Recently I quoted that we are seeing a dramatic decrease in our area on the number of teen births. It is wonderful that this is happening for our community due to the positive things that can happen such as less children in poverty, possibly breaking a cycle that was so strong in our community. Saving our community and businesses great amounts of money etc. And these are the reasons or basis for Family Frameworks in our community and its focuses. It may sound strange that a Marriage Initiative Organization focuses on teen pregnancy results, but we know that stable relationships are usually not (and please note the word usually) the most stable relationships later in life. We also know that when you prevent teen births you can prevent further poverty which we would like to see, but also prevent that teen from passing this behavior on to their child. We have learned through the research that there are higher number of teen births where there are not two biological parents in the home. And the last thing we have noted is that our community has been listed for many many years as having the highest teen births as well as highest divorce per 1000.
So this has told me as a leader in our organization that we first of all need to try to break the cycle of
teen births. And this means hitting it in many different areas. We chose to work with the teens first. They were a captive audience and the curriculum we use made it easy to talk about the choices they make. We have gotten very positive responses from both the students and teachers on the topics and how we approach these topics. But what put the icing on the cake was seeing the dramatic decrease in teen births for the Whitfield and Murray Counties, which is greater than surrounding counties. But I don’t want to take this for granted. We will continue to work in this area but now we need to focus on the families and help them to stabilize with the younger children that are still in their homes so that they learn how to have good relationships and choose good life partners and make the choices that will lead to happy healthy lives.
Well, how do we do this? When we first began this organization we started by working with the premarital couples. Teaching them good communication, problem solving and conflict resolution skills. Which was great, but we slacked off and decreased the amount of information that we would put out to the public on how to keep a strong healthy marriage. Now it’s time to look at where do we need to focus to keep families together before they fall apart.
I wanted to start with why or what are the main reasons why couples
get divorced? There are several lists and we have all heard some of the reasons, such as infidelity, money or finances, or just growing apart. I looked into some of the latest studies to see what the latest list might be. That was a bit challenging. These have been studied since 1985 and there are all sorts of variables and differences you must consider the greatest is the reasons women divorce compared to why men divorce are different. We think differently and we don’t like to think that we just fit into a box. I finally chose to go with Paul Amato and Denise Previtti’s study from 2003 and see what they found.
Here is the list:
1. Infidelity 1. Infidelity
2. Incompatibility 2. Incompatibility
3. Lack of Communication 3. Alcohol, or Drug use
4. Personality Problems 4. Grew Apart
5. Grew Apart 5. Physical or Mental Abuse
6. Don’t Know 6. Personality Problems
Over the next few weeks I hope to give resource that address these issues and possibly some ways that couples can prevent these from happening. Please let me know as we go along if this is helpful.
I see, in my practice way too often children that are suffering in various illnesses both mental and physical that might be prevented if we actually keep the parents together and in a healthy relationship. Will this be easy? Not at all, but if we don’t start somewhere and stop doing what we always have done then we definitely won’t see our community change.