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Part 2: Close-Up Talk Radio spotlights Marilyn Stevens LCSW

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Decatur, IL – When the romance fades, a marriage can fade with it, so keeping a relationship strong requires that both partners be open and honest in their communication. With the right tools, a better communication strategy can help heal a failing relationship and renew the emotional openness and physical closeness that attracted many couples to each other in the first place.

Social worker Marilyn Stevens has devoted the last 10 years primarily to couples therapy through her practice ConnectEdPAIRS (http://www.connectedpairs.com), where she and her husband Matt offer counseling, workshops and retreats to demonstrate effective communication skills for marriage improvement.

“We both have a passion for this,” says Stevens. “We teach couples to communicate more effectively about difficult topics: money, kids, sex and in-laws."

Research indicates most couples don’t reach out for counseling until six years after a problem begins. By then anger and resentment have accumulated; it becomes an uphill challenge to repair. It’s Stevens’ hope to reach these couples early.

“We start our work with couples with an on-line inventory.," explains Stevens. "This gives us information about their communication, their conflict resolution, money, kids, sex. Before I even meet them I already have an idea what their strengths and weaknesses are.”

The final challenge, says Stevens, is getting both partners committed. It’s often difficult for men to step into the counseling office, unless it’s reached the emergency stage. ConnectEdPAIRS offers unique approaches for men to engage in marriage improvement.

“The skills we teach have been effective in our own relationship,” says Stevens. “We have an investment in seeing other couples make it last.”

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