Lower Your Chance of Divorce
by Judy Bodmer

My marriage was headed for divorce and then we attended a Marriage Encounter Weekend. I didn’t want to go, but I decided it would prove to those who cared about my marriage that I had tried my best.

While the experience alone didn’t save my marriage, I did learn some things that turned it around. I learned I wasn’t alone, that what I was experiencing was not that abnormal, and that my husband could change (me too, but at the time I needed to know he could). I also learned some communication skills that I didn’t have before I went. The most important thing I brought home from that weekend? Hope.

Unusual? According to the experts it might not be. In a recent study reported in the Journal of Family Psychology, 31 percent of couples who attend even a few hours of marriage education classes lower their risk of divorce. “We used to think only bad marriage end in divorce,” says Diane Sollee, director for the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education. “But it turns out a lot of people are just misinformed about how to make a marriage work.”

Where can you find classes and how much do they cost?

Your local church may offer classes for the cost of the materials or even free. Many local community centers also run similar courses for a small fee. Weekend retreats like the one my husband and I experienced my cost a little more. Think you can’t afford it? The cost of a divorce can run as high as $100,000.

You can find a local Marriage Encounter weekend by searching the phrase Marriage Encounter on the Internet. There are many different ones offered in several areas of the US and by different denominations.

©Judy Bodmer 2007 All Rights Reserved

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