Staying connected across the miles

By Steven Steinberg

According to a study by the Association for Wireless Technology, CTIA, U.S. cell phone users send 740 billion text messages each day. Last year, 276 million users collectively spent over 2 trillion minutes talking on their wireless phones.

Many of those messages and minutes are exchanged between family members separated by the decision to take their employment search to distant cities, states and even countries.

“I love you,” “I miss you,” “Hug the kids,” are common messages shared between loved ones while one spouse ends their day in a far away hotel room, apartment, or other temporary home.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics released the April employment report showing that national unemployment remains close to 10 percent. Among some minority groups, unemployment rates are significantly higher.

As local employment opportunities become increasingly difficult to find, many are expanding their search nationwide. For couples and families already enduring financial anxiety, the added stress of physical separation or relocation brings new challenges.

Along with hours in skills training to prepare for new careers, couples separated as a result of employment changes are increasingly turning to the Internet for help sustaining their relationships. Marriage educators nationwide are embracing technology to bring evidence-based skills training online.

The nonprofit PAIRS Foundation, one of the nation’s oldest and leading relationship skills training programs, offers free weekly webinars to help couples explore the logic of love, recognize styles of communication that increase stress, and learn to strengthen marriages and families impacted by separation and relocation.

“Having moved across the country or across the world for jobs that will help sustain their families, couples don’t want to lose each other in the process,” said Seth Eisenberg, President of PAIRS Foundation.

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Steven Steinberg writes about technology for the Fatherhood Channel.

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Steven Steinberg covers technology for The Fatherhood Channel.