Upcoming Mastering the Mysteries of Love Workshops for Couples

From: newsletter@nire.org [mailto:newsletter@nire.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 9:03 PM
To: billandpatcoffin@verizon.net
Subject: Upcoming Mastering the Mysteries of Love Workshops for Couples

Please come, or pass this along to others!

Also, please send this out to any list serves you may be on.

Mastering the Mysteries of Love

Weekend Workshops for Couples

The National Institute of Relationship Enhancement® is offering the Mastering the Mysteries of Love version of the Relationship Enhancement® Program for couples in addition to the classic version of the RE Program.

Upcoming dates:

  • February 18-19, 2012 - Mastering the Mysteries of Love with Carrie Hansen, LCSW-C
  • March 17-18, 2012 - Mastering the Mysteries of Love with Joan Liversidge, LCMFT
  • April 21-22, 2012 - Mastering the Mysteries of Love with Carrie Hansen, LCSW-C
  • June 2-3, 2012 - Mastering the Mysteries of Love with Joan Liversidge, LCSW-C

Cost is $450 per couple.

Further information can be found at www.nire.org.

Research: The RE Program and Mastering the Mysteries of Love is backed by 35 years of empirical research validating its effectiveness. In addition, an award-winning meta-analytic study involving thousands of couples and over a dozen approaches, demonstrated that RE clients showed far more powerful improvement effects than clients in any of the other interventions for couples or families with which it was compared.

Description: Couples spend two days learning 10 practical skills that deepen connection and empower them to resolve current and future problems on their own.

The skills you and your partner learn will help you:

  • establish a constructive, cooperative atmosphere for resolving difficult relationship issues
  • foster increased openness and trust
  • reduce defensiveness, anger and withdrawal
  • express your deepest feelings, concerns and desires openly, honestly and safely
  • nurture deepened caring and compassion
  • increase love and affection
  • create solutions to conflicts at their deepest levels
  • successfully implement agreed-to solutions and behavioral changes

The weekend program usually numbers between 4-10 couples in order to maintain a more intimate atmosphere. It also features significant time for private couples' exercises and dialogues, which part of the time are facilitated by trained coaches.

The program is non-residential and meets on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Information on discounted hotel room rates for those visiting from out of town are available upon registration. Snacks and beverages are provided; participants have lunch on their own.

For further information, or to register, please call NIRE at 301-986-1479.

Fax: 301-680-3756


NIRE - Administrative Office

12500 Blake Road

Silver Spring, MD 20904-2056

If you register by fax or mail, please include your name, address, home and work phone numbers, and the dates for which you are registering.

Payment may be made either by check or credit card. Registrations by fax must be accompanied by a credit card number.

If payment is made with a credit card number, please write your name exactly as it appears on the card, the expiration date and your signature.

Please note: It is not safe to send credit card information via email.

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Big News from National Marriage Week USA (this is the week)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: National Marriage Week USA <sheila@nationalmarriageweekusa.org>
Date: Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Subject: Big News from National Marriage Week USA (this is the week)
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com

FOX NEWS commentary by National Marriage Week USA executive director Sheila Weber was number 5 on google news yesterday! "A New Path to Upward Mobility--Get Married and Stay Married." Full text below.

On February 7, 2012, U.S. Congressional Representatives spoke for 45 minutes on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to commend Americans to celebrate National Marriage Week USA. Elected officials encouraged Americans to strengthen their own marriages, to promote the benefits of marriage for our nation, and to encourage caring citizens to reach out and help others. Photos from a U.S. Congressional Reception and the video of floor statements are on the home page of www.NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org.

Full Text Below

A new path to upward mobility -- get married and stay married

By Sheila Weber

Published February 07, 2012

Marriage, we have just learned, is a major cause of the growing great divide among American upper and lower classes.

Last week, in advance of National Marriage Week USA (Feb. 7-14), I took note of fresh news about marriage that should make every American stand up in alert attention. 

In mid-January, the Pew Research Center told us 72% of all adults ages 18 and older were married in 1960; but today just 51% are--a record low. 

This means fewer folks are getting married, or staying married--not a great sign since research proves children (our future citizens) do best when raised with both parents. It's also not a great sign, since we need to replenish our younger population in order to maintain fiscal provision for the aging baby boom generation.

Then a new book, "Coming Apart," by Charles Murray, says that a retreat from marriage among the working class is a key factor in the growing economic divide in America. 

Murray says that marriage is more or less holding its own among the upper middle and upper class, but falling off a cliff among the working class and lower class. Perhaps Occupy Wall Street should take notice.

"Coming Apart" cites statistics from a theoretical upper-middle class town, showing 99% of children lived with both biological parents in 1962 and 84% of children did so in 2004. 

Admittedly that’s a drop, but nothing compared to the theoretical working class town where 96% of children lived with both parents in 1962 yet only 37% did so in 2004.

Research is overwhelming on the fact that this disadvantages children on an enormous scale--think increased teen pregnancies, increased prison populations, and children who grow up with no modeling for how to attain healthy marriage in the next generation.

So what can be done? New York Times columnist David Brooks, who cites "Coming Apart" as probably the most important book of the year, calls for a two-year mandatory national service program to teach responsible behaviors. (Murray cites a loss of the four core American values--marriage, honesty, industrious, and religion--as all contributing to the growing economic woes of the working class.) 

Brad Wilcox, head of the National Marriage Project, calls for creators of film and television to promote the values by which the elite live, but because they are stuck in the grips of nonjudgmentalism, do not promote the values of marriage, hard work, obeying the law, and faith as the path to human flourishing.

In these economically challenging times, we must commit ourselves to lowering the high cost of retreat from marriage. 

The Institute for American Values reports that 40 percent of all American babies are born outside of marriage today, and taxpayers spend at least $112 billion a year for divorce and unwed childbearing. 

Charles Murray reports that less than 5% of white college-educated women have children outside of marriage, compared with approximately 40% of white women with just a high-school diploma. 

The National Center on African American Marriages and Parenting reports that 72 percent of all African-American babies are born outside of marriage. The vast majority of men in prison are from fatherless homes. We can’t build prisons fast enough--prison population has jumped from 300,000 to 2.3 million in 3.5 decades.

Single motherhood most often impoverishes women and children. 

Marriage builds the economic stability of children, supports the raising of a healthy next generation, and is a cornerstone for the economic health of our nation.

So here’s an equally compelling solution. Let’s call for a marriage education movement to sweep across the nation. Leading family therapists estimate that only 3 percent of couples ever seek therapy and usually only when there is a crisis, which can sometimes be too late.

This is why caring leaders are creating a new national observance designed to strengthen and support marriages, called National Marriage Week USA to be observed from February 7 to 14 each year.

If you are fortunate enough to be in a marriage, I encourage you to take care of it. 

Whether you are married or not, Americans should be supportive of promoting marriage prior to childbearing and the strengthening of marriage at all socio-economic levels. 

Nothing short of the future of our country, and our way of life, depends on it.

Sheila Weber is Executive Director, National Marriage Week USA (Feb. 7-14) and the Let’s Strengthen Marriage Campaign.

Read more and share at: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/02/07/new-path-to-upward-mobilityget-marr...

Let’s strengthen marriage!
Sheila Weber
Executive Director, National Marriage Week USA

Forward email

National Marriage Week USA | 1603 Belvue Drive | Forest Hill | MD | 21050

A Research Study Using PsychData

From: LeFlore, Larry [mailto:LLeFlore@mail.twu.edu]
Subject: A Research Study Using PsychData 




You are one of a very few individuals to receive this email and I am hoping you are willing to help me in my research efforts to better understand the nature of men’s communication in their relationships with their wives and or significant other female friends. I am certain that over the years you have heard statements such as “men don’t communicate;” they don’t share their feelings; or they don’t listen.” It is these types of statements that are the reasons for my research. In addition, my experiences as a family educator and licensed marriage and family therapist cause me to believe this type research will add tremendously to the body of knowledge for those studying relationships and working with men in relationship therapy. Specifically, the findings from this study will assist in developing curricula designed to train men and their wives and/or significant other female friends to improve their communication. Thus, the ultimate goal of the study, through curricula, is to provide theoretical and empirical based instructional materials that will enhance relationships and marriages.

I am Larry LeFlore, Professor and Chair of the Department of Family Sciences at Texas Woman’s University. I ask for your participation in this very important study. Please see the Recruitment Flyer for an electronic survey that I am using to recruit participants. The survey uses PsychData for its platform; it is confidential; no names or addresses are required. You will note that participants may be men and women (wives and significant others).  I appreciate your participation in this research study. Please read the following and simply click on the website link below. The survey will open up for you.  Thank you!!!!

Larry LeFlore, Ph.D.


Real Men Communicate


We need your help in a research study designed to better understand men’s communication in relationships with their wives and significant other female friends.


If you are 18 years of age or older, I invite you to participate in an online research study designed to better understand men’s communication as it relates to relationships with their wives and/or significant other female friend. We hear all the time statements like “men don’t communicate.” Now is a time for you to tell what you know about men’s communication. There will not be any personal information asked that will identify. Your answers will be protected with the greatest of security that is allowed by law.  There is a potential risk of loss of confidentiality in all email, downloading, and internet transactions.


Please go to website https://www.psychdata.com/s.asp?SID=145085 


to log in and complete the study questionnaire. There will be instructions and a consent statement, and confidentiality statement prior to the questionnaire. The Questionnaire will have 6 questions that will ask for information about yourself, such as race education, gender, etc. and 6 items that will ask you to discuss men’s communication. You will be asked to discuss each item as much as you can.  The entire questionnaire will take 20 – 30 minutes.


Participation in the study is voluntary.


Should you decide to participate, the benefits you will receive are as follows:

·        A summary of the results of the study will be mailed to you upon request. Just email me your contact information in a separate email at the address at the bottom of this flyer.

·        You will have an opportunity to contribute to the knowledge about men’s communication with their wives and significant other female friends.


If you have any questions about this research study or other research ideas related to men’s relationships with wives/significant other female friends, you may call me at l 940-898-2691 or email me at lleflore@twu.edu   Thank you.  Larry LeFlore, Ph.D. ,    Chair/Professor, Texas Woman’s University  




NCFMR News and Notes

















---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: National Center for Family & Marriage Research <ncfmr@bgsu.edu>
Date: Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Subject: News and Notes
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here
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News and Notes

January 2011

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The National Center for Family & Marriage Research (NCFMR), established in 2007 at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), welcomes you to News and Notes, our monthly electronic newsletter. News and Notes aims to keep you informed about the activities of the NCFMR. We will also announce funding and research opportunities, provide registration details for conferences and workshops, and keep you updated on current research findings.



What's New at the NCFMR...

NCFMR Invitational Forum Addresses How to Best Measure Incarceration Experience in Household SurveysChild peering out window
Measuring Incarceration in Household Surveys

The NCFMR organized and co-sponsored a national invitational forum featuring a group of leading scholars, federal data providers, and policy makers to assess how the incarceration experience should be measured in household surveys. The nontrivial prevalence of the currently and formerly incarcerated in the U.S. population coupled with the evidence that incarceration has enduring negative consequences for individuals and their families speaks to the importance of capturing the incarceration experience in household surveys. Data resources from the Measuring Incarceration in Household Surveys Invitational Forum are available on the NCFMR website.  

NCFMR Co-Sponsored Conference in Edited Volume


Co-Directors Susan Brown and Wendy Manning, editors with Alan Booth, Nancy Landale, and Susan McHale, recently released Early Adulthood in a Family Context as part of Penn State's Annual National Symposium on Families. Contributions are based on papers presented at the Early Adulthood in a Family Context Symposium co-organized by the NCFMR and Penn State. Books based on each symposium bring the event to a broad audience and are used as reference works by faculty, students, and practitioners.    


Just Released Data Resources


Family Profiles

Original reports summarizing and analyzing nationally representative data with the goal to provide the latest analysis of U.S. families.

The Data Source

Documents describing newly released data sets used by the family research community.

NCFMR in the News 

Social Science Data Analyst Krista Payne Finds Slight Increase in Number of Women in Commuter Marriages
The Grindstone 

BGSU NCFMR Research Affiliate Kenneth Pargament Addresses the Spirituality of Health
Huff Post 

Gary Lee, BGSU NCFMR Research Affiliate, Comments on Potential Benefits of Marriage
my health news daily



Nicole Shoenberger, NCFMR Graduate Research Assistant, Finds Rate of Incarceration Experience Greater Among Young Adult Fathers

Graduate Research Assistant Nicole Shoenberger's research finds men who have fathered a child prior to the age of 25 are more likely to have had contact with the criminal justice system (CJS) by age 25 than men who have not had a child. Among men with children, 29% have had CJS contact compared to only 13% of men without children. Most striking, 20% of young adult fathers report being incarcerated before the age of 25. In contrast, among young men without children, only 6% report ever being incarcerated.

Experienced a First Birth by Age 25 and
Criminal Justice Contact Among Men
Young Adult Fathers Incarceration Experience
Source: National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97), Rounds 1-12: 1997-2008 (weighted). U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCFMR analyses of valid cases.

Family Profile

Population Reference Bureau Releases New Publication
A New Post-Recession Update on U.S. Social and Economic Trends

PRB LogoThe PRB has released a new bulletin that updates the period since 2008 to assess the ongoing impact of the U.S. recession. For more information, please visit NCFR PRB

New American FactFinder Available

The transition to the New American FactFinder has been completed and the site has been updated to allow for one-stop access.  

Upcoming Events 



February 2012


Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA) Winter Legislative Conference 

Date: February 1-3

Link to OACAA 


Call for Applications -- Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)  

Summer Undergraduate Internship Program -- 2012 

Date Due: February 13

Link to ICPSR    


Call for Applications -- Center for Population Research in LGBT Health

Pre-Doctoral Mentoring Program in LGBT Health Research

Date Due: February 15

Link to Center for Population Research in LGBT Health 


Call for Applications -- Family Process Institute  

New Writers Fellowship

Date Due: February 15

Link to NCFR Call for Applications 



March 2012


Southeastern Council on Family Relations 2012 Annual Conference

Looking Out for Families in the Southeast 

Date: March 1-2

Link to SECFR 


Request for Proposals -- Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) 2012-2013 Emerging Scholars Small Grants Competition 

Research on Family Complexity, Poverty, and Public Policy

Date Due: March 1

Link to IRP 


Call for Papers -- International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research (IOSSBR)

Date Due: March 1

Link to IOSSBR 


Call for Abstracts -- National Research Conference on Child and Family Programs and Policy (NRCCFPP) 

Date Due: March 5

Link to NRCCFPP 


Call for Applications -- 19th Annual RAND Summer Institute

Mini-Medical School for Social Scientists

Demography, Economics, Psychology, and Epidemiology of Aging

Date Due: March 9 

Link to RAND Mini-Medical Application 

Link to RAND Demography, et al. Application 


Call for Submissions -- NCFR Report

Teaching Family Science 

Date Due: March 21

Contact editor Nancy Gonzalez at nancygonzalez@ncfr.org 


Texas Council on Family Relations Annual Conference

Promoting Healthy Families: Positive Family Interactions

Date: March 29-30 

Link to TCFR 



April 2012


Call for Proposals -- Wisconsin Council on Family Relations

Sustainability: Thriving in Challenging Times

Contact jamikaiserCFLE@gmail.com for submission deadlines and details 


Call for Submissions -- Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) 

2012 Themed Meeting: Transitions from Adolescence to Adulthood

Date Due: April 5

Link to SRCD 


Breakfast with NCCP

Help honor individuals who have made a lasting imprint in the battle against child poverty in America

Date: April 14

Email development@nccp.org 


International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research (IOSSBR) Spring 2012 Conference

Date: April 23-25

Link to IOSSBR  


Center for Adolescent Research and Development (CARD) 2012 Conference

Adolescence in the 21st Century: Constants and Challenges 

Date: April 28 

Link to Mount St. Mary College 



Email Button 

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Join Our Mailing List! 




NCFMR Web Links




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Quick Links 






Dr. Susan Brown


Get media coverage during National Marriage Week USA (Feb.7-14)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: National Marriage Week USA <sheila@nationalmarriageweekusa.org>
Date: Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 1:21 PM
Subject: Get media coverage during National Marriage Week USA (Feb.7-14)
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com

A friendly reminder to start planning for National Marriage Week USA!
National Marriage Week USA
Let's Strengthen Marriage
February 7-14

Use National Marriage Week USA (Feb. 7-14) to get local media, promote your event, and help marriages!

You can strengthen marriages in your community, reduce divorce and cohabitation, and serve the needs of children, by joining with others to participate in National Marriage Week USA -- February 7 to 14th -- the week leading up to Valentine's Day.

Our Goals:

1) mobilize thousands of marriage classes, home groups and events across the nation, posted all on one national calendar; and

2) promote the benefits of marriage through the media and public policy makers in your community.

Simple Steps 1, 2, 3

1. Use our NEW, free TOOL KIT (sample press release, etc.) to spread the positive message about the benefits of marriage and publicize your own event! Tool Kit includes Suggested Curricula, Webinars, Logos, Sample Press Releases, Mayor/Governor Proclamation, Newspaper Ads, Research, PSAs, downloadable Brochures, Marriage Tips, and more.

2. Plan to HOST a marriage class, home group, Sunday school class, or DATE NIGHT CHALLENGE EVENT during the week leading up to Valentine's Day. NEW this year -- a 2-hour webcast with Dr. Greg Smalley and Comedian Jeff Allen called "Date Night Challenge." Or, of course, use any trusted marriage curricula, DVD, or workbook of your choosing -- our website lists many trusted existing options.

3. Please POST your event for free to help us build a growing National Calendar! This will help us get national media coverage about where folks can go to help their struggling marriages.

Please JOIN THE TEAM -- Post Your Event, no matter how small or large, so we can help publicize your efforts, or register just to stay informed, at www.NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org.

National Marriage Week USA is part of International Marriage Week, with 16 major countries around the world now mobilizing leaders and events to strengthen marriage in their countries: http://www.marriage-weekinternational.com

Let's Work Together... Let's Strengthen Marriage!
Sheila Weber
Executive Director, National Marriage Week USA (Feb. 7 to 14)


Forward email

National Marriage Week USA | 1603 Belvue Drive | Forest Hill | MD | 21050

Weekly Update of UK Marriage News - No 12.04

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Dave and Liz Percival <dave@2-in-2-1.co.uk>
Date: Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 9:04 AM
Subject: Weekly Update of UK Marriage News - No 12.04
To: info@2-in-2-1.co.uk

Welcome to this week’s UK Marriage News


Final Reminder: This week is the last chance to book for the 6th National Relationships Conference on Feb 9th – come and hear Scott Stanley and a wide range of UK speakers on the practical ways we can help couples build safe, healthy and long lasting relationships.



·         Government invests £20m in support services for separated parents

·         Monogamy 'safer' than polygamy

·         Relationship Education – 7 Principles


Government and Political

·         Government invests £20m in support services for separated parents

The Department for Work and Pensions has allocated £20m to boost support services for separated parents as part of changes to the child maintenance system reports CYPNow. Announcing the funding, work and pensions minister Maria Miller said a steering group of voluntary and community sector experts and academics will advise the government on how the money should be distributed to existing support organisations. The move is part of measures to reduce the cost of the £500m maintenance system and enable separated parents to make their own arrangements without reliance on the state.


Miller said: "We need to rebalance our spending so more families can access the support they need to work out their own arrangements rather than default into the statutory scheme. Even at the difficult time of family breakdown both parents must take responsibility for supporting their children. Parents know what is best for their family, this is why we will offer further support at the point of separation to help establish a dialogue between parents and workable financial arrangements that always put children first."


The steering group will also help to decide on what families need, such as a web service offering peer-to-peer forums and signposting to local support services or a helpline for separating parents.


Sarah Caulkin, interim chief executive of Relate, which is part of the steering group, said: "We very much welcome the funding package announced for services for separating and separated parents, including relationship support. Separation puts families under immense strain, but we hope this funding will not only allow parents to access support before problems become serious, but also enable as many parents as possible to make their own arrangements to become effective co-parents, which in turn will benefit the whole family."

Research and Public Opinion

·         Monogamy 'safer' than polygamy

A study found that in polygamous cultures, levels of rape, kidnap, murder and robbery increase as the dissatisfied men left on the shelf go on the rampage says the Telegraph. Researchers from the University of British Columbia say that monogamous marriage has replaced polygamy because it has lower levels of inherent social problems.


Prof Joseph Henrich said: "Our goal was to understand why monogamous marriage has become standard in most developed nations in recent centuries, when most recorded cultures have practiced polygamy. The emergence of monogamous marriage is also puzzling for some as the very people who most benefit from polygamy - wealthy, powerful men - were best positioned to reject it.


"Our findings suggest that that institutionalised monogamous marriage provides greater net benefits for society at large by reducing social problems that are inherent in polygamous societies."


Published in journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society the study represents the most comprehensive study of polygamy and the institution of marriage. It found significantly higher levels of rape, kidnapping, murder, assault, robbery and fraud in polygamous cultures found in Asia and Africa.


Prof Henrichs said that these crimes are caused primarily by pools of unmarried men, which result when other men take multiple wives. He said: "The scarcity of marriageable women in polygamous cultures increases competition among men for the remaining unmarried women. The greater competition increases the likelihood men in polygamous communities will resort to criminal behaviour to gain resources and women."


A more egalitarian distribution of women results in less male competition and social problems, he says, and by shifting male efforts from seeking wives to paternal investment, institutionalised monogamy increases long-term planning, economic productivity, savings and child investments.


Monogamy's institutionalisation has been assisted by its incorporation by religions, such as Christianity.


Monogamous marriage also results in significant improvements in child welfare, including lower rates of child neglect, abuse, accidental death, homicide and intra-household conflict, the study finds. These benefits stem from greater levels of parental investment, smaller households and increased direct "blood relatedness" in monogamous family households, says Henrich.


Monogamous marriage has largely preceded democracy and voting rights for women in the nations where it has been institutionalised, he adds.


·         The secrets to a happy marriage

Two holidays a year, meaningful conversation twice a week and cuddles 11 times in a fortnight are among the secrets to a happy marriage include, a study has revealed reports the Telegraph. Research among 2,000 happily married couples has identified the main ingredients for a successful union.


It shows that couples benefit from taking a short break away together twice a year and eating out in restaurants at least three times a month.  And it pays to be affectionate, as wedded folk tend to share a lingering kiss six times a week, have sex twice a week and say "I love you" up to nine times a fortnight. But it doesn't need to be sweetness and light the whole time - as the average happy couple has at least one healthy argument a week.


Catherine Crone, spokeswoman for walking holiday specialist http://www.headwater.com , said: "The research indicates that marriage is all about give and take, and making time for one another. It is clear that while couples expect a great deal of love and affection from each other, they also understand that a real partnership includes having both deep and meaningful conversations as well as healthy arguments, to ensure they resolve anything which is bothering them. Taking time out from the daily routine is also fundamental to long term happiness while regular holidays or short breaks, coupled with nights out for dinner or trips to the pub all contribute to a healthy relationship."


For those people who go on two holidays a year, 58 per cent say they like to go because on each occasion they are reminded why they love each other so much.  And 55 per cent claim they are more likely to make time for each other on holiday than at any other time of the year.


The survey also indicates that while couples like to have drinks at the pub together three times a month, there will also be a couple of girls and boys nights as well, where people can enjoy a night out with friends instead of their other half.


Happily married couples tend to make time for at least five movie nights at home, in contrast to their usual evenings spent fighting over the remote control or disagreeing about what to watch.  And most men and women will make little romantic gestures - such as cooking a nice meal, or taking their spouse a cup of tea in bed - three times a month.


The Headwater Holidays spokeswoman added: "Sometimes stepping back from the daily routine can do couples the world of good. Holidays are a great chance for couples to be reminded how to have fun together and spending time together away from the usual distractions of home can reignite the spark that made them fall in love in the first place.  Knowing these results, perhaps now more than ever it's important for couples to change their perception and see these shared moments as a fun way to invest in their relationship and weather-proof their marriage."


Interestingly, falling in love with a partner on first sight is NOT indicative that a relationship is meant to be, as only 42 per cent of happy couples say this was the case.  Friendship was important as 47 per cent of those people polled say they were friends with a partner before they became an item, and then eventually married. Other contributors to a successful marriage include making quality time for each other (50 per cent), supporting each other (49 per cent) and being kind (39 per cent).


A fifth of couples make a point of never going to bed on an argument, and 21 per cent say the key to a happy marriage is to try to turn a blind eye to irritating habits. Knowing when to say sorry is a big step in the right direction for 33 per cent of people, while 35 per cent claim to be happy because they share the household chores out equally. Compromising on the television schedule, being honest, retaining a degree of secrecy and accepting each other's faults all play a part in a happy marriage


·         Family and school influence achievement

Children's academic achievement can be affected by both instability in the home and the type of school they attend. This is the suggestion of a new study published in the journal Sociology and Education, which noted learning establishments can differ significantly regarding their socio-demographic composition reports BPS.  According to the investigation, those who go through repeated changes in family structure status are less likely to perform well when attending a school that has a high 'academic press' - an establishment that is defined by result-oriented values, targets and specific standards of achievement.


Shannon Cavanagh, a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas noted that while pupils in a school with high academic press, regardless of their family showing any signs of instability histories, "are higher achieving in terms of course-taking compared to their peers overall, students who have experienced repeated family structure changes lose some part of their advantage".


Professor Sue Hallam, Chartered Psychologist, commented: "There is a great deal of evidence that disruption to normal routines of any kind can impact on attainment in school as students may be distracted from their learning. Instability at home can be one such factor. The extent to which schools have systems in place to support students facing challenging home situations is variable. Where schools identify problems early and put in place appropriate support the impact on attainment can be minimised."


·         Think marriage is expensive? Singletons spend more than £3 billion a year looking for love

Singletons spend more than £3 billion every year looking for love, research suggests reports the Daily Mail. A study, which investigated the cost of dating, found Brits collectively go on 37 million dates, spending on average £47 each time.


Most splash the cash on entertainment, with a national spend of £1.3 billion on food and drink. While around £1 billion is spent on clothing and cosmetics, as people strive to impress a potential partner with their groomed appearance and sharp sense of style.


Commenting on the findings Karl Gregory, managing director of Match.com, a dating website which commissioned the survey, said: 'Dating is a major contributor to the UK economy and the growth in popularity of online dating has played a massive role in stimulating this.  This is the first time dating spend has been analysed by sector and it's impressive to see the huge knock-on benefit to the wider economy - especially at a time when every penny counts.'


The study of 2,000 adults also revealed that £421 million goes on transport, while hairdressers benefit to the tune of £324 as people get their locks trimmed in a bid to look their best.


A spokesperson from the Centre of Economic Business Research, which produced the report said: 'The research shows that dating provides a multi-billion pound windfall for the UK, directly benefiting a range of industries like retail, food & drink and entertainment. With over 10,000 dates taking place every day, the dating economy provides some comfort to high street businesses at a time of weak consumer spending.'


The figures came from a poll of 2,000 singletons in Britain's major cities. Mr Gregory highlighted that online dating is now the third most popular way to find a partner, just behind bars and clubs and meeting through friends.


Faith and Spirituality

·         Archbishop questions Home Secretary about same-sex marriage

Catholic Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark met the Home Secretary Theresa May to talk about the Government’s plans to introduce same-sex marriage reports the Catholic Herald. The archbishop told The Catholic Herald that he wanted to clarify why the Government believed such legislation was needed. He said he could not see the point of it given that civil partnerships already offer broadly the same legal rights as marriage.


But during their 40-minute meeting, he said, Mrs May seemed unable to answer that question. “I suspect the Government hasn’t really thought out why the definition of marriage should be changed,” he said.


He said that a steering committee of the bishops’ conference was to meet on Wednesday to plan how to campaign against the Government’s plans.


He met the Home Secretary alongside William Fittall, secretary general of the Church of England’s General Synod. The meeting had been suggested by the Church of England. During their meeting Mrs May said that the Government intended to introduce same-sex marriage and that the consultation was merely to help with the “nuts and bolts” of the legislation.


Archbishop Smith also asked Mrs May about reported comments by Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove and Portslade, that churches which refuse to marry gay couples should be stripped of their marriage licences. Mrs May said that was “not Government policy at all”, according to the archbishop.


·         Don't legalise gay marriage, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu warns David Cameron

Marriage must remain a union between a man and a woman, says the Archbishop of York, and David Cameron will be acting like a “dictator” if he allows homosexual couples to wed. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Dr John Sentamu, the second most senior cleric in the Church of England, tells ministers they should not overrule the Bible and tradition by allowing same-sex marriage.


The Government will open a consultation on the issue in March and the Prime Minister has indicated that he wants it to be a defining part of his premiership. But the Archbishop says it is not the role of the state to redefine marriage, threatening a new row between the Church and state just days after bishops in the House of Lords led a successful rebellion over plans to cap benefits.


“Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman,” says Dr Sentamu. “I don’t think it is the role of the state to define what marriage is. It is set in tradition and history and you can’t just [change it] overnight, no matter how powerful you are.  We’ve seen dictators do it in different contexts and I don’t want to redefine very clear social structures that have been in existence for a long time and then overnight the state believes it could go in a particular way.  It’s almost like somebody telling you that the Church, whose job is to worship God [will be] an arm of the Armed Forces. They must take arms and fight. You’re completely changing tradition.”


It was widely assumed that the Church would have to accept same-sex marriage for fear of appearing out of touch. Dr Sentamu says the bishops in the House of Lords did not try to stop Labour introducing civil partnerships in 2004, giving homosexual couples improved legal rights.


The Church tolerates clergy who are in civil relationships but expects them to be celibate. The Archbishop says the Church was also content with last year’s move to allow civil partnership ceremonies in places of worship, as long as it is voluntary and agreed by the governing body of any particular denomination.


But Dr Sentamu is opposed to the homosexual civil marriage proposal, and says the Government would face a rebellion on any changes in legislation. His intervention may serve as a rallying cry for traditionalist Tories who oppose Mr Cameron’s plan.


“The rebellion is going to come not only from the bishops,” he says. “You’re going to get it from across the benches and in the Commons.  If you genuinely would like the registration of civil partnerships to happen in a more general way, most people will say they can see the drift. But if you begin to call those 'marriage’, you’re trying to change the English language.”


“That does not mean you diminish, condemn, criticise, patronise any same-sex relationships because that is not what the debate is about. The Church has always stood out – Jesus actually was the odd man out. I’d rather stick with Jesus than be popular because it looks odd.”


Dr Sentamu, in Jamaica to mark its 50 years of independence, also says the Church’s leadership needs to become less middle class.


Partner News

·         Changes to Relate’s Chief Executive Office

Relate has announced that Chief Executive Baroness Claire Tyler is stepping down from her position at Relate to become the Chair of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), as well as continuing her work in the House of Lords. Deputy Chief Executive, Sarah Caulkin is stepping up as Relate’s Interim Chief Executive until a permanent appointment is announced.


Baroness Tyler’s appointment to Cafcass was announced today by Michael Gove. Cafcass looks after the interests of children involved in care and family proceedings. They work with children, families and social workers to advise the courts on what is best for the child.


Sarah Caulkin, Relate’s Interim Chief Executive, said: Claire has achieved much during her time at Relate. Not only has she increased the profile of relationship support in policy debates, she chaired the successful Kids in the Middle coalition which pushed for more support for children of separated families. Claire also leaves the Relate federation with the strategy to provide more services to help families before their relationships hit crisis point. I look forward to carrying on her good work.”


Baroness Claire Tyler said: “It has been a huge privilege and pleasure to be Chief Executive of such an important charity as Relate over the last four and a half years. I will remain a strong supporter and advocate for Relate and the wider children and families sector in the House of Lords. Since my appointment to the Lords is has become evident that I need to be able to devote more time to being a working peer. I am also delighted to be taking up the post of Chair of Cafcass, a role which brings together the two big passions in my working life over the last ten years – improving life chances for children in care and ameliorating the consequences of family breakdown for children caught in the middle”


Forthcoming conferences and events

·         Forthcoming conferences

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


·         Marriage Week – next week!

Marriage week starts next week, and all over the country groups will be holding local events ranging from candlelit dinners for two, Film evenings and short courses. Typical is the seminar on Relationship Building being held in Totnes – open to any couple. For more on the events near you see the Marriage Week site


There are several major events happening in London during the week to raise the profile of marriage:

1.      Marriage Week Launch in Parliament, Monday 6th January, 6-7pm This year's Marriage Week Launch will be held in Committee Room 6 in the Houses of Parliament on Monday 6th January from 6-7pm. This is an opportunity to join with other key marriage champions and others to celebrate the importance of healthy marriages in our society. This year we are delighted to be joined by Professor Scott Stanley from the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver. Professor Stanley is prolific writer and engaging speaker in the area of the importance of marital relationships and we greatly look forward to hearing what he has to share with us.

2.      Talk Marriage! On 7 February 2012 6:00pm – 8:30pm Emmanuel Centre, Westminster, Bruderhof are hosting a panel discussion entitled Talk Marriage: “ We need to rediscover the foundation on which families and societies are built – a man and woman married for life. This is urgent. Don’t expect a passive talk on marriage. It will be a call to action!” they say. Speakers include: Les Isaac, Street Pastors; Steve and Ann Clifford, Evangelical Alliance; Harry Benson, Bristol Community Family Trust; and others...

3.      6th National Relationships Education Conference – Feb 9th 09.30 – 16.30 at One Wimpole Street, London W1G 0AE. A chance to hear Prof Scott Stanley and a series of leading UK speakers on the latest research and best practice in helping couples form and develop successful relationships that benefit them, their families and society at large. See website for full details


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.


·         Government consults on extending the definition of domestic violence

The Home Office has launched a consultation into the cross-government definition of domestic violence. It wishes to know whether broadening the definition would help provide greater protection and support to victims.


Consultation closes 30th March 2012


·         Faithfulness Matters

The Faithfulness Matters Campaign has been launched to ‘challenge companies who run websites which specifically encourage people who are married or in committed relationships to have affairs'.


To find out more and see how you can support the campaign, please visit the website here.


Soap Box!!

·         Relationship Education – 7 Principles

With the Relationship Education Conference just around the corner, this seems like a good week to run an article kindly contributed by Steven Stacey on the subject


“I've taught a course on the couple relationship in university for several years here in Finland. As I see it, there are two basic themes in marriage education when it comes to supporting couples. Firstly, system dynamics – what are the basic rules of success that two or more people need to follow when creating something together. Secondly, there is the theme of 'what does a reasonably mature and loving human look like'  - and what positives do they typically bring into a couple relationship. Let’s look at the first of these themes.


There are basic principles to building any system or organization. I realized several years ago that many marriage education experts were just tapping into those timeless principles and looking at how they apply to marriages. Put simply – the same principles that build a healthy company are the same that build a healthy marriage – just the application is different. Below I share the 7 core principles that I perceive to be essential for any system to run well. With each principle I share some of the many excellent books that have appeared to teach us more about this principle in marriage.


7 Principles of Successful Creation - Applied to the Couple Relationship


1)       The Principle of Identity:- What's our picture of a wonderful marriage – where are we heading

·         Before You Say "I Do" - Wright and Roberts

·         Covey’s ‘Family mission statement’ from his ‘7 Principles’ book

·         Gottman's love maps

·         Relate: Seven crucial questions to answer before you say 'I do' – Martyn

·         The Hard Questions: 100 Essential Questions to Ask Before You Say "I Do" - Piver


2)       The Principle of valuing diversity in the decision making process – of including masculine and feminine dimensions

Learning to understand, value and use the inherent strengths of the gender differences

·         Love and Respect – Eggerichs

·         For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women – Feldhahn

·         Making Sense of Men - Armstrong

·         Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - Gray

·         How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking about It - Love and Stosny



Valentine's Dinner Flyer

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hall, Jessica F. Jessica_Hall@bshsi.org>
Date: Sat, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:06 AM
Subject: Valentine's Dinner Flyer
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com

Here’s your flyer!


Jessica Hall

Guest Services Agent



The information in this communication is intended to be confidential to the Individual(s) and/or Entity to whom it is addressed.
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Relationship and Marriage Education resources available | NCFR

Relationship and Marriage Education resources available | NCFR
Healthy Relationships California (HRC) has launched an online resource for the Relationship and Marriage Education (RME) community that include ...


Join NARME at http://narme.org 
and see Links & Clips, updated daily, at http://scoop.it/t/narme
(send your input for Links and Clips to me at bill@narme.org ) 

Love is in Bloom | FTF eNews January Vol.2


















---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: First Things First <ftf@firstthings.org>
Date: Thu, Jan 26, 2012 at 1:07 PM
Subject: Love is in Bloom | FTF eNews January Vol.2
To: billcoffin68@gmail.com

First Things First eNews
  January 2012    Volume 2              

FTF Classes

MaximizeYour Marriage*

A class for couples
in distress 


February 20 & 27


6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

St. John UMC
3921 Murray Hills Drive
Chattanooga, TN 37416


Click here to register

Dinner or Lunch provided by First Things First


Visit firstthings.org for additional classes 



Boot Camp 

for New Dads  

A class for about  

to be dads.  


February 18    


9:00 a.m. to Noon

Erlanger Women's East
1751 Gunbarrel Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421  





(Family University)  


* Funding for this project was provided by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: 90FM004801. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families   

Save The Dates!

January 28, 2012

January-February 2012


February 7-14
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Flower Fest 2012
Love is in Bloom
Valentine's Day will be here before you know it, so why not honor that special friend, co-worker, neighbor or favorite teacher in your life with a beautiful arrangement of tulips starting at just $15. Back by popular demand, we'll also offer our special Date Night baskets! Companies are invited to participate in this unique fundraiser which not only offers a budget-friendly gift idea for their employees, but helps to strengthen families in our community at the same time.
Place your order online at firstthings.org

Special thanks to our 2012 Flower Fest Media Partners
National Marriage Week

Say "I Do" to National Marriage Week
As couples make plans to celebrate Valentine's Day, it should come as no surprise that National Marriage Week is February 7-14. It is a global effort to elevate the importance of strong, healthy marriages and the benefits that marriage brings-from economic stability to the best environment in which children can thrive. First Things First is all about strengthening families, and we invite couples to take advantage of our free premarital and marriage enrichment classes. 

Click here for details on Passionately Married, Secrets to Lasting Love and more




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OFA Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant Final Evaluation Report

OFA Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grant Final Evaluation Report
Priority Area 1: Community Healthy Marriage Grants to Implement Multiple ... Priority Area 5: Healthy Marriage Grants to Serve Low-Income Married Couples ...


Join NARME at http://narme.org 
and see Links & Clips, updated daily, at http://scoop.it/t/narme
(send your input for Links and Clips to me at bill@narme.org )