It’s likely that Texas residents are well aware of the high number of marriages that end in divorce. Because strong family’s build strong communities our neighbors to the north have adopted a marriage initiative. The statewide push to strengthen marriages and families has helped to change many lives.
A handful of other states have joined and are implementing programs that help couples build and sustain healthy marriages. A task that was once left to churches and other religious groups, government agencies saw that the effects could be beneficial for the community and jumped on board. Some of the initiatives provide federal welfare funds that allow couples to attend relationship classes and healthy marriage programs.
The goal of these programs is two-fold. Advocates hope not only to provide couples with the tools necessary to work through problems, but hope to create a cultural shift. They want couples to see that there’s an option other than divorce and help couples to see that they can look for other solutions before they choose to end the relationship.
Marriage initiatives are focusing on teaching couples to communicate effectively before they even tie the knot. One woman who attended a relationship skills program learned that her tendency to yell and shout when she was angry caused her fiancé to retreat. “Simply understanding this dynamic helped us immensely when it came to figuring out how to fight in a way that was constructive, rather than destructive,” she said. This is exactly what advocates want, because they feel that healthy communication leads to healthy relationships which lead to healthy communities.
Source: Deseret News, “Tools to succeed: Decreasing divorce by strengthening marriages,” Sara Israelsen-Hartley, July 15, 2012