It is widely recognized that healthy marriages are important to the well-being of adults, children, and society. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children and Families, ACF, reports that on average, men and women in healthy marriages live longer, healthier, happier lives.¹ A variety of recent studies also confirms that married couples are more likely to be better off financially than their single or cohabiting peers and that children raised by happily married parents are less likely to engage in substance abuse, criminal activity, or to commit suicide. Married men and women are also less likely to suffer from emotional disorders and mental illness, poverty, child abuse, and neglect. Building on these many benefits, children who grow up in homes with their married parents generally do better in school and in the workplace. At a broader level, communities with higher proportions of healthy marriages are generally safer and experience fewer social problems than those communities with lower rates of healthy marriages.
Validating one of the central, early premises of PAIRS founder Lori Gordon, significant research confirms that what separates stable and healthy marriages from unstable and unhealthy ones is not the frequency of conflict, but how couples manage conflict. As Gordon hypothesized more than a quarter century earlier, couples who are able to listen to each other with respect and who solve conflict in healthy productive ways enjoy higher levels of marital satisfaction and are less likely to divorce than those who are not able to do so. These findings overwhelmingly validate PAIRS trademark focus on emotional literacy combined with practical skills as the basis for empowering couples to create and sustain successful marriages.
Although for many years in our history, PAIRS stood virtually alone as an unabashed advocate for the development and broad delivery of curriculum-based marriage education programs, the organization is today joined by hundreds of like minded public and private enterprises across the nation. Together, we share a mutual commitment to teach practical, usable problem solving and communication skills to men and women of all backgrounds to increase the likelihood that they will form and sustain healthy marriages that benefit their lives, the lives of any children they parent, and society.
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PAIRS is a multidimensional model integrating important universal concepts, skills, and values about love, intimacy, and marriage.