to become more,
or less, dependent in their interpersonal relations to strengthen or save
them. Recent research finds that men in abusive relationships often exhibit
clear dependent traits, for instance.

I have a deadline of Feb. 26 and would like to do interviews late next
week, if possible, the 22-24. Please email me at benedictcarey at if
you are interested in talking about this, and comfortable describing your
own experience.

Ben Carey
NY Times



The National Healthy Marriage Institute has combined some great animal
photos with marriage tips.  Maybe we can create a wave! If we share them
with friends and family, maybe they will, in turn, pass them on and we'll
have people around the world learning as they laugh.  The photos include a
link back to the Smart Marriages Directory so couples can find marriage
education workshops.  Start here:



Improving the Well-Being of Children / Healthy Marriage Initiative ­ CFDA #
93.612 (Special Initiative)
Available financial assistance for Tribes, Alaska Native Village governments
and Native non-profit organizations to improve child well-being by removing
barriers associated with forming and retaining healthy families and
marriages in Native communities.
* Project Period:     60 months only
* Thresholds:           $50,000 to $200,000 per 12-month budget period
* Closing Deadline: March 26, 2007
* Download Program Announcement: PDF 181K
<>  or HTML

We conducted a Valentine's Marriage Enrichment at Resurrection Church in
Brooklyn last week.  Two comments from participant's evaluation forms: "The
Weekend was like meeting my husband again for the first time. A New
Beginning."  Another wrote, "It helped to tackle the topics we had been
avoiding and to do it in such a peaceful way."
Mike McManus

Interesting to see this reporter's angle. Also, nice to see that yet another
family judge is a working with a local Coalition for Healthy Marriages. We
need all the judges we can get.  Invite them on board in your efforts! They
have seen the downstream carnage and can talk passionately about the need to
prevent family breakdown. - diane

Don't get too discouraged by high divorce rate
Friday, February 16, 2007
Huntsville Times (Alabama)
Lee Roop 

Watching a columnist wrestle with statistics is like watching a 3-year-old
try to put on a snowsuit. It's necessary on occasion, but it's not pretty.

Nevertheless, a local statistic about divorce released this month demands a
closer look. So let's wrestle with it, and I'll await your e-mails
explaining just how I got it wrong.

Circuit Judge Billy Bell told a press conference recently that Madison
County records 771 divorces per 1,000 marriages. That makes our divorce rate
50 percent higher than the national average, Bell said.

Bell, a former divorce attorney who specializes in family cases on the
bench, spoke as part of a Coalition for Healthy Marriages. That's a group of
clergy hoping to lower the divorce rate by mentoring newlyweds and couples.

More power to them. But can that divorce rate really be right? And what does
it mean?

Here's where numbers, or statistics, can get complicated. From what Bell
said, it sounds as though you have better odds at blackjack than at the game
of marriage.

The number is startling, and I'm not accusing Bell of misusing it. But it
helps to remember that this is a very mobile area. It's said, for example,
that up to 30 percent of the population of Madison - more than 10,000 people
- didn't live there 10 years ago.

Thousands of people move into our county each year. They didn't get married
here. They bring their marriages - good and bad - with them. Some of those
marriages fail.

That doesn't necessarily mean three-quarters of the marriages recorded here
this year will fail. The numbers relate marriage licenses issued to divorce
decrees issued. They do not relate divorces to the pool of married people.

Still, it sounds like a lot of divorces. What's up with that?

There are a lot of factors, and many of them relate to our area's unique
makeup. This is an affluent, educated community where women work at
high-paying jobs alongside men. The financial incentive to remain in a bad
marriage isn't as strong as it might be elsewhere.

And while we are a religious folk, in large part, the influence of the
Catholic Church, which has a strong stand against divorce, isn't as strong
as in other areas.

Alabama is also a no-fault-divorce state. That means assets are divided
equally. You don't automatically lose everything when you divorce here.

People here also tend to be the kind who believe their problems can be
fixed. If they can't be fixed one way, they can be fixed another.

None of this is to take away from the effort Bell and the clergy are
leading. The thousands of divorces we do record each year cause tremendous
pain and financial disruption.

If people can be counseled beforehand on the keys to a successful marriage,
that's a very good thing. Unique community or not, it sounds as though we're
pulling the plug on marriages pretty quickly.

But it's also important we don't get the idea marriage is a hopeless gamble
in Madison County. It isn't, no matter what the numbers say.

Tallahassee Democrat
By Sharon Kant-Rauch, Staff Writer
Feb 16, 2007 

Three upcoming marriage workshops - two locally, one in Baton Rouge - can
help couples keep their relationship cooking long after the chocolate hearts
have been eaten and the flowers have wilted.

"Good marriages take a lot of work, and it's worth it," said Richard
Albertson, director of Live the Life Ministries which is sponsoring a
Marriage Champion's Weekend in March. "People think they married the wrong
person, that they made a mistake, that it's not going to work. . . .A lot of
people feel that way, but we can help people dig out of that."
He should know. Twelve years ago, Albertson's marriage was on the rocks. His
wife basically said, "Change or it's over."

They got help and worked hard for two years before they were out of the
woods. Today, they continue to focus on their relationship.

"It's a process," Albertson said.

It's one reason he and his wife helped start Live the Life Ministries, which
is dedicated to saving marriages.

Here are some events planned that focus on marital relationships:

Saturday and Sunday: Magnificent Marriages, a two-day seminar featuring
Donnie Hilliard, director of Faulkner University's Center for Family
Strengths, starts at 7 p.m. at Timberlane Church of Christ, 3569 Timberlane
School Road. Talks tonight include "His Needs, Her Needs" and "How to
Affair-Proof Your Marriage." Schedule on Sunday includes "God's Plan for the
Home" (9:15 a.m.); "Preparation for Marriage" (10 :45 a.m.) and "Leading My
Family to Heaven" (1 p.m.) Cost: free. For more information, call 893-6469
or visit

Thursday through Feb. 24: The Third Annual Married Couples Conference
sponsored by the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education will be at
the Embassy Suites in Baton Rouge, La. The conference cost is $125, plus
hotel room. To register, call 222-8440 or visit

March 2-3: The Marriage Champion's Weekend will feature Gary and Barbara
Rosberg, hosts of the radio show America's Family Coaches LIVE, from 7 to 10
p.m. on March 2 and 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on March 3 at Christian Heritage
Church, 2810 Sharer Road. Cost is $79 a couple. To register, call 668-3700
or visit

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