Tag Archives: learn marriage skills

Marriage Education Reduces Military Divorces by Two-Thirds

There’s more evidence that marriage education works to prevent divorce. Marriage education involves teaching and practicing marriage skills such as communication, conflict management, etc., and is separate from marriage counseling or therapy.

John Crouch from The Family Law News Blog reported on a randomized study recently completed in the military which had a control group of couples that did not take classes, and randomly assigned couples who did take marriage education classes. The “PREP for Strong Bonds” program was delivered by Army chaplains. One year later, 2 percent of the couples who received marriage education divorced, while 6 percent of the control group divorced.

Other studies have also confirmed that professionally developed curricula is effective at reducing divorce, whether the education is delivered in a religious, ethnic or occupational setting.

Marriage education can be effective for engaged couples and couples who have been married for decades. Just a reminder that many organizations offer marriage education, often within different states or within religious organizations. In addition, if you can’t get away for an entire weekend,
poweroftwomarriage.com offers marriage education skills online where couples can have complete privacy and can go at their own speed.

The Divorce Delusion from NYT gives its take on what divorce looks like in modern America.

Related to last week’s post about how reading romance novels affects women’s relationships, a new study just came out that suggests reading romance novels may be hazardous to one’s health. (Someone seems to be on a campaign against romance novels.) The gist of it is that people who read romance novels are more likely to act like the characters in the books and eschew the use of condoms, putting them at risk for STDs or AIDS.

Photo courtesy of Stockvault.net by Elliot Nevills

Make Your Own Marriage Retreat for Two

Are you interested in a marriage retreat, but either don’t want to spend the money or don’t have childcare or a whole weekend available? Power of Two has an interesting way to accomplish the same objective in a way that even busy couples on a tight budget can manage.

I introduced you to Power of Two (PO2) here; the organization provides online marriage skills training for members at a cost of $18 per month. The staff offers individualized assessments, marriage articles and fun videos in a way that is neutral (doesn’t favor one spouse), entertaining and low cost.

Abigail Hirsch, PhD, a psychologist with PO2, says some of her clients told her they had created a “make your own” marriage retreat. Here’s how:

  • Schedule an evening out with your mate at a local coffee shop (e.g. Panera/Starbucks) or anywhere that has free Wi-Fi. Ideally you would schedule time once a week for 6 weeks.
  • Schedule a sitter or swap with other friends who have children.
  • On your scheduled night, bring your lap top, and spend about 20-30 minutes watching entertaining videos or doing a marriage tip from Power of Two. Chat about it, maybe practice a new skill, then have some dinner.  Enjoy the rest of your evening together.

If you follow this timeline, you will have accomplished six hours of marriage skills training in a relaxed manner with minimal expense. It might be enough to motivate me to schedule those date nights instead of relegating them to the not-so-important list of things to do.

Dr. Hirsch says an added benefit to ongoing training is that couples are more likely to maintain positive skills in marriage with regular practice and ongoing maintenance than they are with a rare weekend retreat.  Of course, both can be beneficial.

You have a few more days to quality for one of two free lifetime memberships to Power of Two! Make a comment on last week’s post, or send me a private message (see my contact page) to qualify for the drawing.

Have you ever attended a weekend retreat? If so what was your experience? Would you be open to this kind of training experience with just the two of you and your computer? What do you think of the idea to create your own weekly mini-retreat?

Photo Credit: ©Andrey Kiselev/PhotoXpress.com