Tiffany Tehan was reported missing last week leaving behind her one-year old daughter, worried husband, family and friends. The young woman’s neighbors feared the worst, uniting day and night to search for Tiffany over much of the past week. As many hoped and prayed, Tiffany was found safe and sound five days later. Early news reports indicate she intentionally fled her home, infant daughter, husband and community for Miami in search of love with another man. Sadly, Tiffany’s story is not unique. A recent study by the PAIRS Foundation indicated as many as 70% of married men and women are contemplating separation or divorce.
For more than 150 years, policy-makers and researchers have known there’s a direct connection between marriage and health. Today, studies are increasingly identifying the specific aspects of marriage that promote wellness, healing, and increased life expectancy. This information provides a road map to strengthen couples, families and communities with significant medical, social, and economic benefits.
A study by the nonprofit PAIRS Foundation found statistically significant, lasting improvements in marital satisfaction for men and women who completed a nine-hour relationship skills training program. The organization says that expanding relationship skills training in communities nationwide offers the potential for creating tens of thousands of jobs while reducing billions in taxpayer expenses.
As marriages threatened by fights over money, careers and in-laws, more couples benefit from skills training
Nearly two thirds of couples in committed relationships regularly argue with each other and more than a quarter quarrel more often than not. Researchers followed-up with hundreds of couples six months after they completed a nine-hour PAIRS Essentials class designed to improve communication, emotional understanding, and conflict resolution. Results of the follow-up study indicated a sharp decline in the frequency of disagreements with significant benefits for improving marriages, strengthening families and helping children succeed.
Sexual satisfaction improved for 85 percent of women participating in the nine-hour PAIRS Essentials relationship skills curriculum, according to a six-month follow-up study. The educational program included exercises to improve communication, emotional understanding and expression, and constructive conflict resolution skills.
Their eyes still sparkle with the innocence of youth; their eager smiles and endearing manners invite understanding and empathy. For many of these children, behind their eyes, smiles and natural charm are traumatic images, memories, and anxieties that rob them daily of the carefree joys of childhood. These children do not live in Haiti or anywhere else that is the focus of global campaigns for urgent public support, rescue and contribution. They live in Miami-Dade’s Liberty City, minutes from Florida’s southern capitals of relative wealth, abundance, and extravagance. Over the past month, a team of instructors and research staff from PAIRS Foundation had the privilege of working with the fourth and fifth graders of Liberty City Elementary School, sharing practical skills and strategies for better understanding themselves and others, deepening empathy, expressing emotions, resolving differences and conflicts, and caring for the relationships they cherish.
Seven in ten parents of school-age children responding to a recent survey said they've considered separation or divorce. Six months after participating in a nine hour class to improve communication, emotional understanding, empathy and conflict resolution skills, the percentage who said they never consider separation or divorce doubled.