Fwd: Weekly Update of UK Marriage News - No 14.42

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From: Dave Percival <dave@2-in-2-1.co.uk>
Date: Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 9:15 AM
Subject: Weekly Update of UK Marriage News - No 14.42
To: info@2-in-2-1.co.uk


Welcome to this week’s UK Marriage News

 

Headlines

·         Leading relationship charities call for all public servants to be trained in relationship support awareness

·         How Do Important Relationship Events Impact Our Well-Being?

·         Marriage or ‘Miserable Minimalism’!

 

Government and Political

·         Leading relationship charities call for all public servants to be trained in relationship support awareness

Leading relationship charities are calling on all political parties to put good-quality couple, family and social relationships centre stage in policy making in the run up to the General Election. The Relationships Alliance, made up of Relate, One Plus One, Marriage Care and the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, has today published its Relationships Manifesto, which includes a call for all frontline practitioners delivering public services to be given relationship support awareness training.

 

The Relationships Alliance will launch its 12 policy recommendations in The Relationships Manifesto: Strengthening Relationships to an audience of MPs, civil servants and other charities at a reception in the House of Commons later on today. As well as making recommendations, the Manifesto identifies three main barriers which prevent people from strengthening their relationships: cultural barriers, (including the perceived stigma around seeking help for relationships); financial barriers; and systemic barriers (including a lack of knowledge about the importance of relationships or how to access relationship support). All the recommendations in the Manifesto aim to tackle these barriers in order to improve the nation’s relationships.

 

Among other recommendations, the Manifesto also calls for Family and Relationship Centres to be set up in the UK as they have been in Australia, as well as setting up a £5 million ‘Strengthening Relationships’ fund, which will allow local authorities to develop and extend

relationship support at the local level. The Alliance is also seeking to make Relationships and Sex Education a compulsory part of the National Curriculum, which would be taught by relationship experts.  

 

Ruth Sutherland, Chair of the Relationships Alliance and Chief Executive of Relate, said: “The Relationships Manifesto is a great starting point for policy makers to really put relationships at the heart of policy making. Couple, family, social and community relationships are crucial to most of us, yet public policy often overlooks or even undermines them.

 

“Making all frontline public service staff aware of the importance of relationships will ensure that crucial community figures are able to spot those in need and signpost them to expert help.”

 

Susanna Abse, Chief Executive of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships, who will be presenting the Manifesto at its launch, said: “This is a simple way to prioritise relationships without adding extra budget or burden to public sector workers.

 

“Strong and healthy relationships are the basis of a thriving society: they see individuals, families and communities through good times and bad, so it is absolutely crucial that the role they play in our lives is adequately recognised in public policy come the Election.”

 

As well as the call to increase awareness of relationship support for public servants, the Relationships Alliance is also calling for the following policies:

·         A cabinet level Minister for Families and Relationships with a dedicated Whitehall department.

·         All children and young people should have access to Relationships and Sex Education, which should be a compulsory part of the national curriculum and taught by experts.

·         Family and Relationship Centres should be piloted in the UK, as they have been in Australia.

·         Central government should launch a £5 million “Strengthening Relationships Fund” to engage local authorities to develop and extend relationship support at the local level.

·         Central and local government should ensure that services designed to help at life transition points include a focus on couple, family and social relationships.

·         Central government should match-fund 10% of the cost of the transferable tax allowance for married couples and civil partners on an annual basis and invest it in strengthening couple, family and social relationships.

·         The Department of Health should expand the delivery of couple therapy for depression within the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.

·         Relationship education should be incentivised through local government waiving the marriage notices of £35-per-person (£70 per couple) fee.

·         The Cabinet Office should expand its What Works Network to include a What Works Centre for Families and Relationships.

·         Directors of Public Health should be required to measure the quality and stability of couple, family and social relationships to inform policy and commissioning by local authorities and clinical commissioning groups.

·         The expanded Troubled Families programme should include a focus on supporting and measuring the quality and stability of couple, family and social relationships.

 

·         Parental involvement provision comes into effect on 22nd October

The importance of children having relationships with each parent following family breakdown will be reinforced by a new law taking effect next week, Family Justice minister Simon Hughes has said says Family Law Week.

 

The parental involvement provision in section 11 of the Children and Families Act 2014 will come into force on 22 October and will apply to cases started on or after that date. It will not apply to cases already going through the courts prior to 22 October.

 

The Ministry of Justice has been at pains to emphasise that the parental involvement provision is not about giving parents new 'rights' or the 50/50 division of children's time but about 'achieving a culture change by making clearer the court's approach to these issues'.

 

The change is intended to encourage parents to be more focused on children's needs following separation and the role they each play in the child's life. The new law will require family courts to presume that each parent's involvement in the child's life will further their welfare – where it is safe. However the needs of the child will always remain the paramount priority of the courts.

 

Justice Minister Simon Hughes said: "We have made bold reforms so that the welfare of children is at the heart of the family justice system, and there can be no doubt that parents play a very important role in every child's life. Following break up of relationships we are encouraging all parents to focus on the needs of the child rather than what they want for themselves. No parent should be excluded from their child's life for no good reason. This change in the law is not about giving parents new 'rights' but makes clear to parents and everybody else that the family courts will presume that each parent will play a role in the future life of their child."

 

Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson: "Having spent almost ten years as a family barrister, I know nothing is more important than taking the time to listen to children and making sure their voices are heard loud and clear. This is a brand new system which puts the needs of children first, protects families from harmful and stressful battles in the courtroom and gives them greater support."

 

·         Fewer than one in four couples seeking counselling to save marriage

A new survey has revealed that fewer than one in four couples seeks professional counselling to try to save their marriage when they are going through a difficult time in their relationship reports Family Law Week.

 

Research by the Family and Divorce Law team at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, which has offices across the country, found that while 37% of couples going through a rocky patch said they thought counselling would help, only 23% were actively seeking help. The survey of 2,000 people also revealed that on average couples sought counselling for four months with 12% saying it helped to save their marriage. However the statistics also showed that gender played a part in the difference in attitudes to counselling with 45% of females believing that it would help save a relationship compared with just 28% of men.

 

Both men and women agreed that they would confide in their best friend first regarding their relationship (33%) with 23% saying they turned to their mum for advice. Worryingly, 35% said they confided in no one – rising to 40% of men.

 

Last month the Prime Minister announced a rise in funding available for ante-natal counselling to £20m. This support will include relationship advice on the potential stresses of having children and health visitors will be asked to offer relationship support to new parents.

 

The Irwin Mitchell report also gave insight as to how hard couples are prepared to fight to save their marriage with 75% believing that people give up on relationships too easily and couples believing that they should try to save the relationship for at least 11 months on average.

 

Lack of communication was the biggest driver in break-down of marriages (40%) while 25% said that money worries and taking each other for granted were major issues.

 

Alison Hawes, a Partner in the Family and Divorce Law team at Irwin Mitchell said: "The survey suggests that people are looking to friends and family to help them get through a separation or divorce but there are other experts who may be able to help. There are differences between attitudes to counselling from both men and women which could mean that it is important that counsellors can get both partners on side quickly when trying to help.  We know from experience that counselling can help people going through a difficult period but perhaps there is a stigma attached that people are struggling to overcome. People may also feel that deep down counselling may be the final proof that their relationship is finally over and they may be putting it off on that basis. Good counsellors will be able to help couples to come to terms with what is best for both partners. Seeking professional help about something so sensitive and personal can feel like admitting failure but instead it should be seen as a positive sign to each other that you are committed to getting the best possible support."

 

·         Sir James Munby urges changes to private law cases

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has questioned whether divorce should remain subject to judicial supervision reports Family Law Week. In a speech at the Legal Wales Conference in Bangor he asked whether it was now appropriate to legislate to remove all concepts of fault as a basis for divorce so that irretrievable breakdown would be the sole ground (presumably without the five facts which constitute the reasons for divorce). This, he conjectured, might lead to separating the process of divorce from that of adjudicating claims for financial relief following divorce.

 

Sir James said that the child arrangement programme and the fact that parties will no longer be represented in the majority of cases demand a new approach to private law cases.

 

For more details of the President's speech, which considered other reforms of family law, see the report in The Law Society's Gazette.

Research and Public Opinion

·         How Do Important Relationship Events Impact Our Well-Being?

Perhaps no life events fill us with more joy or sadness than those that involve important relationship partners. Whether we are committing to lifelong partnerships with someone we love, bringing a new addition to the family, leaving a bad relationship, or losing a loved one, relationship events may have different effects on how satisfied and happy we are with our lives says Science of Relationships.

 

How do important relationship events impact our well-being over time? In a recent meta-analysis (a research paper that combines results from similar studies), researchers examined this very question. Specifically, they studied how our cognitive and emotional well-being change over time in response to four important life events: marriage, divorce, bereavement, and the birth of a child.1

 

Cognitive well-being is an evaluation of how satisfied you are with your life, or in a particular domain of your life, whereas emotional well-being refers to positive emotional experiences in the absence of negative emotions. The distinction between these two types of well-being is important, given that they may not always match up perfectly (i.e., you could be happy in one domain but not the other). For instance, if you’ve ever felt that things in your life were going well overall, but still felt unhappy, you’ve experienced differences in the way you thought about your life as compared to how you felt about it.

 

Thus, how satisfied we are with our lives is not always aligned with how we feel emotionally, and understanding both of these components is essential to fully understanding how relationship events impact our well-being. So how do our cognitive and emotional well-being change in the short- and long-term in response to important relationship events? Here’s what we know:1  

Marriage

After people get married, emotional well-being doesn’t change very much from before marriage. However, marriage does have an important impact on cognitive well-being—in both how generally satisfied people are with their lives as well as in their relationships. Thus, getting married increases people’s life satisfaction, but not relationship satisfaction shortly after marriage, but both life and marital satisfaction decline over time, returning to baseline levels of satisfaction. These changes were consistent for both men and women and couples who married when they were older experienced greater increases in well-being upon getting married.

Divorce

The long-term impact of divorce indicates people tend to experience mild drops in satisfaction with life immediately after a divorce. However, satisfaction with life then increases over time after these initial declines. Within this meta-analysis, there were few longitudinal studies that were identified that measured satisfaction with life in particular, but other research has indicated that divorce is associated with declines on other measures of well-being, including increased depression, decreased global happiness, and decreased purpose in life.2

Bereavement

Bereavement is one of life’s most negative events, and the results of the meta-analysis indicate this is true in both the short- and the long-term on both aspects of well-being. Losing a spouse is tied to extremely strong drops in both life satisfaction and emotional well-being. However, over time, both life satisfaction and emotional well-being increase. Specifically, increases in well-being do occur after bereavement, but these increases occur more slowly compared to adaptation seen in other relational events. Additionally, drops in well-being tend to be sharper for people who are older when losing a spouse, and men’s well-being recovers slower than women’s after bereavement.

Childbirth

The birth of a child has very divergent effects on people’s sense of emotional and cognitive well-being. After giving birth to a child, life satisfaction, but not relationship satisfaction, increases in the short-term. However, both life and relationship satisfaction decrease over time, with greater declines seen in relationship satisfaction relative to life satisfaction (likely because the addition of a child detracts from time romantic partners can spend together).  In contrast, the birth of a child positively impacts emotional well-being over time after childbirth. These changes in well-being were consistent for both men and women and tended to be more positive for parents who were relatively older when having a child.

 

What we see across these relational events is that, despite the fact that people experience changes in well-being in the short-term, people also tend to adapt over time to these major life events, with changes in cognitive and emotional well-being changing in response to important events but often returning to original—or close to original—levels over time.

 

Additionally, these findings may help us understand what we may do in anticipation of or as a consequence of variation in our well-being surrounding important relationship events. For instance, as the honeymoon phase begins to drop after marriage, couples may engage in self-expanding activities to keep the romance alive in their relationships (read more here and here). Parents who experience declines in life satisfaction after the birth of a child may recognize the emotional joy that parenthood brings. In times of divorce or bereavement, people may seek social support from close friends and family to buffer the negative effects of well-being in these difficult times. Lastly, in times of drops of well-being due to relational events, people may also find solace in knowing that returning to relatively greater well-being may just be a function of time.

 

·         Trying to account for the Marriage Premium

Researchers are continually awed by the concept of the marriage premium—the wage increase that occurs after marriage, particularly for men. Most cite “specialization” as the likely cause reports Maybeido. When a couple marries, the individual partners divide duties in such a way as to increase the wife’s share of household duties, thus allowing the husband more time for paid labour. Alexandra Killewald and Margaret Gough, researchers from Harvard, seek to study the marriage premium more rigorously. Specifically, they hypothesize that if specialization is indeed the reason that men tend to earn more after marriage, specialization should also cause women to earn less.

 

Using data from the 1979-2008 waves of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, the researchers used fixed-effects models that control for selection and test the data in various ways. One model estimates the “total relationship between family status change and wages,” the so-called Total Effect. The second controls for time-use specialization (hours worked and labour market experience) so as to study the “mediating role of employment hours.” The third model “tests the mediating role of job traits and tenure,” thus “further narrowing the gender gap in the marriage premium.”

 

The data indicate that for men, specialization does indeed explain wage increases, but not entirely: “Changes in men’s employment hours, job traits, and tenure associated with marriage and married fatherhood explain a portion of these wage gains.” The researchers highlight that although specialization at least partly explains the effect on men’s wages, it does not at all account for the changes in women’s wages: “Marriage and cohabitation are associated with wage gains for childless women, not wage losses as predicted by specialization. . . . Furthermore, if anything, marriage alters women’s employment hours, job traits, and tenure in ways beneficial to their wages.”

 

Killewald and Gough conclude by calling for further research, as specialization does not, in fact, entirely explain the marriage premium, particularly for women. They speculate that men may earn more than women at marriage because “transitions to marriage and married parenthood may encourage men’s sense of responsibility,” whereas “single women already possess these positive traits or because gendered norms of family behaviour place less emphasis on financial providership for women.” Whatever the reason, the results are clear: Marriage is related to an increase in income, for both husbands and wives.

 

·         Couples who met online three times more likely to divorce

Married couples who met online are three times more likely to divorce than those who met face-to-face, a study has found says the Telegraph. Online daters are also 28 per cent more likely to split from their partners within the first year, new figures from Michigan State University in the US suggest. A study of more than 4,000 couples found that relationships were far more stable if couples met in traditional ways such as introductions by friends or through work, hobbies or socialising.

 

Couples who meet online are also less likely to get married and generally have a poorer relationship quality that those who met offline. “Even though a large percentage of marriages in recent years have resulted from couples meeting online, looking for partners online may potentially suppress the desire for getting married,” said report author Dr Aditi Paul. “Furthermore the break-up rates for both marital and non-marital romantic relationship were found to be higher for couples who met online that couples who met through offline venues.”

 

The findings contradict a report from the University of Chicago which suggested that online relationships were stronger. That study was funded by the dating site eHarmony. In Britain around 20 per cent of heterosexual couples met online and 70 per cent of homosexual couples. And the trend shows no signs of slowing with sites becoming ever more specialised. Couples who want to be matched by their music tastes can now logon to Tastebuds, while Jewish singles can try JDate and those who just want their partner in uniform can try UniformDating.com.

 

Although sites such as eHarmony claim to have algorithms to match research from the Association of Psychological Science suggested there was little scientific merit in programmes. And they prevent opposites attracting. And the paper warned that browsing too many profiles “fosters judgemental and assessment-oriented evaluations that can cognitively overwhelm users.” Another study has found that one third of pictures were misleading.

 

Match.com CEO Sam Yagan has claimed that dating cycles are shorter online because people are more willing to leave unsatisfying relationships more early because they know they can quickly find somebody new to date. But the new research from Michican suggests that 86 per cent of online daters were concerned that profiles contained false information suggesting that trust may have been damaged at an early stage in the relationship.

 

The study was published in the online journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour, and Social Networking.

 

·         The Military and Marriage

There has been a lot of discussion in the last few weeks about the declining marriage rates among young adults in the United States says Family Studies. According to a recent Pew Research report, a record number of adults in the United States—1 in five adults age 25 and older—have never been married. Harry Benson has argued on this blog that the trends are much the same in the U.K.  Philip Cohen has argued that the downward trend is, in fact, global.

 

But there does seem to be at least one group of young adults who are bucking the trend: The U.S. military is still characterized by high—and early—marriage rates. According to one study, military men are slightly more likely to be married than civilian men and junior enlistees are “nearly twice as likely to be married as civilians aged eighteen to twenty-four years.” Comparing the military sample of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79) with selected women from civilian samples from 1979 to 1984, Jennifer Lundquist and Herbert Smith found that young female enlistees continually had higher marriage rates than their civilian counterparts.

 

What accounts for the difference?

According to a recently published narrative study by Jennifer Lundquist and Zhun Xu, there are three structural elements of military life that act as marriage catalysts: War-zone deployment, relocation assignments, and the institutional support and socioeconomic stability of the military.

 

War Zone Deployment

In their interviews Lundquist and Xu found that “military marriages sometimes occur in response to imminent war separation.” Respondents described marriage in a deployment situation as providing a layer of security and stability. Marriage gives soldiers someone to come home to and a way to remain emotionally connected to their partners. It gave spouses at home the security of knowing their family would be taken care of should their partner die on deployment. As one respondent explained, “It was the best option to take care of my daughter and myself.”

 

Relocation Assignments

The most common marriage catalyst, Lundquist and Xu found, was a permanent change of station (PCS). Service members can face relocation every 2–3 years. “Whether married, single, or a dependent,” Lundquist and Xu found that “relocation loomed large as an anticipated event in the lives of each of the interviewees. It was described as a distinct turning point in the life course of a romantic relationship when couples were forced to make a decision.” If a couple marries, the military will pay the relocation cost for the spouse and other family members. If a couple chooses not to wed, they face permanent separation. PCS effectively stamps a “sell by” date on romantic relationships.  As one respondent told the interviewers: “[Marriage] is a way to save their relationship . . . because, no matter what [Military Occupational Specialty] or position, it’s impossible to have a stable relationship.”

 

Socioeconomic Stability and Institutional Support

Lundquist and Xu found that the servicemen and women they interviewed favourably compared their own socioeconomic situation favourably to that of their civilian peers. The military provides a steady income, good benefits, and job training. Economic stability “emerged as a major undercurrent” in each of Lundquiest and Xu’s interviews.

 

Marriage, Lundquist and Xu argue, has also been made “deliberately compatible” with military life. As noted, the military will pay the full relocation cost for each member of a service member’s family. Doing so provides a “crucial way for the military to ensure a portable support system for its employees.” The military also provides “family health coverage, housing, day care services, [and] schooling systems.” The military also provides direct support for married couples. As one respondent explained:

 

Once a month, there’s a marriage retreat . . . You have to go through counselling, but you get free lodging at the Army resort, get to see the Alps. It’s like a free vacation. . . . Outside the military, you have to pay for that stuff, to go see a counsellor. . . . The military has a lot of things in place for it.

 

This institutional support for marriage is not disinterested. As Lundquist and Xu note, the family members of servicemen and women are also enlisted in service: They provide emotional support and caretaking labour that the military would be hard pressed to supply, they help reintegrate servicemen and women into civilian life, and they provide care for injured veterans. (In the United States 5.5 million individuals provide unpaid care for family members who are current or former military employees.)

 

Comparing marriage in the military to marriage in civilian life may seem like comparing apples to oranges. As Lundquist and Xu note, “our main application to civilian trends is one of contrast, not similarity. In the highly individualistic, market-driven policy context of the United States, the transition to adulthood has been very weakly supported by the state.”

 

But I think Lundquist and Xu’s interviews bring out an important point about marriage in general: The military men and women they interviewed, for the most part, did not choose to marry for the sake of the benefits the military would provide them for doing so. Rather, marriage, the respondents reported, provided benefits the military could not supply: emotional support, personal care, something to live for, constancy in a life that is constant change. Marriage seems to be a unique good. But the material benefits and support network that the military provided made it possible for the respondents to choose this unique good.

 

New Books, Resources and materials

·         Therapy With Men After Sixty

[Picked this one up from Smartmarriages, so this is Diane’s review, not ours. Ed]

 

I am excited about this new book by Barry McCarthy who was consistently one of the most highly rated presenters at the Smart Marriages Conference where he shared his expertise on sex. I still recommend the recordings of his presentations, most especially of Marital Sex As It Ought To Be, the session I think we should all listen to once a year, just to be reminded — and to prevent monotony on long trips (pun intended) http://www.playbacknow.com/750-807 . Barry has written more than 20 great books, including Discovering Your Couple Sexual Style (recipient of the Smart Marriages Impact Award  http://tinyurl.com/qf9b4oy ) and Rekindling Desire: A Step-by-Step Program to Help Low-Sex and No-Sex Marriages plus several focused on male sexuality (whole books dealing with premature ejaculation or with erectile dysfunction) - but it will be interesting to see what he offers to help men deal with all the aspects of aging. He says he has written this for helping professionals but also for men to read themselves. (I would also assume the women in their lives might find it interesting.) 

 

Here is the book blurb: Therapy with Men after Sixty is a breakthrough book for professionals that helps them open their clients’ minds to new ways of thinking, behaving, and feeling about the aging process. The authors adopt a realistic but optimistic tone as they carefully examine the psychological, relational, and sexual aspects of life after 60, while also dispelling common myths. Topics addressed include how to build and maintain Psychological Well Being, have quality relationships, build self-esteem, and deal with crisis and loss. Practical topics, such as financial issues, living situations, and relationships with adult children and grandchildren are addressed through guidelines, skill exercises, and case studies. Each chapter helps mental health professionals to account for individual, couple, cultural, and value differences, making this an unparalleled resource for helping men successfully meet the challenges of aging. 

Forthcoming conferences and events

·         Forthcoming conferences

Details of all forthcoming conferences can always be found under our listing at 2-in-2-1

 

·         Study day to explore Catholic-Muslim marriages

Marriage between Muslims and Catholics in particular and Christians more broadly is becoming increasingly more common. The issues raised are complex and little appreciated.  Bringing together the expertise of theologians, canon lawyers, providers of marriage preparation and pastors, this study day explores the challenges. In association with Marriage Care, the Heythrop Centre for Christianity and Inter-religious Dialogue and the Christian-Muslim Forum.

 

To be held on  Wednesday 19 November 2014, 10.30am – 4pm, at Heythrop College, Kensington Square, London W8 5HN

Consultations and Campaigns

Below is our running list of current and recent consultations and campaigns. New items or those requiring action are highlighted. The Reference numbers are to the newsletter where we covered the subject.

 

Soap Box!!

·         Marriage or ‘Miserable Minimalism’!

Today sees the publication of the manifesto from the Relationships Alliance – the thoughts of the ‘big four’ in our sector on what a future government of any flavour could do to strengthen family relationships in this country. The fact that this work is also funded by the DfE must also be praised – it makes a change from telling charities they should not lobby or have a political viewpoint!!

 

The manifesto contains some fairly predictable, but nonetheless welcome items: a department for Families with a cabinet minister, expanding the role of Family Centres per the Australian model (though they have rapidly morphed in to family crisis centres there) and so on. It’s all rather pedestrian, predictable, and safe – there’s nothing very edgy or new.

 

And there is no mention of marriage! Now let me be clear, the word “marriage” does appear six times in the twelve page manifesto – however four of these are references to the organisation ‘Marriage Care’, and the other two are to their marriage preparation services in the section about what works. Now admittedly they do call for a rebate for couples having a civil marriage ceremony towards the cost of marriage preparation – but that’s about it! Even the list of references at the end has nothing about marriage in it – they have even expunged the research from their pronouncements!!

 

Let me be clear, I am not saying that marriage is the universal panacea to every aspect of family policy, nor that every “good” that comes from stable families is solely the result of family structure – I am not that naïve!! Of course the mechanisms that hold families together, or break them apart involve processes – but in almost any other context where one is talking about the components of capability (eg business) one would be laughed out of the room for proposing that structure isn’t a component factor.  To be honest the absence of mention of marriage must be a deliberate choice – we know there are voices within the alliance who do believe that the lifetime commitments of marriage are an essential foundation for successful processes – to construct a manifesto which leaves out this thinking must have taken positive action!

 

The recent publications from Scott Stanley and others point to the key importance of  planned lives – ones where decisions and commitments happen by decision and intent, rather than being driven by circumstances and whim. A recent blog post from Scott Stanley contains this nugget: “We should continue to try to strengthen and support marriage, which includes figuring out how to counter the cultural trends that push people away from believing what is obvious: that a prior settled commitment between two parents makes a real difference for children.”

 

Manifestos are about setting out a vision for the future, for signalling intent and direction. I certainly hope that those drafting the manifesto’s for their parties will listen to the advice from Relationship Alliance, but then that they will lift their eyes and grasp the fundamental importance of marriage to society, and will commit themselves to supporting the rights of the as yet unborn generations to have parents who have made a firm and unflinching commitment to be bound together in love for life.

 

Anything less is miserable minimalism!

 


Best wishes,

The 2-in-2-1 Team

 

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Fwd: Why Doesn't The Catholic Church Fight No Fault Divorce? - Ethics & Religion Col.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Michael McManus <mike@marriagesavers.org>
Date: Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 3:32 AM
Subject: Why Doesn't The Catholic Church Fight No Fault Divorce? - Ethics & Religion Col. #1,729
To: Bill Coffin <BillCoffin68@gmail.com>


Ethics & Religion

9311 Harrington Dr.

Potomac, MD 20854

Mike@MarriageSavers.org

301 469-5870

 

October 16, 2014

Column #1,729

Why Doesn’t the Catholic Church Fight No Fault Divorce?

By Mike McManus

 

            The world’s Catholic leaders gathering in Rome, published a preliminary Synod report which states that “Divorced people who have not remarried should be invited to find in the Eucharist nourishment they need to sustain them.”

 

            What about the divorced who have remarried? They deserve “a careful discernment and an accompaniment full of respect…Looking after them is not a weakening of faith and its testimony to the indissolubility of marriage, but rather it expresses precisely its charity in its caring.”

 

            Huh?  How does this stance testify to “the indissolubility of marriage?” It is the opposite.

 

A man who divorced his wife and remarried should be viewed “full of respect,” and looked after due to the church’s “charity in its caring?” What about his abandoned wife and her children who are now poor and supported by “Uncle Sugar,” as Gov. Mike Huckabee puts it?

 

Stephen Baskerville wrote an article in Crisis Magazine: “The Church appears determined once again to avoid confronting the central evil of the Divorce Revolution.  This is involuntary divorce and the injustice committed against the forcibly divorced or innocent spouse, along with his or her children.

 

He charged, “To treat the sinner and sinned against as if they are the same is to deny the very concept of justice and the place the Church on the side of injustice.”

 

At the heart of the problem is “No Fault Divorce,” first adopted by California in 1969. Historically, divorces were only granted if one spouse proved their partner was guilty of a major fault, such as adultery, abandonment or abuse. No Fault allowed either spouse to simply declare there are “irreconcilable differences.”

 

That removed hundreds of years of protection for the innocent spouse and children, and rewarded the evil destroyers of marriage. It was a willful neglect of justice, as if state legislators passed a law saying that murder or robbery would no longer be punished.

 

Yet neither the Catholic Church nor any other denomination opposed No Fault, which amounted to the “abolition of marriage” as a legal contract as marriage expert Maggie Gallagher puts it. Today it is not possible to form a binding agreement to create a family.

 

The silence of religious leaders allowed feminists and divorce attorneys to pass No Fault in almost all states by 1975. The impact of divorce without consequences has been immense. 

 

In 1969 there were 639,000 U.S. divorces – nearly double the 393,000 of 1960, due to the Sexual Revolution.  Only six years later No Fault pushed up divorces by 63% to 1,036,000.

 

“No public debate preceded this ethical bombshell in the 1970s, and none has taken place since,” Baskerville asserts. 

 

It was probably unrealistic to expect that the extraordinary Synod of Bishops would address No Fault.  Instead it is considering more conciliatory language toward gays and lesbians, divorced and remarried Catholics and couples who are living together. While the words of “bombshell” and “earthquake” have been dropped, it is unlikely that Catholic opposition to divorce or gay marriage will change. More compassion will be called for.

 

However, churches should be taking the lead to reform a patently unjust No Fault divorce law.  In 1991 the U.S. Catholic Bishops did issue a paper, “Putting Children and Families First,” that asserted that it “time for society to reconsider the consequences of permissive divorce, particularly in the case of couples with children. One million children see their parents divorce each year. 

 

“Public policy must be designed to help families stay together.”

 

What policies should change?  The bishops offered no specifics.  Nor was the issue even mentioned in their 2009 Pastoral Letter on Marriage.

 

Therefore, I’d like to propose two new laws that Protestant and Catholic leaders could support with their state legislatures. 

 

First, more time.  The U.S. divorce rate of 23% after five years of marriage is triple the 8% of Britain or France.  Why? If a British wife wants a divorce, but her husband is opposed, they have to wait five years to be divorced – and six years in France. By contrast, 25 states have a ZERO waiting period. Their laws push people to divorce.

 

  However, Pennsylvania and Illinois allow up to two years delay if a divorce is contested, and have two of the three lowest divorce rates in America. All states should pass similar laws.

 

Second, Georgia, Minnesota and Texas are considering requiring divorcing parents with children to take a course on the impact of divorce on kids – before divorce papers are filed.

 

All states should do so.  Children, the innocent victims, need protection.

 

Copyright © 2014 by Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist

 

 

 

 

****************************************

Mike McManus is President of Marriage Savers

and a syndicated columnist, writing Ethics & Religion weekly

mike@marriagesavers.org

9311 Harrington Dr.

Potomac, MD 20854

 

301-469-5873

 

Fwd: REMINDER: New DCoE Webinar Series: Telehealth & Technology (T2) Behavior Health Technology Education and Training (UNCLASSIFIED)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: USARMY NCR MEDCOM USAMRMC DCOE Mailbox DCoE Monthly <usarmy.ncr.medcom-usamrmc-dcoe.mbx.dcoe-monthly@mail.mil>
Date: Mon, Oct 13, 2014 at 7:38 AM
Subject: REMINDER: New DCoE Webinar Series: Telehealth & Technology (T2) Behavior Health Technology Education and Training (UNCLASSIFIED)
To:


Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Greetings,

DCoE is proud to announce a new monthly webinar series for FY15.  These webinars will be led by DCoE’s component Center, the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2) and will highlight specific technologies, as well as address various methods and techniques to better integrate these and technologies into clinical practice. These webinars will be hosted by experienced clinicians who are leading the efforts in innovating methods of clinical care.

October 16, 2014 marks the kick-off date for the T2 Webinar Series, which will include monthly webinars, with the first to occur titled “Integration of Virtual Hope Box Mobile Application into Clinical Care” with T2’s Nigel Bush, Ph.D. and Amanda Stewart, Ph.D. as presenters, and Robert Ciulla, Ph.D. as moderator.  The T2 Webinar Series is a part of DCoE’s Webinar Series (http://www.dcoe.mil/Training/MonthlyWebinars.aspx).  Read down for the registration information.

The webinars are open to the public and are intended for health care providers, residents and interns, researchers, academicians, scientists, service members, families, veterans, DoD services and agencies and other DoD partners, such as Department of Veterans Affairs.  Many of these webinars will also provide continuing education credit.

The T2 Webinar Series is a part of the T2 Behavioral Health Technology Education & Training Program (T2 E&T) which provides education and training to the clinicians, residents and interns on the integration of behavioral health technology into psychological health and traumatic brain injury clinical care.   In addition to the T2 Webinar Series, T2 E&T provides face to face workshops, outreach events and provider training resources.

Title: Integration of a Virtual Hope Box Mobile Application into Clinical Care
Date/Time: October 16, 2014, 1-2:30 p.m. (EDT)

Overview
Several behavioral health treatments have proven useful for patients who feel hopeless and may be considering suicide or self-harm. One tool used by providers is the “hope box”. Therapists suggest that their patients fill a shoe box (or other container) with items that remind them of why their life is worth living, such as supportive letters from loved ones, their favorite music CDs, photos, reminders of their accomplishments, or a list of things they want to do.
However, since such a box is awkward to carry, it may not always be handy when a patient needs it most. Using the principles of the original hope box, a smartphone app was created called the “Virtual Hope Box” (VHB). As with its namesake, patients choose items, but the “container” is more portable and more private—and it’s always with them. Patients can also add more-accessible types of content like music files and video files.

This webinar is designed to get the word out about Virtual Hope Box to clinicians, and show how smartphone apps can empower and engage patients in their own care.

During this webinar, participants will learn to:
•       Describe the social paradigm shift to mobile health among younger service members.
•       Articulate the potential benefits of mobile personal technologies as accessories to behavioral health treatment.
•       Examine the value of clinical involvement in patient use of health related smartphone apps.
•       Incorporate key principles behind hope box use in clinical therapy.

Presenters:
Nigel E. Bush, Ph.D. and Amanda Stewart, Ph.D.
National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) Department of Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tacoma, Wash.

Moderator:
Robert Ciulla, Ph.D.
National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) Department of Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tacoma, Wash. 

Continuing Education:
Continuing education credit is available from Duke Medicine. You must register on or before October 16, 2014, at 3 p.m. (EDT) to qualify for the receipt of continuing education credit.

To qualify for receipt of continuing education credit for applicable webinars, eligible participants must create a profile in the Duke Medicine Learning Management System and register for the event on, or before, the event registration deadline. Complete responses to all pre-registration questions are required to be eligible to receive credit for attending this event. For guidance on creating a user account and event registration in the Duke Medicine Learning Management System site, please visit https://www.dcri.org/cee/education/ethosce-learning-center/EthosCE_Fundamentals.pdf

DCoE's awarding of continuing education credit is limited in scope to health care providers who actively provide psychological health and traumatic brain injury care to U.S. active-duty service members, reservists, National Guardsmen, military veterans and/or their families.

For additional details, please visit http://www.dcoe.mil/Libraries/Documents/DCoE-Monthly-Webinar-Series-Continuing-Education-Accreditation-April-2014.pdf

Upon completion of registration, a confirmation email will be sent providing webinar event details.

Sign up for the webinar at http://continuingeducation.dcri.duke.edu/integration-virtual-hope-box-mobile-application-clinical-care

If your network security settings do not allow access to the Duke Medicine website, use another network or device to access the registration page. Once registered, you may use Adobe Connect or Defense Connect Online to attend the webinar.


Thank you

DCoE Event Planning Team
http://www.dcoe.mil/Training/Monthly_Webinars.aspx





Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Fwd: Institute for Family Studies Newsletter, 10/9/14: The military and marriage, wedding size and marital success, and more

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Family Studies <editor@family-studies.org>
Date: Thu, Oct 9, 2014 at 4:08 PM
Subject: Institute for Family Studies Newsletter, 10/9/14: The military and marriage, wedding size and marital success, and more
To: Bill <billcoffin68@gmail.com>


View this email in your browser.

This Week on Family-Studies.org

We spoke with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat on challenges for the family, pro-family policy, and more. We examined the connection between marriage size and cost and marital success and looked at the causes for high marriage rates in the military.

The Military and Marriage

by Meghan Duke

The U.S. military is still characterized by high and early marriage rates. A new study suggests that this is due both to pressures and support that are part of the structure of military life.

Wedding Size and Marital Success

by Scott Stanley and Galena Rhoades

A new study finds that having an expensive wedding is not associated with a more successful marriage. Having a big wedding, however, is linked to happier marriages.

Interview with Ross Douthat

by Ross Douthat

Ross Douthat weighs in on compounded challenges for the family, reforming no-fault divorce laws, designing pro-family policy, and more

IFS Around the Web

Senior fellow Scott Stanley was quoted in a Time article on the way pre-marital decisions affect marital happiness. Senior Fellows W. Bradford Wilcox and Scott Stanley were both quoted in a Tech Times article that drew on The National Marriage Project's recent study "Before "I do": What Do Premarital Experiences Have to Do with Marital Quality Among Today's Young Adults."
View more Family-Studies blog posts.
Copyright © 2014 Institute for Family Studies, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up for our mailing list.

Our mailing address is:
Institute for Family Studies
P.O. Box 400766
Charlottesville, VA 22904

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Fwd: Institute for Family Studies Newsletter, 10/2/14: Men and marriage, post-family urban planing, and more

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Family Studies" <editor@family-studies.org>
Date: Oct 2, 2014 8:32 PM
Subject: Institute for Family Studies Newsletter, 10/2/14: Men and marriage, post-family urban planing, and more
To: "Bill" <billcoffin68@gmail.com>
Cc:

View this email in your browser.

This Week on Family-Studies.org

We consider how an ethic of responsible parenthood can engage men and what we might  learn from studying the perspective of abandoned but committed spouses. We look at marriage trends in the U.K. and the ways in which current architecture and urban planning principles work against working class families.

Of Sex and Men: Why Sexual Restraint Matters

by David Lapp

Men "man up" when they are challenged. So messages to men that aim to prevent out of wedlock births have to be more profound than “use a condom.”

The New Class Conflict

by Brian J. Shaw

Architects and planners with a post-family perspective, Joel Kotkin argues in The New Class Conflict, cater to young professionals and ignore the needs of young families.

Acknowledging the Ones Who Stay

by Hilary Towers

We know very little about individual variation in the process of divorce and its generational transmission. We do know roughly 80% of all divorces are filed unilaterally. This suggests we have a lot to learn from the perspective of abandoned but committed spouses.

The U.K.'s Gloomy Marriage Forecast

by Harry Benson

Current marriage trends in the U.K. suggest only 52% of young adults today will ever marry. The consequences of this downward trend will be costly on both the personal and national level. But there's still reason to hope. 

IFS Around the Web

This week on The Diane Rehm Show Senior fellow W. Bradford Wilcox talked about the connection between preparedness for child rearing and marriage and ways in which we can improve young Americans' opportunities for stable marriages. Wilcox's proposals for "pro-family policies"were also mention this week in an article on The Atlantic's blog.
View more Family-Studies blog posts.
Copyright © 2014 Institute for Family Studies, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up for our mailing list.

Our mailing address is:
Institute for Family Studies
P.O. Box 400766
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Add us to your address book
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp
update subscription preferencesforward to a friend 
If you'd like to stop getting these emails, you can unsubscribe from this list.

Fwd: REIG List Serve Notice

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <newsletter@nire.org>
Date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 at 1:01 AM
Subject: REIG List Serve Notice
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com


NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

RE INTERESTS GROUP NOTICE!!! 

YOU CAN JOIN THE NEXT RELATIONSHIP ENHANCEMENT INTERESTS GROUP BRIDGELINE SESSION!!! 

RE COUPLES/FILIAL/MARRIAGE EDUCATION INTERESTS GROUP INVITES YOU TO JOIN THEIR NEXT BRIDGELINE SESSION THIS COMING Wednesday evening September 17, 2014

Agenda will start with an update on a video called CoupleTalk, a marriage education program developed by the Don and Alexandra Flecky in Fullerton, California.CoupleTalk is a video-led, Christian version of Bernard Guerney’s Relationship Enhancement and Mastering the Mysteries of Love programs. Couples learn healthy communication and conflict resolution skills with a strong emphasis on empathy. Includes gentle faith content.

SHARE POSITIVE EXAMPLES YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED IN WORKING WITH CLIENTS.  

v  SHARE DIFFICULT OR NEGATIVE SITUATIONS ENCOUNTERED. 

v  HELP ADDRESS IMPORTANT QUESTIONS ABOUT THERAPY AND TRAINING.  

v  SHARE YOUR CLIENT/TRAINEE OUTCOMES OR PERSONAL GAINS IN USING RE SKILLS. 

v  SHARE “BUMPS ALONG THE WAY” AND INSIGHTS IN MOTIVATING CLIENTS TO LEARN AND USE SKILLS. 

Plus 

v  CONNECT WITH OTHER USERS OF RE WORLDWIDE!

 

The date is Wednesday, September 17 at 9:00 pm Eastern (6:00 pm Pacific time). 

Call in at 760-569-9000 and use bridgeline access code 975242#.  No cost to participate except your own telephone expense. Call John Griffin at 360-651-0610 or 425-299-2532 (cell) if you need more information or have questions. 

 LOOK FORWARD TO SHARING EXPERIENCES, QUESTIONS AND IDEAS DURING THIS SESSION!!! Bring your most burning questions and ideas about RE/Filial/Marriage Education to share with other participants. JOIN OTHERS ON THE BRIDGELINE WEDNESDAY EVENING September 17th at 9:00 pm Eastern (6:00 pm Pacific)!! SEE YOU THEN!!! 



John M Griffin PhD
16404 Smokey Point Blvd, Suite 208
Arlington, WA 98223
360-651-0610 Ph
360-651-0656 Fax

If receiving this email inadvertently and it is not addressed to you please delete/destroy the contents and notify me at the phone number or address above.



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Fwd: Building Strong Families; Limited Time Upgrade Offer; Asperger’s Dating Advice; Teens and Technology Webinar

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: The Dibble Institute <relationshipskills@dibbleinstitute.org>
Date: Wed, Sep 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM
Subject: Building Strong Families; Limited Time Upgrade Offer; Asperger’s Dating Advice; Teens and Technology Webinar
To: Bill Coffin <billcoffin68@gmail.com>


THE LATEST DIBBLE NEWS NEWS YOU CAN USE

SECOND WEDNESDAY WEBINAR - September 10

Teens, Technology and Social Media: Impacts on Healthy Relationship Development

FUNDING STREAMS

COME SEE US

News Letter Section Break

THE LATEST

MarriageMarkets If Marriage Moves Beyond Our Means

‘Marriage Markets’ Looks at Pressures on Families

The realities eroding marriage are no secret. Recent decades have brought far better career opportunities for women, except among the very poorest. Most women do not need to endure an abysmal marriage because they see no way to earn a living. And, not surprisingly, a working-class woman with a decent job won’t commit to a man who can’t find or keep a job or, worse, might end up in prison.

The villain in this tale of family destruction is well known: the drying up of good blue-collar jobs, particularly for men, followed by the hollowing out of “middle management,” which had sustained millions of middle-class families. Read more

sub-section

Mathematica Research Policy Building Strong Families: Which families are most at risk?

Healthy marriage relationship skills education programs serving unmarried parents aim to help these couples improve their relationships, with the ultimate aim of supporting family stability and promoting child well-being. A central goal of these programs is to promote fathers’ sustained, active engagement in their children’s lives.

An evaluation of the federally funded Building Strong Families interventions find that the following risk factors are associated with fathers having little or no contact with their children three years after entering the program: below average couple relationship quality at program entry, the father’s having a child from a previous relationship, and the father’s having grown up without his own father present. In addition, fathers who showed signs of psychological distress when entering the program had the greatest risk of having little contact with their children three years later.

sub-section

NewYorkTimes Decisive Marriage

New research shows that how thoughtfully couples make decisions can have a lasting effect on the quality of their romantic relationships. Couples who are decisive before marriage — intentionally defining their relationships, living together and planning a wedding — appear to have better marriages than couples who simply let inertia carry them through major transitions.

“Making decisions and talking things through with partners is important,” said Galena K. Rhoades, a relationship researcher at the University of Denver and co-author of the report. “When you make an intentional decision, you are more likely to follow through on that.”

News Letter Section Break

DIBBLE NEWS

National Fatherhood InitiativeDibble Forms Partnership with National Fatherhood Initiative

The Dibble Institute is pleased to announce that we have joined forces with National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), to offer two acclaimed Dibble programs to fatherhood and other community-based organizations across the nation.

Relationships Smarts PLUS 3.0 and Love Notes help at-risk teens as well as young adults and young parents learn how to create healthy relationships—and ultimately—healthy, strong families.

NFI president Christopher A. Brown says:

“We know that there has been a lack of quality programs for teen and young adult dads because our customers have asked for such programs for many years. We could have created our own programs, but after conducting research into the salient issues facing this population—and whether such programs already exist that have been shown through evaluations to be effective with males—we discovered the two Dibble programs which center on healthy relationships.

"And with that being perhaps the most salient of the issues, it was a no-brainer to make these two Dibble programs a part of our offerings. They allow organizations to work with teen and young adult dads separately or couples together, and NFI to continue expansion of our resources for moms focused on improving the relationships between dads and moms for the sake of children.”

sub-section

Relationship Smarts cover Relationship Smarts PLUS 3.0 Upgrade Available Through September

Last January we launched the new Relationship Smarts PLUS 3.0 with an upgrade offer of 50% off for instructors with an earlier version of the program.

Many of you responded. But some told us that even at this really low price, they didn’t have the funds in their budgets.

So just through September, if you send us a copy of the cover on your prior version, we will send you the new Relationship Smarts PLUS for only $180.

We think this version and this price are too good to miss!

News Letter Section Break

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Dating With Asperger's Advice For Dating With Asperger's: Don't Call 100 Times A Week

Dating isn't easy, and it's even less so when you've got Asperger's, an autism spectrum disorder that can make it hard to read social cues.

Jesse Saperstein knows that all too well. In his new book, the 32-year-old tells his fellows on the spectrum that they need to be up front with potential dates that they have Asperger's. And he says they also need to realize that what feels to them like sincere interest can all too often be perceived as creepiness. This is an edited version of a conversation on NPR.

(Editor’s Note: Mike’s Crush, available at Dibble, teens with autism and intellectual disabilities how to establish healthy and safe relationships with their peers, including friendship and romantic relationships.)

sub-section

Office of Adolescent Health Sustaining Youth-Serving Programs

The Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) wants youth-serving organizations to keep up the great work they are doing in their communities. An e-learning module goes step-by-step through OAH’s Sustainability Framework and Resource Guide. Programs can also use the Sustainability Assessment to see how well-prepared their organization is to sustain their important work.

sub-section

At Your Library September is Literacy Month

National Literacy Month provides great opportunities to encourage all teens to read, and some resources to help our young parents read more to their children. We know reading is an important part of optimal brain development, and good habits can last a lifetime.

Atyourlibrary.org will be kicking off their library card sign up campaign, and comic book legend Stan Lee will be the spokesperson. Materials to share can be found here.

(Editor’s Note: We highly recommend utilizing THE ART OF LOVING WELL, a nationally acclaimed, literature based relationship skills curriculum from Boston University, to encourage reading and teach healthy relationship skills at the same time!)

News Letter Section Break

SECOND WEDNESDAY WEBINAR - September 10

Second Wednesday Webinars

Teens, Technology and Social Media: Impacts on Healthy Relationship Development

Significant numbers of teens and young adults use social media as their main source of communicating with friends both those they have met in person and online. Today’s technology allows adolescents instant but distant access to each other yet, at what price?

We wonder – “How will social media affect young people’s ability to build healthy, ongoing relationships? How will the new technologies affect their social skills? What can we do to help teens and young adults navigate this new terrain safely while building essential interpersonal skills?”

Join Jennifer Myers and Aaron Larson as they:

  • Share how social media impacts the relationships and interactions of teens and young adults.
  • Introduce a just-released supplementary lesson from Relationship Smarts PLUS on Technology and Social Media, using the new Dibble Digital platform.

Presenters: Jennifer Myers, M.A., L.P.A. , holds a masters degree in clinical psychology, is a full-time Instructor in the Psychology Department at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC, and has a private clinical psychology practice at Carolina Counseling Center, specializing in adolescents.

Aaron Larson, Dibble Digital Coordinator. Aaron has worked for the US Department of Health and Human Services as a Healthy Marriage Specialist. He was also the director of the National Healthy Marriage Institute.

When: Wednesday, September 10, 2014

at 4:00 pm Eastern/1:00 pm Pacific

Who Should Attend: PREP Grantees, Extension Agents, Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood programs, Family and Consumer Sciences teachers, Out-of-School Time Instructors, anyone who is concerned about social media and teens and wants to make a difference.

Register Now!

News Letter Section Break

FUNDING STREAMS

(CO, NM, UT, WY)

Daniels Fund The Daniels Fund

The Daniels Fund provides grants to nonprofit organizations in funding areas--Aging, Alcoholism, & Substance Abuse, Amateur Sports, Disabilities, Early Childhood Education, K-12 Education Reform, Ethics & Integrity in Education, Homeless & Disadvantaged, and Youth Development. The fund was established by Bill Daniels, using the experiences and relationships of his life as motivation.

sub-section

Grants Address Poverty in the Southeast

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation

The Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation assists people in the southeast United States to build just and caring communities that nurture people, spur enterprise, bridge differences, and foster fairness. The Foundation is dedicated to helping people and places to move out of poverty and achieve greater social and economic justice. Grants are provided to local, statewide, and regional nonprofits in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia that work with people in low-wealth communities to shape their own destiny.

News Letter Section Break

Come See Us

Would you like a Dibble Outreach Educator at your conference? Email Irene Varley, Director of Education, at Irene@DibbleInstitute.org to find out how.

Please let us know if you are having an open to the public event featuring Dibble curricula. We would be happy to help you publicize it.

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You Tube

Dibble YouTube favorites

Check out our favorite videos for teens, instructors, and parents!

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Dibble Heart Help Us Spread the Word!

Share this email with friends and colleagues and follow The Dibble Institute on Facebook to get the latest information on youth relationship skills training!

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Fwd: Weekly Update of UK Marriage News - No 14.34

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dave Percival <dave@2-in-2-1.co.uk>
Date: Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 10:45 AM
Subject: Weekly Update of UK Marriage News - No 14.34
To: info@2-in-2-1.co.uk


Welcome to this week’s UK Marriage News

 

Headlines

·         David Cameron on Family

·         The Way We Are Now: New study reveals our couple, family, friendships, sex and work secrets sex and work secrets

·         The next speech?

 

Government and Political

·         David Cameron on Family

We were very pleased to have been present last Monday at the Relationships Alliance Summit where David Cameron made his keynote speech on the family. You can read it in full here, and there is much press coverage (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7), and comment from Marriage Care and Relate .

 

Much was a restatement of existing measures but new measures announced included:

·         Tens of thousands of couples will benefit from relationship counselling, with the annual budget doubled to £19.5 million. New parents will get extra help in ante-natal classes and more advice from health visitors once the baby has arrived.

·         More than 500,000 families will now receive help via a programme to support families facing multiple problems, such as unemployment, anti-social behaviour, debt and truancy. The programme expands from its current focus on 120,000 families, with work starting immediately in over 50 council areas before spreading across the country.

·         New figures out today show that the number of adoptions is up by 25% in the last year, thanks to an increase in financial support to councils and voluntary groups and a faster adoption process. The time it takes to adopt has reduced for the first time ever. The government will go further and from next month councils will be able will apply for £19 million national Adoption Support Fund. Any school child adopted from care will benefit from an extra £1900 of additional pupil premium money.

·         A family test on all government policies will be formally introduced into impact assessments from this autumn. It will see every single domestic policy examined for its impact on the family. Policies that fail to support family life will not be allowed to proceed.

 

The Marriage Foundation welcomed the Prime Minister's support for the family but warned that without explicit support for marriage, the new initiatives will have little or no impact on family breakdown.

 

"Actions speak louder than words," said Research Director Harry Benson. "Coalition policies during their first four years in government would struggle to pass a 'family test'. We have a tax credit system that pays couples up to £7,100 more to live apart than together, a tax system that penalises single earners who choose to leave one parent at home, and a raft of government forms that pretend living together is the equal of marriage. In terms of stability, it is anything but."

 

"Our vast £46 billion annual bill for family breakdown - more than the entire defence budget - cries out for a genuine family policy that explicitly supports, encourages and incentivises marriage. Almost all couples - 93% - who remain intact until their children finish school are married.

·         If we want to see more children brought up by both parents rather than one, we need more marriages.

·         If we want less family fragmentation - that contributes to the housing crisis, for example - we need more marriages.

·         If we want more couples with the capacity to care for the elderly, we need more marriages.

 

"Family breakdown is not inevitable. But so much is driven by the trend away from marriage. Few couples who don't marry, who don't make that explicit commitment to their future together, remain together while they bring up their children. Mr Cameron has long stated his enthusiasm for commitment and marriage. He is right. So 'family test' needs to mean 'marriage test'."

·         Gay marriages more popular among women than men

More weddings are being held between women than men following the introduction of gay marriage, according to official figures reports the Telegraph. Of 1,409 gay weddings which took place in the first three months after same-sex marriages were introduced this year, 56 per cent were between women and 44 per cent were between men. Experts suggested that the higher number of women taking advantage of the new law, which came into effect in March, was down to women seeking a “stable relationship” in which they can have children. [There will have been 60 - 70,000 opposite sex weddings in the same period. Ed]

 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 95 couples were married in England and Wales during the first three days after same-sex weddings were introduced on March 29. The number steadily increased each month, with 351 marriages taking place in April, followed by 465 in May and 498 in June. The average age of those tying the knot in same-sex weddings was 37 for women and 39 for men.

 

James Brown, a partner in family law at JMW Solicitors, said: "As with civil partnerships, it appears to be women who are attracted more to the idea of formalising same-sex relationships and they tend to do so at a younger age than men as well. That might be because it provides them with stability in a relationship as they're reaching the average age at which women tend to have children.”

 

The Government had predicted that the total number of civil partnership and same-sex marriages would reach 6,000 each year following the legalisation of gay weddings. The number of people entering gay marriages is lower than the number of couples who became civil partners after the option was first introduced in 2005. In total 4,579 civil partnerships took place in England and Wales in the first three full months of its existence. Of these around two thirds were male couples and a third female.

 

The ONS said the initial uptake of civil partnerships could have been higher because at the time “there was no other option for same sex couples to formalise their relationship”.

 

Andrew Newbury, head of family law at Slater & Gordon, said the overall number of gay marriages between March and June was "surprisingly" low, adding that he expected it to increase later this year when changes to the law will allow couples already in civil partnerships to convert to marriage. "We have received many inquiries from same-sex couples wanting information for how they can change their civil partnership to a marriage,” he said.

 

[In New Zealand, which has a much smaller population, there were 309 same sex marriages in the first year compared with about 19000 opposite sex wedding; ie, about 1 in 60 which is comparable to the UK figure. Ed]

 

·         Home Office launches consultation on strengthening domestic violence law

A new crime of domestic abuse could be created under government proposals aimed at better protecting victims and their families reports CYPNow. The Home Office has launched a consultation on strengthening the law on domestic abuse by explicitly stating that it covers coercive and controlling behaviour as well as physical harm. Offences the new law could cover include threatening a partner with violence, cutting them off from friends and family or refusing them access to money in order to limit their freedom. Controlling behaviour is currently covered by legislation that covers stalking and harassment but it does not explicitly apply to intimate relationships.

 

In launching the consultation Home Secretary Theresa May is calling for the views of both victims as well as those who work with them. She said police are currently not acting swiftly enough when domestic abuse complaints are made and said any change in the law must be backed up with cultural change among officers. She said: “I am clear that there must be an immediate and lasting change in the police response to domestic abuse. This means a change in culture right from the officers in charge to those on the frontline.”

 

Annie Hudson, chief executive of The College of Social Work (TCSW), said bullying, and manipulative and controlling behaviour in family relationships can have devastating and enduring effects for children. "Recent serious case reviews poignantly remind us of the role of domestic violence in rendering children as very vulnerable and at risk," she said. "TCSW would generally support legal changes that enhance protection afforded to children and adults, but we need to consider the Home Office proposals carefully and then respond to the consultation.”

 

A report by police inspectorate HMIC in March suggested there is a "postcode lottery" among constabularies when it comes to tackling domestic abuse. Arrest rates varied from 45 per cent to 90 per cent across England and Wales’s 43 police forces.  Among questions asked in the consultation is whether the current law is sufficient to tackle domestic abuse, is a new law needed and if brought in how could a new law of domestic abuse be effectively implemented.

 

Research published by the Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (Caada) in February this year revealed the scale of the problem among children in abusive families. Caada’s data found that 46 per cent of children exposed to domestic abuse were unknown to children’s services prior to working with a specialist domestic violence worker. In addition, 37 per cent of children exposed to serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse were not known to children’s social workers.

 

This latest move follows the introduction of domestic violence protection orders in November 2013, which prevent the suspected perpetrator returning to the family home within 28 days. The order can be made without the consent of the victim.

 

·         Troubled Families expansion to focus on younger children and health problems

An expansion of the Troubled Families initiative is to focus on tackling poor health and supporting children under the age of five, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has revealed reports CYPNow. The government has pledged to increase the number of families receiving intensive government support to turn their lives around from 120,000 to 500,000.

 

In a separate announcement communities secretary Eric Pickles said helping younger children living in chaotic families as well as reducing ill health will be greater priorities as the initiative expands. This will include a heightened focus on tackling domestic violence, reducing debt and supporting children at risk of being taken into care as well as retaining a focus on reducing truancy, crime and antisocial behaviour.

 

The focus on health follows latest DCLG research that found widespread and severe problems such as obesity and mental health conditions among those being offered support through the initiative. The research found that 71 per cent of families include someone with at least one health problem and 46 per cent of families included an adult with a mental health problem. A third have an adult family member with a long-standing illness or disability. In a fifth of families a child has a serious illness or disability.

 

The DCLG says treating such problems just as a medical issue “is unlikely to be successful” unless it is complemented with the multi-level, intensive support the Troubled Families initiative offers. Obesity was another problem highlighted. In research carried out among Salford families being offered support, 93 per cent of 35- to 54-year-olds were obese. In addition, half of all families had a record of obesity, compared to a quarter of the general England-wide population.

 

The Salford research also found 14 per cent of families had at least one adult with an alcohol dependency and 13 per cent had an adult with a drug dependency. England-wide, four per cent of families have a family member being treated for alcohol dependency.

 

Children’s health was another concern highlighted. A third of children involved in the initiative have a mental health problem and one in five had a clinical diagnosis. As a comparison it is estimated that one in ten children in England have a mental health problem.

 

One in 20 families included somebody under the age of 18 who was pregnant, the research also found.

 

The focus on younger children has been welcomed by Helen Berresford, head of public affairs at the charity 4Children. She said: “Today’s announced expansion to families with younger children is very welcome, particularly as we know that the experiences in a child’s first years are crucial to their life chances. Across the country half a million families are reported to be living on the edge of crisis and dealing with a range of serious problems. Every one of them will need intensive and dedicated support to make a positive difference to their lives.”

 

The expansion of the Troubled Families initiative was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron. It was launched in April 2012 with the aim of turning around 120,000 families’ lives by April 2015. But figures revealed in July show just 52,833 families had achieved long-term change.

 

Pickles said: “The Troubled Families programme has been a brilliant partnership between the government and councils, changing the way services are run, saving taxpayers money and turning around the lives of some of the hardest to help in the country, with kids back in school, youth crime and antisocial behaviour cut and adults better able to work. Building on this momentum, we are now able to help even more families and deal with even more problems and I am delighted that that work will now begin in the next few months.”

 

Research and Public Opinion

·         The Way We Are Now: New study reveals our couple, family, friendships, sex and work secrets sex and work secrets

A new study of more than 5,000 people has lifted the lid on the state of the UK’s relationships and found that one in ten – around 4.7 million people* – has no close friends. Published last week by Relate [Apologies that we missed it – Ed], the UK’s leading relationship support organisation, and Relationships Scotland, The Way We Are Now 2014 is one of the largest studies of its kind. It provides a window into the most important areas of our lives – from couple and family life to sex, friendships and interactions with colleagues and bosses.

 

The study finds some concerning statistics around how close we feel to others, including one in ten people  saying they don’t have a single close friend and one in five rarely or never feeling loved in the two weeks before the survey.

 

The Way We Are Now 2014 also finds a strong connection between our relationships and our personal wellbeing. It seems that, even in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, relationships still act as shock absorbers when times are hard and also help us to achieve our goals. Crucially, the study finds that people who enjoy good quality relationships also have higher levels of wellbeing, whilst relationships of poor quality are detrimental to wellbeing, health and how we feel about ourselves.

 

Ruth Sutherland, Chief Executive of Relate, said: “This new study examines the quality of our relationships, showing a clear link between our personal relationships and our wellbeing. Whilst there is much to celebrate, the results around how close we feel to others are very concerning. There is a significant minority of people who claim to have no close friends, or who never or rarely feel loved – something which is unimaginable to many of us. Relationships are the asset which can get us through good times and bad, and it is worrying to think that there are people who feel they have no one they can turn to during life’s challenges. We know that strong relationships are vital for both individuals and society as a whole, so investing in them is crucial.”

 

Below is a summary of the study’s top findings:

The changing face of family life

·         Almost one in four have experienced the breakdown of their parents’ relationship (23%)

·         62% think money worries are one of the biggest strains on a relationship

 

Divorce rates have risen significantly over the last 50 years, leaving generations of children, young people and adults working out how to navigate family life after separation. But families of all shapes and sizes can and do have good quality relationships – it might just take some extra effort.

 

A significant majority (62%) say that money worries are one of the biggest strains on family relationships. Older people are more worried about money, with 69% of those aged 65 and over saying money worries were a major strain, compared with only 37% of 16-24 year olds.

Partners: enduring love

·         Four out of five people have a good relationship with their partner (85%)

·         One in ten people in a relationship never or rarely felt loved in the two weeks before the survey.

 

The vast majority of us in relationships feel close to our partners, but there are also some concerning statistics in this section. The numbers of us who rarely or never feel loved are worryingly high.

 

But being in a relationship alone isn’t enough to enjoy good wellbeing – we found that the benefits of being in a couple relationship for people’s wellbeing were lost when they were dissatisfied with how things were going.

Sex: a nation divided

·         One in four people are dissatisfied with their sex life (24%)

·         One in four people report having an affair (24%)

 

With a quarter of us being dissatisfied with our sex life it’s clear that, for many people, things aren’t as good as they could be.

 

The Way We Are Now 2014 included an additional survey carried out by Relate of 250 Relate and Relationships Scotland counsellors, who listed three factors for a happy sex life: improving communication, making time to be together and learning how to talk about sex with your partner.

Work: a delicate balancing act

·         More than one in three people say their bosses believe the most productive employees put work before family (35%)

·         59% of people have a good relationship with their boss

·         42% of people have no friends at work

 

The picture painted by the work section of the study is an interesting one. Even though many of us enjoy good relationships with our bosses, it’s clear that for a significant minority, work and family life seem to be incompatible. This is especially worrying in an age where the boundaries between home and work are increasingly blurred, with many of us working from home and being connected to email out of normal working hours. Trust is crucial for successful relationships at work, but this is not always easy to achieve when workplace attitudes and the practicalities of family life clash.

Friends: I’ll be there for you

·         Nine in ten people have at least one close friend (91%)

·         81% of women describe their friendships as good/very good compared with 73% of men

 

The vast majority of us have at least one close friend, but it is significant that one in ten does not. There are also some differences between men and women when it comes to friendships: women are more likely to have high quality friendships than men, and women also report that their friendships improve with age, whereas for men this remains static throughout life.

Relationships and wellbeing

·         81% of people who are married or cohabiting feel good about themselves, compared with 69% who are single

·         83% of those who described their relationship as good or very good reported feeling good about themselves

·         62% of those who described their relationship as average, bad or very bad reported feeling good about themselves

 

The study finds a clear link between high quality relationships and high levels of wellbeing. But simply being in a relationship doesn’t guarantee that people will feel good about themselves: single people feel better about themselves than those in average, bad or very bad relationships, suggesting it’s the quality of the relationship that has an impact on wellbeing and happiness.

 

·         Bigger weddings, fewer partners, less 'sliding' linked to better marriages

The more people who attend your wedding to share in the launch of your marriage, the better the chances you will be happily married years down the road reports Science Daily. And, somewhat counter-intuitively, the more relationships you had prior to your marriage, the less likely you are to report a high-quality marriage.

 

Those are two of the key findings in a new report, "Before 'I Do': What Do Premarital Experiences Have To Do With Marital Quality Among Today's Young Adults?," from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. The study challenges the idea that "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" -- the general notion that what happens in one's younger years, before marriage, stays there and doesn't impact the remainder of one's life.

 

How people conduct their romantic lives before they tie the knot is linked to their odds of having happy marriages, the study's authors argue. Past experiences, especially when it comes to love, sex and children, are associated with future marital quality. Those who have had more romantic experiences - for example, more sexual or cohabiting partners - are less likely to forge a high-quality marriage than those with a less complex romantic history, the researchers found.

 

Raising children from prior relationships can add stress to a marriage. For women, but not for men, having had a child in a prior relationship was associated, on average, with lower marital quality.

 

Study co-author Galena K. Rhoades, research associate professor of psychology at the University of Denver, said, "In most areas, more experience is better. You're a better job candidate with more experience, not less. When it comes to relationship experience, though, we found that having more experience before getting married was associated with lower marital quality."

 

More experience may increase one's awareness of alternative partners, the researchers speculate. People who have had many relationships prior to their current one can compare a present partner to their prior partners in many areas - like conflict management, dating style, physical attractiveness, sexual skills, communication ability and so on. Marriage involves leaving behind other options, which may be harder to do with a lot of experience, the researchers say.

 

More relationship experiences prior to marriage also means more experience breaking up, which may make for a more jaundiced view of love and relationships, Rhoades said. It's also possible that some people have personality characteristics - such as liking to take risks or being harder to get along with -- that both increase their odds of having many relationship experiences and decrease their odds of marital success, she added.

 

Rhoades and co-author Scott M. Stanley came to these insights by analyzing new data from the Relationship Development Study, an ongoing national study based at the University of Denver and funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Between 2007 and 2008, more than 1,000 Americans who were unmarried but in a relationship, and between the ages of 18 and 34, were recruited into the study.

 

Over the course of the next five years and 11 waves of data collection, 418 of those individuals got married. The authors looked closely at those 418 new marriages, examining how the history of the spouses' relationships and their prior romantic experiences were related to the quality of their marriages. The 418 subjects were reasonably representative of unmarried adults in the United States in terms of race and income. All analyses in the report control for race and ethnicity, years of education, personal income, religiosity and frequency of attendance at religious services.

 

Past studies show that couples often "slide" into living together rather than talking things out and making a decision about it. In this study, participants who lived together before marriage were asked directly if they made a considered decision about premarital cohabitation or slid into it; they indicated their degree of "sliding versus deciding" on a five-point scale. The more strongly respondents categorized the move as a decision rather than a slide, the greater their marital quality later on.

 

"We believe that one important obstacle to marital happiness is that many people now slide through major relationship transitions -- like having sex, moving in together, getting engaged or having a child - that have potentially life-altering consequences," said Stanley, research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, as well as a senior fellow for both the National Marriage Project and for the Institute for Family Studies.

 

Often these risks co-occur. For example, those who have multiple cohabiting partners are also more likely to have children before marriage and with more than one partner. "Another way to think about 'sliding versus deciding' is in terms of rituals," Stanley said. "We tend to ritualize experiences that are important. At times of important transitions, the process of making a decision sets up couples to make stronger commitments with better follow-through as they live them out."

 

This finding could also simply reflect that couples who deliberately decided to cohabit are better at talking about important transitions in general, a skill that could help them build a happy marriage, he added.

 

Having more guests at one's wedding - the biggest ritual in many relationships - is associated with higher marital quality, even after controlling for income and education, which may be proxies for how much the wedding might have cost, the study found. Among couples who had weddings, the sample was divided into those who had weddings with 50 or fewer attendees, 51 to 149 attendees, or 150 or more attendees. Among each grouping, 31 percent, 37 percent, and 47 percent, respectively, reported high marital quality.

 

"In what might be called the 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding' factor, this study finds that couples who have larger wedding parties are more likely to report high-quality marriages," said W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and a professor of sociology at U.Va. "One possibility here is that couples with larger networks of friends and family may have more help, and encouragement, in navigating the challenges of married life.

 

"Note, however, this finding is not about spending lots of money on a wedding party. It's about having a good number of friends and family in your corner."

 

Stanley added, "Our bottom-line advice to Americans hoping to marry is this: Remember that what you do before you say 'I do' may shape your odds of forging a successful marital future."

 

·         Does love make sex better for most women?

Love and commitment can make sex physically more satisfying for many women, according to a Penn State Abington sociologist reports Science Daily. In a series of interviews, heterosexual women between the ages of 20 and 68 and from a range of backgrounds said that they believed love was necessary for maximum satisfaction in both sexual relationships and marriage. The benefits of being in love with a sexual partner are more than just emotional. Most of the women in the study said that love made sex physically more pleasurable.

 

"Women said that they connected love with sex and that love actually enhanced the physical experience of sex," said Beth Montemurro, associate professor of sociology.

 

Women who loved their sexual partners also said they felt less inhibited and more willing to explore their sexuality. "When women feel love, they may feel greater sexual agency because they not only trust their partners but because they feel that it is OK to have sex when love is present," Montemurro said.

 

While 50 women of the 95 that were interviewed said that love was not necessary for sex, only 18 of the women unequivocally believed that love was unnecessary in a sexual relationship.

 

Older women who were interviewed indicated that this connection between love, sex and marriage remained important throughout their lifetimes, not just in certain eras of their lives.

 

The connection between love and sex may show how women are socialized to see sex as an expression of love, Montemurro said. Despite decades of the women's rights movement and an increased awareness of women's sexual desire, the media continue to send a strong cultural message for women to connect sex and love and to look down on girls and women who have sex outside of committed relationships. "On one hand, the media may seem to show that casual sex is OK, but at the same time, movies and television, especially, tend to portray women who are having sex outside of relationships negatively," said Montemurro.

 

In a similar way, the media often portray marriage as largely sexless, even though the participants in the study said that sex was an important part of their marriage, according to Montemurro, who presented her findings at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

 

"For the women I interviewed, they seemed to say you need love in sex and you need sex in marriage," said Montemurro.

 

From September 2008 to July 2011, Montemurro conducted in-depth interviews with 95 women who lived in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. The interviews generally lasted 90 minutes. Although some of the women who were interviewed said they had sexual relationships with women, most of the women were heterosexual and all were involved in heterosexual relationships.

 

·         Objectification in romantic relationships related to sexual pressure, coercion

To sexually objectify a woman is to focus on her body in terms of how it can provide sexual pleasure rather than viewing her as a complete human being with thoughts and feelings. While objectification has long been considered a problem in the media, how does it affect individual romantic relationships? New research published in Psychology of Women Quarterly, a SAGE journal, finds that more objectification of a female partner's body is related to higher incidents of sexual pressure and coercion says Science Daily.

 

Researchers Laura R. Ramsey and Tiffany Hoyt surveyed 119 males and 162 females who had been in heterosexual relationships. They found that men who frequently objectify their partner's bodies by excessively focusing on their appearance are more likely to feel shame about the shape and size of their partner's body which in turn is related to increased sexual pressure (i.e., the belief that men expect sex and that it is a woman's role to provide sex for her partner) and sexual coercion, both in general and through violence and manipulation.

 

"Being more aware of how and when one thinks of their partner as an object, sexually or otherwise, could help relationship partners avoid sexual pressure and coercion and increase communication and respect within their relationship," the researchers wrote.

 

The data also supported the idea that women internalize objectification from their partners. This internalization is related to feeling shame about their bodies, a decrease in asserting themselves, and a decrease in expressing what they do and do not want to do sexually.

 

"Acknowledging objectification in their relationships may help women realize when they lack agency and allow them to resist and avoid sexual pressure," the researchers continued. "Furthermore, thinking about objectification in terms of agency and sexual pressure could also have implications for women's relationship satisfaction, both sexual and otherwise. Women who feel that they have no control and who experience sexual pressure from their partner will not be as satisfied as women who feel like they have control over their body and the decisions in the relationship."

 

The researchers discussed additional ideas for decreasing objectification in heterosexual relationships.

 

"Activists should continue their work reducing the objectification of women in our culture, such as through the recognition and removal of objectifying images in the media. However, as male objectification of women is more common than female objectification of men, the onus is on men to reduce objectification and sexual violence. It is of utmost importance that activists and educators work with men to reduce the objectification of women, both in general and in the context of romantic relationships."

 

Partner News

·         Porn!

Many thanks to all those who contacted me re last week’s Soapbox. Some had words of encouragement (always appreciated!) whilst others sent information and resources. We were particularly interested to learn of a free resource, the Kick Start Recovery Programme at  www.sexaddictionhelp.co.uk .  It has now been used by over 6,000 people and the feedback is excellent!! 

 

IPPR are about to publish a report on the impact of porn on young people – they have released an Infographic of some of their key findings. Our concern however is that this seems to suggest that Porn is a young people’s problem – it isn’t! It’s endemic in adult relationships, often being promoted by those trying to help couples with low libido’s or similar sexual problems in their relationship, and is doing untold harm.

 

However our concerns that it is the “elephant in the room” with none of the speakers at the Relationships Alliance Summit mentioning the subject – not even IPPR! The PM made a passing reference to it in talking about the measures they are going to bring in on music videos, but nothing else.

 

New Books, Resources and materials

·         Knowledgebank

The Relationships Alliance is assembling a knowledgebank of papers, reports etc related to their work following a number of selection criteria. It is curated by One Plus One. Currently it contains some 97 items – all of them in the last five years as far as we can tell.

 

Forthcoming conferences and events

·         Forthcoming conferences

Details of all forthcoming conferences can always be found under our listing at 2-in-2-1

 

Consultations and Campaigns

Below is our running list of current and recent consultations and campaigns. New items or those requiring action are highlighted. The Reference numbers are to the newsletter where we covered the subject.

 

·         Marriages by non-religious belief organisations

The consultation asks if there is a substantial case for changing the law to establish non-religious belief ceremonies. This would allow a third type of legal ceremony, alongside religious and civil ceremonies, for getting married in England and Wales.

 

Section 14 defines a belief organisation as ‘an organisation whose principal or sole purpose is the advancement of a system of non-religious beliefs which relate to morality or ethics’.

 

The consultation also seeks views on

·         which non-religious belief organisations are capable of meeting the definition

·         where, if allowed, such marriages would take place

·         the provision of safeguards to deal with any resulting risks

·         the equality impacts.

 

Consultation closes: 18 September 2014

 

·         Strengthening the law on domestic abuse

This consultation seeks views on whether the current law on domestic abuse needs to be strengthened to offer better protection to victims. It is specifically focused on whether we should create a specific offence that captures patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate relationships, inline with the government’s non-statutory definition of domestic abuse.

 

Consultation closes: 15 October 2014

Soap Box!!

·         The next speech?

I wonder how long it takes to write a speech for the Prime Minister? A couple of hours perhaps by a good researcher to draw together the various policy measures that have been announced over the past couple of years; add a smattering of new announcements which have been carefully stage managed into the press in the preceding days; and then a fine layer of rhetoric blending personal stories with punchy phrases cherry picked to form the headlines on news stands. That should do it! Well, at least that’s the impression I was left with as I listened to David Cameron at the conference last Monday.

 

The trouble is that the problem runs much deeper than he would like to admit!

 

Any institution that ceases to serve a purpose will eventually cease to exist – and the family is no exception. Over the past 50+ years we have steadily removed from the family most of its functions in society. The big disconnect has been to de-couple sex from procreation, and children from marriage. Sex has become “adult entertainment (except that we turn a blind eye mostly to those under 16), and procreation is something now that any woman can undertake with the help of an unnamed donor and IVF funded by you and me. Raising of children is increasingly seen as something to outsource to child minders, play groups, schools etc. And then at the other end of the age spectrum, care for the elderly is now regarded as a state function with the family providing useful (cheap) alternative care in some cases.

 

If the family is to regain it’s proper place in society measures like a “Family Test” on legislation completely miss the point! What is needed is to properly define what the core responsibilities of “family” are, and then to ensure that the full framework of society, including legislation etc, are geared to ensuring that families can, and do, fulfil those responsibilities. A truly “Family Friendly” state would recognise this, and would put families at the forefront of delivering the next generation.

 

I put this point to the PM in the brief question time after his speech. I used the example of whether it was my responsibility or his (ie the government’s) to look after my old Mum?

 

His response? “Hmmm (pause) – there’s a whole new speech in responding to that”. That was followed by a reflection on responsibilities of government, community and individuals – and in so doing highlighting the absence of thinking on responsibilities of family.  I really hope he takes the time to make that speech – after all it shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours should it! 


 

Best wishes,

The 2-in-2-1 Team

 

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