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“…Finally, preliminary research shows that marriage education workshops can make a real difference in helping married couples stay together and in encouraging unmarried couples who are living together to form a more lasting bond.  Expanding access to such services to low income couples, perhaps in concert with job training and placement, medical coverage, and other services already available, should be something everybody can agree on…”

Barack Obama
The Audacity of Hope

Resignations, retirements, chapters closing, new beginnings. January’s announcements reveal December’s reflections.

America awoke this week to news that one of the most influential members of the United States Senate, Democrat Chris Dodd of Connecticut, a former Presidential candidate, was joining North Dakota’s Byron Dorgan and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter in announcing he will not seek re-election.

Politicians are not the only ones calling it quits this month. In divorce filings nationwide, an estimated 100,000 American couples will throw in the towel on their marriages in January. While those decisions will not receive the attention of this week’s political announcements, for their children especially, the lifelong impact will be far more significant.

The tragedy for the far majority of these couples is that not only can their marriages be saved, they can become the foundation for lives overflowing with love, pleasure, happiness and fulfillment.

More often than not, what’s missing isn’t the right partner, but knowledge and skills that decades of research has proven transform even the most challenged relationships when two people have good will and are open to learning. With so much at stake for children who count on their parents to have the maturity, wisdom, love and determination to provide security and stability to their own lives, it’s tragic that couples more quickly call a lawyer than a qualified marriage educator when love hits the rocks.

Two recent studies published by the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation offer vital information for couples considering joining the legions of men and women beating a path to divorce lawyers or websites promoting quick dissolutions.

The first study looked specifically at couples who enrolled in PAIRS brief (9 – 12 hours) marriage education classes at the lowest levels of marital cohesion, meaning, for most, they were on the verge of separation or divorce. Six months after participating in three to four three-hour classes, nearly eighty percent of these couples had transformed their relationships.

Another study looked at the specific areas of lasting improvement in a highly diverse pool of nearly 1,000 participants in PAIRS relationship skills training. Again, the far majority had significant improvements in their ability to confide, share appreciations, physical intimacy, and other areas that are key to creating and sustaining thriving love relationships.

This research doesn’t mean every marriage can or should be saved, but it should provide ample reason for couples to pause before filing for divorce and consider if evidence-based relationship skills training could be the difference between a child growing up with the security, stability, safety and example of seeing parents work through the natural challenges of life and love or paying the lifelong price that comes with marital and family breakdown.

The equivalent of less than a day in a proven marriage education class should be the first suggestion any attorney, friend or family member offers a distressed husband or wife seeking to dissolve a marriage, especially when children are involved.


PAIRS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is one of the nation’s oldest and leading providers of relationship skills training and marriage education classes for couples and singles in all stages of relationship. Learn more at www.pairs.com, e-mail info@pairs.com, or call 877-PAIRS-4U (724 7748).

11 thoughts on “Marriage Education Research Should Inspire Couples to Pause Before Pursuing Divorce

  1. I think everyone has several ideas on this topic and a lot looks on the age of the respondent. As I have aged, my precedencies have altered. I no longer look for anyone to make me happy, I look for companionship, individual that will work with me for a bad goal. Other than that, it is up to yourself to be ready, and until you instruct to take care of yourself, your only preparing yourself up for grief and nuisance by reckoning on others to do that for you. One thing is that a love relationship is too much to cherish to be active in the first position. Maybe you don’t have the soft for her, but if she enjoys you she will help you with that. Just inquire her what am i doing wrong to piss you off and also make sure that each conversation at least one matter is right.

  2. I found your blog while I was doing research for some articles I’ve been writing. Thought I’d leave a link to my article – feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think! Thanks!


    Thank you! Good luck with your research and articles. Let us know if we can help.

  3. Anyway, you have a fascinating perspective on this topic. I’d love it if you updated your blog regularly! By the way, can your readers to submit to you questions they want to personally ask you about? Right now I have a specific question on this subject since I am going through a challenging situation with a woman I have a crush on and I am not sure how to proceed. I’d really like to get your thoughts…or perhaps someone can suggest a book that I ought to read?

    RESPONSE FROM PAIRS FOUNDATION: Feel free to contact us by e-mail to info@pairs.com or via Live Chat on our website at http://www.pairs.com.

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