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.
Edixon Martinez was born in the Dominican Republican, grew up in Puerto Rico, and came to the U.S. 12 years ago. He has two sons Ennisan, 26, Ernesto, 25, a daughter, Gina, 17, and two grandsons.
The love of his life, his wife Desiree, is a Realtor and active in the faith community.
Edixon is a master trainer in several marriage education curricula and recently became a PAIRS Essentials instructor. Through his work with the California Healthy Marriages Coalition, Edixon provides training throughout the state and regularly leads classes in the Sacramento area. He serves as a Marriage leader at Centro Cristiano de Adoracion and works as a consultant for marriage education with the National Hispanic Association of Evangelicals, the largest Latino Christian organization in America.
1. What led you to want to teach relationship and marriage education classes?
Because there is an urgent need to unify families. Marriage and Relationship Educators may be the key to solving our high divorce rate and the destruction of our families. I personally come from a previous marriage and I know firsthand how much damage an unwanted divorce can cause to a family and my generation.
2. How are the challenges facing young couples today different than those you faced?
I was married during the eighties (very young). I am now 43. Divorce was very popular not much different than now. Now and then, young married couples had to learn to get along, had money troubles, and experienced many other challenges that all generations of young couples have to face one way or the other. But there is one thing I notice that is different. Our Hispanic parents were married and made sure their kids knew that the step to marriage was an important one. There was encouragement to “think about it before you said I do.” One of the things I notice is how often couples have boundary issues; many find themselves living separate from each other even though they live in the same house. We did not have so many distractions, so many TV channels, internet, texting, Facebook. All of these were created to bring people closer but in many cases are causing distance in relationships.
3. How has being a marriage education instructor impacted your own marriage and family?
Being an instructor has brought so many benefits. For one, I had to admit that I was making many of the same mistakes of the past and if I wanted my marriage to last, I had to do something about it. Many of the skills I learned are helping my own marriage to be not only an example but an encouragement for others that are going through divorce or are planning to get divorced or separated.
4. What are some favorite hobbies you enjoy sharing with other members of your family?
Photography, I like to create memories. Trips to hidden places in nature, waterfalls, board games and definitely food. I like to eat out or cook for my family. I love to see their faces when they like what I cook and try something new every time I get a new recipe.
5. What three qualities would you like your children or spouse to most admire about you?
- Character – that I don’t compromise my beliefs;
- Accountable – that I allow myself to be challenged and held to a higher standard;
- Leader – that I lead by example.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.