Helping to strengthen couple relationships

With a society in turmoil and confusion, and an economic situation which is creating great uncertainty and hardship, Colm Black outlines some of the resources that are available to strenghten and preserve couple and parent-child relationships.

RelationshipsThe rock-group, Supertramp once had an album entitled, “Crisis? What Crisis? The front artwork showed a man in sunglasses on a deck-chair sunning himself in a nuclear holocaust landscape. What crisis?

First the bad news.

There is no question about it, we are in a crisis in our society, financially, and we know it right well, hence the deep and painful cuts having to be made and being experienced by many. But there is a bigger, more subtle crisis, even more destructive. It is the crisis in marriage and relationships. Negatively, 40% of marriages fail. Positively, 60% succeed and last a life-time! And most people still aspire to marriage – just look at the burgeoning and very expensive wedding industry!

Now the really bad news.

Cohabitation. Only 4% will last a lifetime and most will break up within 3 years of starting! Though it is the preferred choice of many, it is the most fragile of relationship forms. Many see it as a dry-run for marriage but there is decades of evidence to indicate that rather than increase the chances of a future marriage, it actually increases the risk of a marriage failing. This, according to Harry Benson of Bristol Community Family Trust, is what is really fuelling family break-down. And it is avoidable. Fragility and uncertainty are not the preserve of the financial sector.

Now the really, really, good news

The Church is in a great place to make a difference. X Plus Y Ltd. has been set up to work alongside Churches in providing relationship support.

There are 3 strands:
  • Marriage Preparation and Enrichment
  • Live Together-Stay together and
  • “Letsticktogether”, a short session for new parents.

The resources on offer include:

In 1925 Hugh McGildowney fell and perished over the cliffs at Ballycastle, Co. Antrim for lack of a good fence! Most of what is happening in the £24M crisis industry related to family breakdown is happening at the bottom of the cliff.
It makes better economic sense (especially in these days) to put our energies into prevention at the top of the cliff. 'X Plus Y' is dedicated to that task and to helping others to do so.

Crisis? Yes. Helpless? No. Hopeless? Definitely not.

Colm Black Colm Black has extensive experience in family support work with the Church of Scotland.

He is available to work with individual couples and in group settings, Toddlers, Men’s Groups, Housegrpoups, lunchtimes, bespoke evenings, supper-nights, etc etc.

Colm is also able to work with and speak to churches and leaders about Marriage and Relationships; and to train others.

Contact and further information on the above:
Tel. 01463 717208
Mob. 07746 770 695

Colm Black/Christians Together, 04/11/2010

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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Archive > Church Family > Couples > Helping to strengthen relationships