Making Your Marriage Work


In previous generations, many couples celebrated their twenty-fifth, fortieth, and even fiftieth wedding anniversaries.  With today’s divorce rate hovering at the fifty percent rate in the United States, there’s a good chance that few couples will be celebrating such milestones in their marriages.  What can couples do to create not only a long, but a satisfying marriage?

Dr. Howard Markman, a psychologist at the University of Denver, believes “love and commitment to the relationship are necessary for a good marriage, but they are not enough.”  He believes that couples need to have good communication skills, as well as skills in handling conflict to have a satisfying relationship.  Markman studied 135 engaged couples, and found that certain behavior patterns usually signaled an impending collapse in the marriage.  “How you handle conflict is the single most important predictor of whether of not your marriage will survive,” stated Dr. Markham. 

Dr. Markham found these behavior patterns contributed to the failure of a marriage.

  • When either partner, though it is usually the male, withdraws from conflict.
  • The tendency to escalate conflict in the face of disagreement and the inability to stop fights before it gets ugly.
  • The tendency to invalidate the relationship by hurling insults at each other.  According to Dr. Markham, “one zinger” counteracts twenty positive acts of kindness.

According to researchers, couples go into marriage with idealistic notions of what marriage is all about.  These couples need to at the beginning of, or preferably before, marriage clarify what their expectations are to each other, and where there are discrepancies, a mutually satisfying compromise must be reached.  One of the biggest no-no’s in a relationship is taking one another for granted, which happens after the honeymoon period is over in a marriage.  Couples need to communicate well with each other, as this is one of the greatest assets in any relationship.  Successful communication takes both proper transmission skills (articulation) and proper receptive skills (listening).  Without both of these skills, communication will be difficult at the best.

Maintaining a marriage is no easy task.  Marriages today are complex , dynamic relationships, and are much more than two people living under the same roof.  It takes time and effort, patience and practice, good communication and conflict skills to create a fulfilling, emotionally gratifying and supportive marriage. 

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Celebrating Father’s Day


On the third Sunday in June, we celebrate some very special people in our lives, our fathers.  This is a special day for dads when they are pampered by their children (and grandchildren) and wives, given gifts and honored for the way in which they enrich their family’s lives.

There are several stories as  to the origins of Father’s Day, but there is no way of knowing which one is true.  However, even though we do not know who the founder was or when exactly it was started, we do know who promoted this holiday with a great passion.  This person was Mrs. John Dodd, who felt that her father was so outstanding he deserved to be honored.  Her father was a special person for after fighting in the Civil War, he raised six children on his own after his wife had died.

Mrs. Dodd started the ball rolling by speaking with ministers around where she resided, Spokane, Washington, to see if they would have a church service dedicated to just fathers.  She wanted the service to be held on her father’s birthday, which was June 5, but it was actually held on June 19th as her minister needed time to prepare such a service.  After that, Washington as a state began celebrating “Father’s Day” on the third Sunday of June.  When other states got wind of the celebration in Washington,  these states wanted to have an annual Father’s Day, as well, and began lobbying Congress to dedicate such a holiday.  President Woodrow Wilson approved Father’s Day in 1916, but it was not made a national event until 1924 by President Calvin Coolidge.

This Sunday, May 17, let us take a moment, or the whole day, and thank our fathers, or our father figures, for all they do for us and let them know what a special place they hold in our hearts and in our lives.

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Randy Travis Accuses Ex of Betraying Information


Country music star Randy Travis and his ex-wife, Elizabeth, were married for 19 years before divorcing.  What made their divorce unique in a way as Elizabeth was not just his wife, but his manager as well.  Now the ex-couple is back in court, one with a suit and the other with a countersuit.

A countersuit filed by country music star Randy Travis against his ex-wife claims that she’s been divulging confidential information about him that could damage his reputation and career.  The suit was recently filed in a Nashville federal court, but the court documents do not say what information Elizabeth Travis is allegedly revealing.  These filings are just the latest in the feud between the former couple.  After 19 years of marriage, Randy and Elizabeth divorced in 2010.  Elizabeth had been Randy’s manager for more than three decades.

Last month, Elizabeth Travis sued Randy claiming that he made it impossible for her to do her job and also that he terminated her management contract without proper notice.

Not only is Mr. Travis accusing his ex-wife of divulging confidential information about him, he is also accusing her of overbilling for reimbursement for travel and other expenses. According to his countersuit, his ex-wife completely destroyed the  degree of trust that should exist between an artist and his personal manager.  The singer wants a court to declare  his ex-wife breached her contract and he also would like her barred from receiving any management commissions.  He is seeking attorney fees as well.

Elizabeth Travis’ attorney did not respond to a request for comment on Mr. Travis’ countersuit.

Randy has been in the country music business for 25 years. He said that he started playing in nightclubs when he was 14-years-old and that for ten years he was turned down by every record label for being too country. He finally signed with Warner Brothers and his first album, “Storms of Life”, which was released in June 1986, went on to platinum. Since that time, Travis has charted 18 number one singles, earned seven Grammy Awards, ten American Music Awards, and ten Academy of Country Music statues.


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