WHAT A GREAT IDEA - Repository of Articles - 1/17/08

Smartmarriages smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Sat Jan 19 13:07:52 EST 2008




Many of you have written wonderful articles for your community newsletters,
local columns, blogs, etc.

Others, like Lonn (see below), are looking for articles for newsletters, to
submit to your local paper, etc.

Let's create a repository of free articles that are available for reprint.
It's a great way to get marriage wisdom and also info about books, programs,
dvds, resources "out there".

Send me your articles and I'll post them on the Smart Marriages website.
Can be the complete article OR what would be better would be a url to the
article posted on your own website.

Be sure you include how you wish to be credited, I suggest you include your
url or contact info in the credit line.  I ALWAYS give my author info as
Diane Sollee, founder and director, www.smartmarriages.com - that way
readers can find the website and all the resources.  You want to get readers
to your website where they can purchase your programs, books, or hire you as
a speaker. 

What should I call this web page?  Probably FREE ARTICLES??  All suggestions
about what to call it and how to set it up, appreciated.
- diane 

> Diane, I need a recommendation of where to locate short articles to submit to
> our local, weekly newspaper for an ongoing column on healthy
> relationships/marriages.  Our town, here in Oregon is about 7000 people and
> the organization I am leading is a small group (7) of businessmen and clergy -
> who are not in the field and do not feel comfortable writing their own
> "advice" columns. We are just beginning to offer a number of classes and
> counseling resources for our community and we would love to raise the
> "awareness" level of our population.

> I believe I can get our newspaper editor to print articles of varying length
> but under 300 words would probably be best. We need several articles as soon
> as possible but would love to carry on the publishing of them, one per week
> over the next year so we could use quite a few. I would definitely credit
> sources so submitters should give me their preference in how that is stated.
> To give just a bit more information, our town has a higher than average number
> of broken homes and failed marriages. We are really just starting to address
> the "healthy relationship" issues so good, basic information will be very
> useful at first. We hope that our level of sophistication will raise over the
> next number of months.
> Lonn Robertson, President
> Creswell, Oregon 97426


And, to make the point, here's an column someone just sent yesterday where
the reporter simply listed info directly off the Smart Marriages® website
and printed it as "marriage advice". They gave us credit.  Works for me.
This particular advice can be found at:

I guess I'll add it to the "free articles" page.  - diane

Family tragedies bring couple closer together
Lifestyle & Features
Jim May
Midland Reporter-Telegram (west Texas)

DEAR FAMILY: This has been a really bad year for our family.
My father died and my sister's husband left her with two little children for
another woman. Her divorce was a nightmare for us all. I have been trying to
help my mother and my sister with their pain and it's been hard. But the one
good thing out of all of this is that my husband and I started talking a lot
more. He's been wonderful through it all, listening without telling me what
to do. I am so thankful for his support.
We started talking about how wonderful our time together has been and we
wanted to keep it going (but without the tragedy). We really didn't know
what to
do, so my mother (who is doing lots better) suggested that I write you. Do
you know of anything that we can do to help keep us the way we are? --
DEAR LOVING: I think that I can do that. You and your husband have
discovered something very important. Every marriage has some hidden
strengths and resources
that all too often never get used. As your sister sadly discovered, some
will turn to another rather than taking the time to discover those treasures
his (or her) spouse. A most wise family therapist once told me that, "so
many times people divorce and search for something in another that they had
their spouse all along." A long way of saying, that as married couples we
really do need to develop those resources and the skills to make our
truly what God has designed.
Some secular suggestions to improve your marriage (from smartmarriages.com)
1. Marriage matters. Married people and their kids do better on all measures
of health, wealth, happiness, and success.
2. It's not the differences but how we handle them that separate successful
marriages from the failures. Disagreeing doesn't predict divorce.
avoidance, contempt, criticism, and the silent treatment predict divorce.
3. All happily married couples have approximately 10 irreconcilable
differences -- 10 issues they will never resolve. What's important is to
discuss our
own set of issues just as we would discuss how to manage living with a
chronic bad back or trick knee. We wish they weren't there, but what's
is to keep talking about how to manage them.
4. Love is not an absolute (a yes or no situation) and it's not a limited
substance. Love is a feeling and feelings ebb and flow depending on how we
each other. We can learn new ways to interact and the feelings "of being in
love" can come flowing back, often stronger than before.
5. Sex ebbs and flows. It comes and goes. That's normal. Plan for and make
time for more "flows" - that typically means scheduling time for sex.
6. Repair attempts are crucial and are highly predictive of marital
happiness. They can be clumsy or funny, even sarcastic, but the willingness
to make
up after an argument, is central to every happy marriage.
7. Learn to welcome, embrace and integrate change -- to discuss and update
your wishes, hopes and dreams -- on a regular basis. The marriage vow is a
to stay married, not to stay the same. Keep up-to-date with changes in your
10.Try marriage education courses. They give you the tools so you can build
the kind of marriage that you and your spouse want.
I am especially partial to those courses with a strong spiritual basis.
Check with your minister to see what resources might be available in or out
of our
community. Work on your marriage before a crisis arises; great things will
come of it!
©MyWestTexas.com 2008


Here's another article by Jim and Audora Burg whose article, Marriage The
Wonder Drug, inspired Lonn's request.

Jim and Audora have agreed to make their articles available in our FREE
Articles Repository, and I'll make anything I've written available, so we're
off to a good start.  I just need to find time to set up the webpage... -

Meet me by the dishwasher
By Jim and Audora Burg
Sturgis Journal

We had an unusual mid-week date scheduled this week. It was to be a
date by the dishwasher. Unusual location, admittedly. But very
practical, and with three children, we have to be practical.

(An aside to our mothers: No, this is not a public hint that you will
offer to babysit so we can get away for a proper outing. You¹ve been
grandmothers long enough to know we¹ll ask you directly).

Relatives recently upgraded their dishwasher and passed their former
one along to us. We were grateful.

We can¹t find the paperwork on our present machine, and the
carbon-dating results aren¹t back yet, but our best guess is that the
beast is about 20 years old. Lately, it had been making threatening
sounds suggesting it was approaching its death throes.

So when this newer appliance was offered, we leaped at the gift. It was
leaking, but assurances were given it was probably an easy fix ­ maybe
even something as simple as running through a single cycle with a
de-soaping agent. The theory was the previous owner, who shall remain
nameless, had been overly generous with the washing powder.

With our history of water damage from pipe breaks, we tend to be overly
cautious around anything in the house involving water.  Installing a
passed-along dishwasher with a tendency to leak seemed to warrant

Jim did all the man-work of wrestling it into place, fitting the
plumbing, making another trip to the store to get different plumbing
parts, and then we made a date: Tuesday night, on the picnic blanket, in
front of the dishwasher.

Denial runs thick in this family, apparently. The thing leaked. It
wasn¹t even 15 seconds into the trial rinse cycle. We hit ³cancel²
­ on the control panel, anyway, but not on the date.

The whole point of the date-on-the-floor was to spend time together
while also watching for evidence of a leaky plumbing connection. We
quickly saw what we hoped not to see, and then we moved on.

The date morphed into snuggling up, side by side, with Jim reading his
book and Audora reading hers.

Exciting stuff. But we¹ve been married 7 1Ž2 years. Not every date has
to be dinner and a movie, dinner and an outing, or any other dinner-and

It¹s so easy to forget that we don¹t have to wait for the weekend
to find time to connect.

By being intentional about being together, not just existing in the
same house, we can carve out ³dates² during the week, even doing
mundane chores. 

Next hot date: washing dishes by hand. I¹ll wash, you dry. See you at
the sink.

James Burg, Ph.D., is an associate professor at Indiana University-Purdue,
Fort Wayne, and executive director of the Healthy Marriages Sturgis program.
His wife, Audora, is a homemaker and free lance writer. They are parents of
three children and reside in Sturgis.

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