PM360 recently spoke to Ramiro Roman, General Manager, Strategy & Operations, U.S. & Canada, GE Healthcare about the work he’s doing to enrich and restore marriages.
PM360: Ramiro, we hear that you are involved in marriage enrichment ministries. Tell us about the work you’re doing in that area.
My wife, Lucy, and I share a mission to improve the world through better marriages. We have volunteered to lead various marriage enrichment ministries over the last seven years.
Marriage does not come with a user’s manual. And while 54% of the U.S. adult population is married, unfortunately 41% of first marriages end in divorce. That percentage rate goes up to 62% and 74% for subsequent second and third marriages, respectively. Of those who manage to remain married, many are suffering in their most critical relationship.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are tools to empower marriages to stay strong and vibrant. Most relationships will be restored and even thrive, given the right training, skills and support.
Those are staggering statistics. What was it about marriage and divorce that stirred up both of your passions to want to help couples?
We have seen the generational effects of divorce in our own families and neighborhood. It’s the white elephant in the room! In 2014, it is still considered taboo to talk or seek help in our marriages. Sadly, the vast majority of couples finally overcome barriers for resolution at the very end, when reconciliation is most difficult, nevertheless possible. It does not have to be that way; you can enrich your marriage at every stage and the earlier the better.
How has your work personally satisfied you and Lucy, and how has it changed the lives of other couples?
It’s difficult to fully articulate the magnitude of depth and breadth. It lifts our souls. Over the years we have witnessed many couples go from separation to being back in love again, and kids, once again, enjoy the deeply needed security of a happy home. We believe we have made a difference in people’s lives for generations to follow, many of which we will never meet but have touched in some way.
How has it evolved over the years?
We are firsthand benefactors of marriage enrichment development. Once we recommitted and focused on developing our own marriage, we experienced a renewed spark and realized the impact this had on our kids. This fueled our determination to help others.
Our journey began with giving simple 10-minute talks to small groups and eventually we led 72-hour weekend seminars to hundreds of people.
That’s incredible. Who inspired you to get involved in these seminars, and how has this work changed your own marriage?
We were inspired by older couples who had tenured marriages, but seemed to have fresh, almost teenage-like love for each other. We remembered what our marriage was like in the very beginning and came to believe that those feelings could be reignited and sustained throughout our life, regardless of age.
Like in all service work, leading in this ministry has returned back to us more than we’ve put in. It prioritizes our development as a couple. It has reignited the fireworks in our marriage.