Why marriage matters

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  • Marriage mentors Mildred and Allan Hunt.

    Marriage mentors Mildred and Allan Hunt.

Nobody falls in love; they grow in love. That was the message from Allan and Mildred Hunt, organisers of the upcoming Marriage Week in Bermuda.

The Hunts have been married for 43 years and often counsel other couples. They started arranging Marriage Week a few years ago to promote the institution of marriage and its benefits which include, according to the Hunts, better health, a stronger financial picture, greater happiness and more stable children.

The Hunts not only aim to “big-up” marriage; they also want to help married people strengthen their relationships by giving them communication tools and advice.

“Don’t base your relationship on infatuation,” was Mr Hunt’s advice. “Many times you hear statements from people in troubled marriages: ‘I love her, but I am not in love with her’. They are talking about infatuation. A relationship begins with infatuation but infatuation can not sustain itself. It wanes.”

Using a plant analogy, he said infatuation is the soil that love germinates in. Real love is a seed that grows, strengthens and sustains itself through hardship.

“Falling in love is infatuation,” he said. “When you fall you get hurt. You grow in love. You don’t fall into it. If you have been married for ten years it should be better than year four.”

The week of marriage celebration kicks off this Friday with a Marriage Round Table at the Grotto Bay Hotel moderated by Patrice Frith Hayward. There will be three long-time married couples as panellists. They will provide the audience with some ideas for sustaining their marriage.

“This is a really neat event,” said Mrs Hunt. “There will be a lot of interaction.”

A questionnaire about marriage in Bermuda was sent around to various couples. The results will be revealed at the Round Table. The audience will also be called upon to share some of their experiences.

“There will be a lot of dialogue,” said Mrs Hunt. “It will be very lively.”

On Saturday, there will be a treasure hunt starting on the steps of City Hall that is designed to improve couples’ relationship skills. Each couple will have a folder of clues that will lead them to a particular point in town. There is no car required unless there is bad weather. When they reach their destination, there will be information about the five love languages, a relationship theory created by American minister and author Dr Gary Chapman.

“You will find out what makes your relationship tick,” said Mrs Hunt.

On the Sunday they are encouraging churches to hold marriage celebrations within their own congregations. Some couples may choose this time to renew their vows.

The culmination of Marriage Week will be a gala black tie dinner on Valentine’s Day at the Grotto Bay Hotel.

“I want people to know why marriage matters,” said Mrs Hunt. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a whole lot of social statistics in Bermuda, but they have done it in the United States. That is the reason for our campaign to strengthen marriages and highlight the benefits. Married couples have better physical health and longevity. Marriage pays, economically. On average people who are married have more wealth and financial stability. It benefits the children. Children with both parents at home have fewer troubles with the law and do better economically.”

The Marriage Round Table will be at the Grotto Bay Hotel on Friday, (February 7), starting with dinner at 6.30pm and panel discussion at 7.15pm. Tickets are $35 per couple and include dinner.

The Treasure Hunt is on Saturday (February 8), starting on the steps of City Hall. Registration is at 1.30pm and the hunt is between 2pm and 4pm. Tickets are $10 per couple.

The gala black tie dinner is on February 14 at the Grotto Bay Hotel from 6.30pm to 9.30pm. Tickets are $160 and include a five course dinner.

For tickets call 293-2903 or e-mail almil@northrock.bm or heart2heartbda@gmail.com.

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Published Feb 5, 2014 at 8:00 am (Updated Feb 4, 2014 at 4:35 pm)

Why marriage matters

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