TODAY Show - please help/ Laughter More Important than Sex/ Marriage Ed as Entertainment!/Berks Cty/DV shelters - 1/11/07

Smartmarriages smartmarriages at
Thu Jan 11 14:35:49 EST 2007



The Today Show is doing a three-day series on "the state of marriage"
and covering the following topics:

Where the institution of marriage is today
Does Marriage counseling work
How Kids affect marriage

We are looking to interview a few couples on camera about their experiences
with marriage. We want a variety of couples: engaged, couples who have been
married just a few years to those who have been married quite a few years.
We want to hear your thoughts on and concerns about marriage, any issues or
problems you've experienced in your marriage and HOW YOU RESOLVED THEM or
weren't able to resolve them....if you did get a divorce what made you
realize it wasn't right? What are/were some of the high and low points and
what do you do to make sure that your union makes it for the long haul.
Lastly, we want to know if and how kids affected your happy union.

If you are interested in being interviewed please send an email to
todaymarriageseries at with the following information:



(Hmmmmm....."this was an on-line survey of adults 18+".  Wonder how much
over 18 these folks were....not that there's anything wrong with laughter.
- diane)   

Press Release    
Source: Reader's Digest Association, Inc.
January 11, 2007

Reader's Digest Survey Reveals Surprising Results: Marriage Isn't Broken and
Laughter is More Important Than Sex

NEW YORK, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Reader's Digest today announced
results of a survey that reveals that despite the soaring divorce rate,
Americans are hopeful and optimistic about their marriages. Survey findings
can be found online at and throughout The 7 Stages of
Marriage, a new book written by Rita DeMaria, Ph.D., and Sari Harrar that
offers couples caring, honest, straight-forward advice about how to improve
their relationships.

"The Reader's Digest survey supports the notion that married couples are
happier in their relationships since they no longer have to be married as
they did several decades ago," said DeMaria. "Because people now marry for
love and companionship, those that are married are typically more fulfilled
in their unions."

    Finding 1: Marriage Isn't Broken
    - When the 1,001 married people surveyed were asked if they would marry
      their spouse all over again, 71% agreed they would.
    - 62% of respondents said "I love my spouse even more than when we were
      first married."
    - 61% of respondents married for 21 years or more find their marriage is
      better than the typical American marriage.

    Finding 2: Laughter is More Important Than Sex
    When husbands and wives chose the factors most important for a good
    marriage from a list of options, the following items rose to the top -
    and fell to the bottom:

    - Trust                                        63%
    - Time spent talking, laughing, having fun     52%
    - Compatibility                                30%
    - Quality of Sex                               13%
    - Frequency of Sex                              9%

    Finding 3: Guys Get Mushy About Marriage, Too
In the survey, participants were asked to write verbatim answers to
questions regarding their marriage. In reviewing the hundreds of responses
from men, researchers were struck at the preponderance of highly emotional,
positive and sensitive responses. The comments were in strong contrast to
common stereotypes of men as emotionally detached. When asked to describe
their most cherished marriage moments, men said:

- "Kissing in the Snow."

- "The look of joy and happiness on her face as she came toward me at the

- "The first and every time we make love."

- "I can't believe how lucky I am to have the woman of my dreams.  I cherish
every moment of every day that I'm with her."

    Finding 4: Being Married Has Its Perks
- Infidelity is not a challenge most married couples face according to the
survey: When asked to choose from a list of challenges experienced while
married, "buying a new home" was noted as a challenge by 55% of respondents
making it the most popular answer while "infidelity" was at the bottom of
the list at 13%.

- Women are funnier than their husbands expected at the start of their
union: 47% of men said their wives' sense of humor is "better than

- When asked to choose from a list of things they miss from when they were
single including "being more adventurous sexually," "living by my own rules"
and "dating," men and women said "nothing at all" most often (41%).

Survey findings can be found in The 7 Stages of Marriage (12/28/06, $25.95,
ISBN: 0-7621-0725-1). Additionally, visit the Love Channel at to read the full survey results, take a quiz to determine
what stage your marriage is in, watch video, and get personal advice from
coauthor and marriage therapist Rita DeMaria Ph.D. will also feature
marriage-building exercises, polls, and daily tips on marriage and other
relationship topics. The February issue of Reader's Digest, on newsstands
January 23, will feature excerpts from the book.

* The Reader's Digest Marriage Survey was an independent survey of men and
women conducted online between 2/10/06 and 2/24/06. Survey respondents were
married and age 18+.

Source: Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

I love this one.  This article in the Highland Community News, Highland,
California was listed in the Entertainment section of the paper.  Nicky and
Sila Lee, who created the teach-out-of-the-box Marriage Course, will present
it at the Denver Smart Marriages Conference.

> Entertainment: Marriage course offered
> The Marriage Course, a series of eight sessions designed to help any married
> couple strengthen their relationship will be offered at Messiah Lutheran
> Church, Highland, beginning Thursday Jan. 18.
> The Marriage Course gives couples tools to look at important issues and build
> healthy marriages that last a lifetime.
> Each week includes a meal together, a talk and testimony on video, and ample
> time to discuss the topic privately as a couple. There is no group work
> involved at any stage and no one will be expected to speak in the group. There
> is some homework between sessions, but it is not seen by anyone else and is
> just for the couple's own benefit.
> While the course is based on Christian principles, couples are welcome with or
> without a church background. Many couples who are not churchgoers have enjoyed
> and benefited from the course.
> The course will meet 6:15 - 8:55 p.m. Thursdays. For more information, see The
> Marriage Course Web site Preregistration is
> required; call 909-862-2923 or email messiah7 at by Janu. 14 for
> more information or to register. The $60 cost per couple includes eight meals,
> the course and materials.
> Messiah Lutheran Church is at 7070 Palm Ave., Highland, between Baseline
> Street and Pacific Avenue.


Date Your Mate:
Last year‚s Date Your Mate so was successful that we have decided to do it
again! This county-wide initiative is sponsored in cooperation with the
Berks County Prevention Campaign and the Reading Eagle. On January 28, a
kick-off Date Your Mate article will be published in the Reading Eagle along
with the first of a series of four restaurant coupons offering Buy one meal,
get one meal of equal or lesser value for free at participating restaurants.
Coupons will appear in three February editions.  Happy, healthy
relationships require time and commitment and we believe that this offer
will encourage many couples to plan a date.  Each coupon redeemed also
serves as an entry for a drawing for a number of fabulous prizes, including
a Grand Prize Romantic Get-Away Night at the Sheraton Hotel.

Berks County's Happiest Married Couple Essay Contest:
What makes a marriage great?  Respect, open communication, overcoming
Hardships? Think you or someone you know has got it figured out?  Submit an
essay by Jan 29, 200 words or less, nominate a marriage and let us know why
you think it tops the rest. The winning essay will be published in the
Reading Eagle during Marriage Week USA.  In addition, the couple who the
winning essay is about will win a special prize.  Submit your essay right
now at  Essays may also be submitted by

Strengthening Families First
Community Prevention Partnership
227 North Fifth Street
Reading, PA 19601


Auuuugh. Here it is again. Another example (article below) of adding fees to
marriage license applications to fund domestic violence shelters. Grrrr.
This is being done in jurisdictions across the country and is
well-intentioned but extremely unfortunate and misguided. Married couples
experience lower rates of domestic violence than cohabiting couples so it is
counter-productive and gives the wrong message to raise the marriage license
fees to fund shelters.  If anything, we should combat domestic violence
through encouraging marriage and use any increase in marriage license fees
to make MARRIAGE EDUCATION communication and conflict management classes
free. This policy sends a completely inaccurate message by implying that
increased numbers of marriages increases the need for shelters! It would be
much more logical to raise the taxes on beer and alcohol to fund domestic
violence shelters and offer a discount on marriage license fees to all
couples that take a marriage education class (as us done in several states).
Or, raise the marriage license fee but use the money to subsidize the
marriage education classes (as is done in other states.)  When this type of
legislation (adding a fee to marriage license applications to fund shelters)
was last proposed in Maryland in 2006, a state legislator pointed out that
less than 50% of the women served in the state's Domestic Violence shelters
are married.  Most are cohabiting...."so financing the shelters should not
fall on people seeking marriage licenses."  It was defeated.

> Marriage Insurance
> The Press Enterprise (Riverside California)
> January 10, 2007
> My wife and I zipped out of town (all the way to Long Beach!) for a little New
> Year's Eve reunion and met a delightful OC lady who helps run a battered
> women's center in Irvine.
> Naturally, we got to talking about domestic violence (my wife and I are not
> slouches when it comes to festive chit-chat), and the various ways these
> centers get moolah. That's when our new friend treated us to the term "Presley
> money."
> Counties extract "Presley money" from marriage license fees and turn it over
> to centers that protect women and kids (mostly) who are victims of domestic
> violence.
> "Presley" would be the ex-RivCo senator who's had any number of buildings
> named for him. I had no idea the guy had money named after him, too.
> I called Bob Presley to alert him that even Orange County women who have never
> met him are still bandying about his name. And I wondered if he could tell me
> more about this "Presley money."
> Before graduating to the Legislature in 1975, Presley worked in law
> enforcement. "To make an arrest for misdemeanor (domestic violence), an
> officer had to see it occur."
> What they'd see instead was some drunk guy and a "beat-up, disheveled woman
> cowering in a corner."
> "We'd chew him out pretty good, tell him to knock this stuff off, and a week
> or two later we're back. We never could find a solution."
> So when Presley went to Sacto, "the first thing I did" was introduce a bill
> that set up six domestic violence centers around the state." How hard could
> that have been?
> "We had a horrible time. The mind-set was: These are family matters. They work
> themselves out. We needed $375,000 and it was like pulling teeth to get it."
> Once they got it, they asked, "How are we going to fund these things on a
> continuing basis?"
> That's when Presley came up with the idea of "putting a surcharge" on marriage
> licenses. "I remember arguing on the (Senate) floor that it's just like
> insurance. You're in love, you're getting married. What's another five dollars
> on a marriage license? You're going to live happily ever after anyway. But if
> not, the wife and kids have a place to go."
> So they increased the marriage license fee by five bucks. Then they did it
> again.
> "Every year we introduced a bill to up it another five. Finally, (Gov.)
> Deukmejian balked and vetoed the bill."
> But when Pete Wilson succeeded him, "We got it up another five."
> Today -- 30 years later -- a RivCo marriage license costs $68, and $23 of it
> is "Presley money."
> Latest stats: In Riverside County, two centers -- Alternatives for Domestic
> Violence (Riverside) and Shelter in the Storm (near Palm Springs) -- split
> roughly $220,000 in Presley money right down the middle.
> Presley's justly proud of his Presley money, and every once in a while pens a
> letter explaining "legislative intent" if he gets wind that some county is
> trying to use these funds for some suspicious purpose.
> Some lovebirds might experience sticker shock when they learn their marriage
> license, loaded up with that Presley money, is going to cost them nearly $70.
> But the way the senator looks at it, "If they can't afford it, they probably
> shouldn't get married anyway."

Send submissions and comments for the listserv to: diane at
Do NOT hit "reply". If you hit reply your email will go into cyberspace and
NO ONE will see your email.

This is a moderated list. Submissions and comments are read by Diane Sollee,
editor. Please indicate if your comment is NOT to be shared with the list.
PLEASE include your email address or url as part of your signature.

Please also understand that with thousands on the list, not all comments can
be shared. Also realize that opinions expressed are not necessarily shared
by members of the Coalition.

To SUBSCRIBE, UNSUBSCRIBE, or Change your subscription address,
use the form at: Click Newslist - in the
column under the puzzle piece.

To read past posts to the newsletter, visit the Archive at:

11th Annual Smart Marriages Conference, Denver Adam's Mark Hotel,
June 28-July 1, 2007
Pre-Conference Training Institutes June 26-28
Post-Conference Training Institutes July 2-3
Subscribe to the FREE Smart Marriages e-newslist at

List your program and resources on the Directory of Classes at
Order conference audio & video CD/DVD/MP3s: 800-241-7785 or

Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education, LLC (CMFCE)
Diane Sollee, Director
5310 Belt Rd NW, Washington, DC 20015-1961
cmfce at

FAIR USE NOTICE: This e-newsletter/site contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. We make such material available in our efforts to advance
understanding of marriage, family, couples, divorce, legislation, family
breakdown, etc. We understand this constitutes a 'fair use' of such material
as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with
Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed
without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the
included information for research and educational purposes. For more
information go to: If you
wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own
that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright

More information about the SmartMarriages mailing list