Ethics & Religion
December 14, 2016
How to Avoid
By Mike McManus
January is the worst "Divorce Month" of the year. No one wants to file
over Christmas. They want the kids to have a happy time.
Will the children feel better about the divorce in January? Of course
Divorce is the worst event in any child's life - or that of most adults,
for that matter. Michael Reagan, the adopted son of Ronald Reagan and
Jane Wyman, experienced their divorce as a boy and wrote about it in his
book, Twice Adopted:
"Divorce is where two adults take everything that matters to a child -
the child's house, family, security and a sense of being loved and
protected - and they smash it all up, leave it in ruins on the floor,
then walk out and leave the child to clean up the mess."
Yet half of all marriages in America end in divorce. Children of divorce
are three times more likely to be expelled from school or to have a baby
as a teenager as are children from intact homes; are five times more apt
to live in poverty, six times more likely to commit suicide, and 12
times more apt to be incarcerated, according to the Heritage Foundation.
Those who marry a second time have a 70% chance of a second divorce.
Therefore, couples with troubled marriages ought to consider five
different strategies to restore their marriage for themselves and their
Marriage Encounter is a weekend retreat that is so powerful, that if
every married couple attended it, America's divorce rate would plunge.
My wife and I attended in 1976 and fell back in love that weekend. It
was life-changing. Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family,
reported: "Marriage Encounter gave Shirley and me the opportunity to
occasion the deepest, most intimate exchange of feelings we had known in
20 years of marriage."
About half of couples attending Marriage
Encounter had marriages they described as "average" or "unhappy." Yet
one study reported that nine in ten couples gave the weekend high marks.
It is not designed for a marriage in deep crisis. (See the Retrouvaille
weekend described below.) But it will give virtually all ho-hum to
mildly troubled marriages a big booster shot. About 4 million couples
have attended over the past five decades. For more information about one
near you go to www.wwme.org.
Couple mentoring. If there's been adultery which seems like an
unforgiveable sin, ask a pastor if he knows a church couple who survived
infidelity. Odds are, he does. The survivors can say, "This is what we
did to restore trust." That's exactly what Couple B needs to hear - not
Retrouvaille is a weekend retreat led by three couples whose marriages
nearly failed. They tell their stories of recovery and are walking
parables of hope. After a talk, they put the men in one room, women in
another, and ask them to write for ten minutes on an assigned topic,
such as: "What do I have difficulty talking to you about?" Couples then
meet privately, read what each other wrote, and talk. They return to
hear another Lead Couple tell their story, and write to each other on
another topic. By Sunday afternoon, couples arms are typically around
each other. Over 150,000 couples have attended Retrouvaille and four of
five couples save their marriage! Go to
www.retrouvaille.org, look for
your state and see when one is scheduled.
Stepfamilies normally divorce at a 70% rate. A child says, "I don't want
a new Mom," and can make her life so miserable, she leaves. The answer
is to create a Stepfamily Support Group, where couples learn from each
other how to make these marriages work. It works so well 80% are
successful. For a kit to create one, call me: 301 978-7105.
Reconciliation is possible even if one spouse insists on a divorce. Four
out of five spouses want to save their marriage, and Marriage 911 is a
12-week workbook course that committed spouses take to win back their
mate. It is taken with a friend of the same gender. There is a Support
Partner Handbook for the friend to know what questions to ask. It is
designed to help the committed spouse grow so much, the unhappy partner
is won back. Of 50,000 couples who have taken Marriage 911, about half
are able to reconcile. The materials cost only $28. Call me to order:
These are all much better options than a divorce in January.
Copyright (c) 2016 Michel J. McManus,
President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. For previous
columns go to
Search for any topic.
2019: Column 1961: Gun Control Laws Needed
Eight Reasons To Marry
Ten Myths of Marriage
The Ministry of Marriage 911
The Worst Valentine:
Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
Sextortion Kills Teens
Cohabitation: A Risky Business
same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,