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The Marriage Turnaround- How Thinking Differently Can Help Turn Marriages Around

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Presentation on theme: "The Marriage Turnaround- How Thinking Differently Can Help Turn Marriages Around"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Marriage Turnaround- How Thinking Differently Can Help Turn Marriages Around



4 Why Marriage Matters Social Health Better Health – Physical & Mental Less Injury, Illness, Disability Longer Life Children Physically Healthier Children Emotionally Healthier Lower Infant Mortality Lower Child Abuse Lower STD Rates Children’s Achievement Greater Overall Success in School Better Reading Abilities More Likely to Attend College More Likely to Get High Status Job Less Likely to Divorce When Married More Likely to Marry

5 Why Marriage Matters Overall Social Impact Better Parent/Child Relationship Lower Crime Rates Lower Domestic Violence Lower Teen Pregnancy Lower Juvenile Delinquency More Educated Citizens Higher Home Ownership Higher Property Values Higher Income and Savings

6 Impact of Failed Marriages Social Health Higher Teen Alcohol/Drug Rates More Domestic Violence More Sexual Assault Teens More Sexually Active Teens More Likely to Smoke Teens More Likely to Use Drugs Greater Overall Violence High Stepparent/Other Sexual Abuse Greater Depression Higher Rates of Suicide Children’s Achievement More Likely to Repeat a Grade More Likely to Be Expelled More Likely Developmental Problems More and Worse Social Problems Lower Reading, Spelling & Math Scores Low Self-Confidence & Self- Esteem Difficulty with Peer Pressure Relationships More Likely to Drop Out of School

7 Does Divorce Make People Happy Study Did unhappy spouses who divorced reap significant psychological And emotional benefits? Surprisingly, in this study, the answer was No among findings: Unhappily married adults who divorced or separated were no happier, on average, than unhappily married adults who stayed married. Even unhappy spouses who had divorced and remarried were no happier, on average, than unhappy spouses who stayed married. This was true even after controlling for race, age, gender, and income. Divorce did not reduce symptoms of depression for unhappily married adults, or raise their self-esteem, or increase their sense of mastery, on average, compared to unhappy spouses who stayed married. This was true even after controlling for race, age, gender, and income. The vast majority of divorces (74 percent) happened to adults who had been happily married five years previously. In this group, divorce was associated with dramatic declines in happiness and psychological well-being compared to those who stayed married.

8 Does Divorce… cont. Unhappy marriages were less common than unhappy spouses. Three out of four unhappily married adults were married to someone who was happy with the marriage. Staying married did not typically trap unhappy spouses in violent relationships. Eighty-six percent of unhappily married adults reported no violence in their relationship, Ninety-three percent of unhappy spouses who avoided divorce reported no violence in their marriage five years later. Two out of three unhappily married adults who avoided divorce or separation ended up happily married five years later. Just one out of five of unhappy spouses who divorced or separated had happily remarried in the same time period. *American Institute of Values-

9 How can this data/ information help people avoid divorce or work harder to save their marriage?

10 Marital Satisfaction: Stanley, S. M. & Markman, H. J. (1996). Marriage in the 1990s.

11 Oklahoma Statewide Survey (2002): If divorced, what were the contributors to your divorce? Religious differences 20.6% Domestic Violence 30.1% Economic Hardship 38.9% Little or no marriage prep 41.4% Married too young 42.9% Infidelity 57.5% Too much arguing 59.2% Lack of commitment 84.9% Johnson, C. A., Stanley, S. M., Glenn, N. D., Amato, P. A., Nock, S. L., Markman, H. J., & Dion, M. R. (2002). Marriage in Oklahoma: 2001 baseline statewide survey on marriage and divorce (S02096 OKDHS). Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

12 How thinking, beliefs and attitudes affect marriage Thinking -> Emotions -> Behavior Example: Tell a child they are incompetent Cognition can affect/ maintain negative emotions and behavior in marriage- Dr. Aaron Beck Depression- One cause- Cognitive distortions Couples must assess their attitudes, beliefs and thinking A good place to turn around a marriage is by starting with beliefs, attitudes, expectations about partner or marriage in general. The further expectations are from reality- the more hurt and dissatisfaction will occur.


14 Marriage Myths (The Marriage Turnaround) 1. "I Can Change My Spouse" 2. "I Made a Mistake, I Didn't Marry My Soul Mate" 3. "As Long As We're Happy, Everything Will Be Okay" 4. "It Don't Matter How We Treat Each Other, We're Married" 5. "If I Have to Ask for It, It Is Not As Meaningful" 6. "A Crisis Means We're Over" 7. Others in book…

15 Fundamentals of a Lifelong- Thriving Marriage Broad Perspective (Not about you) Communication (Appreciation) Conflict Resolution ( Common Sense ) Intimacy (Closeness) Day 2 Day Challenges (Make Good Choices; Slow Down) Community (You need others)

16 Systems Theory Family is a system- Dr. Murray Bowen’s Family System Theory Each part is connected to other parts – independent but connected- each affects others positively and negatively- children’s mobile Marriage is part of the family system What goes on in the marriage is felt by the rest of the system False Assumptions- “My marriage is my business” “Marriage is a private matter” “Of no consequences to children” Research- Teens who live in intact family are less likely to be suspended, fewer fights, etc.* /Adolescents from intact families less likely to engage in sexual activity than peers from non intact families** Marriage does affect the rest of the family system- especially children * ** http://familyfacts.org

17 Family Tension Cycle Marriage Tension Teen Disengagement Alternative behaviors Teen Avoidance- typically father Teen Withdrawal Tension between Parents & Teens Copyright 2005 Mitch Temple, LMFT*

18 Success in Math  Source: Caroline Hoxby, “If Families Matter Most, Where Do Schools Come In?” in A Primer on America’s Schools, ed. Terry M. Moe (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2001) *Better marriages- better education outcomes.

19 Bringing Attraction Back Ways to bring attraction back into your marriage 1. Start Dating again 2. Make yourself attractive 3. Brainstorm ways to communicate your desires to your spouse. 4. Educate self- put into practice 5. Service/ Sacrifice- doing good


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