National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families
Issue 4
February 2013

National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families

The Director's Corner


February is officially Black History Month. It's also Human Relations, and Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. And then of course, there is Valentine's Day. So what do these have in common? They each focus on connections - connections to history, to other people, and to our loved ones.

In our work lives, we know how important connections are. We network for opportunities to stay current in our field, and for access to resources to support the families we serve. Sometimes, in the midst of our fast-paced lives, it's easy to forget how important connections are in our personal lives as well.

So as we focus on connections this month, let the Resource Center connect you to tips, tools, and resources to support your work while you focus on those personal connections that are so important to keeping us grounded and balanced.

Best Regards,

Robyn Cenizal, Project Director


Tip of the Month

Your monthly tip to strengthen the relationships of those you serve. Share it - Post it - Pass it on!

It's not surprising that expressing love is part of healthy marriages and committed relationships. But what does "love" look like? Well, it depends. Family history, gender, cultural and other special circumstances, and ethnic influences lead individuals to have different expectations and acceptable norms for marriage and intimate relationships.

When people show love, they often do things that they themselves would like. But if their "primary love language" differs from their partner's, then the partner might not recognize it as an expression of love. Share these concepts from Gary Chapman's 1995 book The Five Love Languages with those you serve. Have them choose which love language they identify with most and which their partner identifies with most. Try it with your own significant other, too!

  1. Words of Affirmation. "I feel most loved when my partner uses kind words and compliments to tell me how much I am valued and appreciated."
  2. Quality Time. "I feel most loved when my partner gives me full attention and I am able to spend alone time with my partner."
  3. Receiving Gifts. "I feel most loved when my partner gives me gifts."
  4. Acts of Service. "I feel most loved when my partner does things for me, such as cooking dinner, doing laundry, cleaning, and taking care of the car."
  5. Personal Touch. "I feel most loved when my partner shows his/her feelings through physical contact such as holding hands, kissing, hugging, or sex."

Featured Resources

The Resource Center's Virtual Library has collected more than 500 materials in a variety of formats - including factsheets, research-to-practice briefs, brochures, pamphlets, training resources, program reports or evaluations, and research materials.

Click the link below to view our featured February resource:


The Resource Center's Events Calendar offers a listing of Resource Center events and other national, regional, and community-wide events that might be of interest. Upcoming events include:

  • National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference March 3-5, 2013 in Washington, DC: Participants share information and learn how to strengthen the quality and reach of federal nutrition programs, learn best outreach and program practices from other states and localities, fill in the gaps in food service for millions of low-income children, and identify creative ideas for new and innovative approaches to ending hunger.

Feedback and Technical Assistance:

If you have suggestions or wish to speak with a Resource Center staff member, please contact us and we will be happy to assist you. If you would like to request Technical Assistance, please submit a Training and Technical Assistance Request Form and our Technical Assistance Coordinator will contact you.

To learn more about the Resource Center visit us at

The National Resource Center for Healthy Marriage and Families supports safety-net service providers as they integrate healthy marriage and relationship education skills into service delivery systems as part of a comprehensive, culturally appropriate, family-centered approach designed to promote self-sufficiency.

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Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant: [90FH0002]. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.