Beyond Affairs hits You Tube/ Never saw it coming / Preventing RE-Divorce - 6/3/10
smartmarriages at lists101.his.com
Thu Jun 3 10:52:59 EDT 2010
- BEYOND AFFAIRS NETWORK ON YOU TUBE
- SHE NEVER SAW IT COMING.....
- PREVENTING REDIVORCE
- BEYOND AFFAIRS NETWORK ON YOU TUBE
Dear Diane, It's a small world. One of my ban members from Tokyo just wrote
to let me know how helpful she had found our television appearances posted
on utube. I didn't even know these interviews were posted on utube!
Often I find the best and most helpful television interviews are for smaller
programs on local channels. This was for a local Vancouver program called
"The Standard" which aired this past April. Enjoy.
Anne and Brian are presenting twice at Smart Marriages and also exhibiting.
Check out youtube for a preview of what to expect.
408 - Saturday morning, Orlando Smart Marriages
Beyond Affairs: Prevention and Recovery
Anne and Brian Bercht
Learn how to establish a BAN peer-to-peer
support system for betrayed spouses in your
community designed to enhance any
affair-recovery program. 2008 Impact
608 - Sunday morning, Orlando Smart Marriages
Healing From Affairs
Anne and Brian Bercht
Based on a 3-day intensive weekend for couples
in affair-recovery, this program outlines
key steps to healing a marriage designed and
presented by a couple who has been there.
- SHE NEVER SAW IT COMING.....
Can't help but make you wonder about the Gores.....and so many other
marriages. We really can do better than this!
Marriage reaches an end, but she never saw it coming
The Boston Globe
By Bella English
May 30, 2010
I recently heard that a couple I have known for several years was divorcing.
It was a surprise to me; they¹d seemed happy. But it was an even bigger
surprise for the wife: She thought they were happy, too. Until her husband
a good-natured, low-key guy walked out on her with these words: ³I¹m not
happy and I haven¹t been for years.¹¹
So much for their 25-year marriage that had produced two great kids, a
family home, a retirement fund, a beloved dog, and the constellation of
friends and relatives that make up the cheering section of a couple¹s life.
³I never saw it coming,¹¹ says the woman, who was devastated. They hadn¹t
been in counseling, hadn¹t ever had any major fights. On their 20th
anniversary, five years earlier, they had renewed their wedding vows.
Weren¹t there hints, signs, something amiss that she should¹ve caught? I
mean, if your husband was getting ready to bolt, wouldn¹t you have even half
But then I came across a book written by Vikki Stark called ³Runaway
Husbands: The Abandoned Wife¹s Guide to Recovery and Renewal.¹¹ The book¹s
cover bears a fishbowl with one fish swimming contentedly and the other
leaping out of the bowl.
Stark, a family therapist in Montreal, interviewed 400 women around the
world who believed they were in a happy, secure marriage. Until the husband
tapped them on the shoulder and said, ³I¹m out of here.¹¹
³They loved their husband, but more importantly, they thought their husband
loved them,¹¹ says Stark. The couples ranged in age from 45 to 60, and the
marriages were of some duration, not the drive-through
These are not monster marriages out of a Tennessee Williams play or a
Shakespearean tragedy. They¹re ³low-conflict,¹¹ as Stark calls them. In
fact, most of the men seemed devoted until they left, showing no remorse
What happens is that a man turns middle- to late-middle-age and says: Is
this all there is? ³I¹ve been the good son, the good husband, the good
father, the good provider.¹¹ In 95 percent of the cases, there¹s something
else: another woman. Duh. . . . .
For the full article: http://tinyurl.com/36rusrv
- PREVENTING REDIVORCE
As you know I¹ve been working on the puzzling question of WHY redivorce is
not more of front burner priority for researchers and the marriage education
movement. I've interviewed Bill Doherty, Gary Chapman, Elizabeth Marquardt,
David Blankenhorn, David Olson, and yourself among others as a start, and
I'd like you to send the article below as an open invitation to the marriage
education movement to invite your readers to share their comments and add
suggestions or best practices online here:
I agree, the amazing ignorance in the general public about redivorce rates
makes this a pressing issue and it's a real challenge to get the facts out
there. If more people realized what the odds they face in a remarriage
(especially high if there are kids involved) they might think twice about
divorcing. Here is Ron's article below. I hope many of you will join him
in this important educational campaign. Add your suggestions.
Ron is presenting twice at Smart Marriages and will be available at the
Prepare/Enrich exhibit. Stop and chat with him about how to spread accurate
information about remarriage and redivorce. BTW, I just had a caller who
asked where she could find a list of exhibits......
203 - Friday morning, Orlando Smart Marriages
The Couple Checkup
Peter Larson, PhD, Ron Deal, MMFT
Add this research-based online assessment to
improve premarital (dating, engaged, cohabiting),
married, or remarried programs. Free Discussion
Guides, Leader¹s Guide & Group Reports.
509 - Saturday afternoon, Orlando Smart Marriages
Ron Deal, MMFT
This 8-sesssion, DVD & faith based program
teaches specific skills to target stepfamily
challenges identified in research for The
GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT PREVENTING REDIVORCE
Ron L. Deal
When was the last time you taught a marriage education
course specifically for remarried or stepfamily couples? Have you added
specific information for stepfamilies to your current marriage education
program? Nearly 40% of all weddings are remarriages for at least one of the
partners; in 2008, one-third of all individuals who were going through a
divorce were actually redivorcing, that is, divorcing from a second or
subsequent spouse[i]. With a 10-25% higher divorce rate than first-marriage
couples, perhaps it is time that we make our marriage education programs
more relevant to remarried couples and stepfamilies.
Even though marriage education and marital therapy has the
stated goal of strengthening all marriages, in truth we rarely practice it.
For years we have had solid research to suggest that the history and context
of remarriage makes it distinctively different than first marriage[ii].
While some dyadic and external factors are similar as in first-marriage,
others are different. Very different. For example, remarriages are usually
embedded in a complex stepfamily system that often sabotages the
dyadic-focused interventions of most marriage enrichment programs.
Stepcouple enrichment requires a triadic (if not quadratic) and
multi-systemic educational model that examines the intersection of
parenting, stepparenting, co-parenting between homes, grief reactions,
loyalty conflicts, and marital dynamics. This understanding was again
confirmed through research conducted by the Couple Checkup Research Team
headed by the distinguished marital researcher David Olson, Ph.D. The team
including Peter Larson, Ph.D., Amy Olson-Sigg, M.A., and myself conducted
two studies of over 100,000 married and remarried couples (each study was of
50,000 couples) and published two books summarizing our findings. The Couple
Checkup and The Remarriage Checkup report on the top strengths of each
marital situation and what predicted high quality, satisfying relationships
versus poor ones. Our research confirmed that first marriage and remarriage
couples do have many dyadic similarities, but that some of the top
predictors of success are different, as are the stumbling blocks. Seven of
the top 12 stumbling blocks for remarried couples (issues on which couples
disagree significantly), for example, are related to former relationship
dissolution, fear of another breakup, or the complexity of their stepfamily.
Remarriage poses challenges for couples that first-marriage couples don¹t
face in the same way. It is my assertion, then, that generic couple
enrichment programs are helpful for remarrieds, but not sufficient to
address their relational complexities.
But again, this understanding of stepfamily complexity as
it relates to the health of the marital dyad isn¹t new. Yet despite our
awareness, redivorce prevention is only occasionally mentioned in the
marriage education movement and literature, is rarely the focus of keynote
presentations at marriage and family conferences, and receives very little
attention in the media (even though we are fascinated with the remarriage
train wrecks of celebrities like Larry King and Sandra Bullock).
Recently I heard one family speaker refer to remarriage as a ³niche² aspect
of family education. How can it be a ³niche² when there are 35 million
remarried adults in America, an additional 36 million adults who are
divorced or widowed and wondering about remarriage, and 100 million people
who have a steprelationship because they or someone in their extended family
got remarried? How can remarriage be sidelined as something only specialists
should undertake? Shouldn¹t remarriage education be mainstreamed, especially
since over 60% of remarriages end in divorce (and about two-thirds of
stepfamily couples divorce)?
Insights from the Experts
Over the past few months I interviewed a number of
marriage experts about why remarriage is not a higher priority in the
marriage education field. I¹ve specialized in remarriage and stepfamily
education for nearly 15 years now and have published a number of books and
video resources on the subject. I can¹t help but see it everywhere I go.
³So, why don¹t other educators see it?² I wondered with the experts. Or if
they are aware, why don¹t they teach on it more often?
The following is a summary of my informal interviews with
marriage education experts like Bill Doherty, Gary Chapman, Diane Sollee,
Elizabeth Marquardt, David Blankenhorn, David Olson, Scott Browning, Kurt
Bruner, and others. Some of them specialize in marriage education in
faith-based contexts, others in community or government based settings, but
they all shared the same goal: strengthening marriage and preventing
divorce. The interview process was not intended to be scientific; just a
friendly conversation to gain wisdom and perspective. With their permission
I offer this summary of their comments so we as a movement can chew on their
insights. (For ease of communication, comments are shared with a collective
voice instead of identifying the individual speaking each time). In some
cases I have added my commentary to their viewpoints.
Given the Number of Remarriages and Their High Divorce Rate, Why Isn¹t
Preventing Redivorce a Distinctively Clear Priority for the Marriage
1. Academics like theoretical models that apply in a general manner.
General models are more teachable and testable. Some academics have,
however, provided research evidence that demonstrates the differences
between first marriage and stepfamilies. Still, general theoretical models
seem more appealing and marketable to educators.
2. The outcomes for children in remarried families (stepfamilies) are
poor. Research clearly reveals that children in stepfamilies do not fair
better than children in single-parent homes[iii]. The addition of a
stepparent does not improve the academic, social, behavioral, or
psychological outcomes for children and may even make them worse. This has
led some social policy experts to admittedly side-step remarriage education
in their concerted effort to encourage more first-marriage households even
though they perceive preventing redivorce as a legitimate endeavor.
3. We assume that marriage education applies the same to all marriages.
This is based in the assumption that all marriages are ³created the same²
and have the same educational needs. The public has a blind spot about the
unique challenges of remarriageand so do marriage professionals.
4. We underestimate the magnitude of redivorce. The statistics on the
prevalence of remarriage and redivorce in the US are simply unknown to many
professionals and the media. The subject is not given much attention because
for some it is out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
5. Most marriage training takes place in churches and other houses of
worship; church leaders are slow to embrace remarriage and stepfamily
education. The history of marriage education is deeply rooted in faith-based
contexts and continues to thrive there. A number of observations regarding
remarriage education were noted:
· The percentage of stepfamilies in places of worship is generally less
than in the general population making them invisible to many faith leaders.
Having said that, it is notable that about 30% of church-based marriage
conference attendees are remarried[iv]; this is a surprise to many church
· Theological struggles related to marriage, divorce, and remarriage
prohibit some churches from embracing stepfamily ministry.
6. Most marriage educators are in a first-marriage and simply aren¹t
aware of the complex dynamics of remarriage or stepfamily living. We are
blinded to a degree by our own life experience.
7. Some well-known marriage educators and researchers are themselves
remarried, but they don¹t frequently talk about it. In a culture that lacks
role-models of healthy remarriages, it is ironic that some of the best
examples are experts who refrain from transparency, sometimes to hide their
past for fear of professional scrutiny. Some struggle in having to say, ³Do
as I say, not as I did.²
I ask, would it completely negate a researcher¹s findings
or a speaker¹s insights if they themselves have been divorced? Surely there
is a way for remarried professionals to humbly uphold the ³second chance²
nature of their remarriages.
8. Public opinion about stepfamilies is mixed, if not generally negative.
Couples in stepfamilies sometimes hide their past in order to avoid negative
stereotypes and criticism. This makes the demand for remarriage education
low even though the need is high.
9. Presentations are already set. Some marriage educators admit that once
they settle into a presentation and content, they don¹t think about adding
specific information for remarried couples and/or stepfamilies.
What Can Be Done?
So, what will it take to increase the number and frequency of marriage
education programs for remarried couples? For practitioners perhaps all is
required is the decision to begin speaking to the needs of remarried couples
on a regular basis.
· Read a book or attend a workshop on remarriage within the next year.
· In your general marriage education courses, include remarriage
³side-bars² that speak to remarried couples or raise awareness about the
unique dynamics of stepfamilies. You don¹t have to be an expert to add this
component to your training.
· Offer practical tips in your community publications or media
· Teach course materials designed specifically for remarriage and
stepfamilies. Find programs at: www.SmartMarriages.com ; www.AMFMonline.com
; www.Stepfamilies.info and www.SuccessfulStepfamilies.com .
Public policy makers, professors, and ministry leaders can educate those who
implement marriage education programs within their domain.
· Share this report with teachers so they can begin to consider the
merits of remarriage education.
· Require that students read/study remarriage research and information
on stepfamily therapy.
· Write your own Call to Action and distribute it to your religious
group or denomination, constituents, or policy recipients.
· Ask that the professional organizations of which you are a member
plan workshops or publications on remarriage/stepfamilies.
There is much to be done to stem the tide of redivorce. Let¹s get serious
1) Share your comments, reactions, and suggestions
with others here <http://www.successfulstepfamilies.com/view/654> .
2) Forward this to a friend, colleague, or marriage educator.
- FOR INFORMATION about how to post to the Smart Marriages® newslist;
subscribe or UNSUBSCRIBE, or an archive of all past posts:
More information about the SmartMarriages