Marriage Education is touching the lives of couples, families and children across the country. “I Am ME” profiles individuals and couples teaching relationship and marriage education classes in their local communities. We call this series “I Am ME,” both because “ME” is an acronym for “Marriage Education” and with the hope that we will draw greater attention to a poem by the same name written by the late Virginia Satir, a pioneer in the field of marriage and relationship education. Satir’s “I am Me” remains one of the most powerful declarations on self-esteem ever written.
Edward Bastille is a retired Chief of Chaplains from Palo Alto, California. He now enjoys working part time as a Chaplain in a Jail and Nursing Home in New Hampshire. Edward also works part time with the VA reviewing research proposals. Edward and his wife of 26 years, Louise, also run a bed and breakfast in New Hampshire where they plan to hold Marriage Education retreats.
1. What led you to want to teach relationship and marriage education classes?
I first got into marriage education after watching troops come home from Iraq and Afghanistan and seeing the trouble they were having in their marriages. After attending a PAIRS training, I realized how helpful the classes were not only for me to help soldiers I work with, but also in my own life. My wife saw how attentive I became after attending the training that she also wanted to participate and she flew all the way to Georgia to attend a PAIRS training.
2. How are the challenges facing young couples today different than those you faced?
Young people today are free spirits. They only want to stay in relationships that work When the relationship gets hard, they don’t want to work on it. They move on to something else. When I got married years ago, the dynamics of relationships were much different. There was a sense of “glue” that held relationships together. Young people don’t have that sense anymore.
3. How has being a marriage education instructor impacted your own marriage and family?
Being involved in Marriage Education helped me to understand and be more aware of what I preach. I have always been a good preacher, but now I am more aware of my words.
4. What are some favorite hobbies you enjoy sharing with other members of your family?
My wife and I love to travel. During our travels, I collect watches, coins and chess sets.
5. What three qualities would you like your children or spouse to most admire about you?
I would like my family to admire my patience, humor and curiosity.
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Editor’s Note: If you’d like us to feature a Relationship and Marriage Educator in your community, please e-mail their name, contact information, and a brief statement about why you’d like to see them profiled on the FatherhoodChannel.com to email@example.com.