Marriage Counseling Workshop in Fresno

Fresno, CA James and Latisha Wallace of Fresno have been married for three years. They admit their relationship has had its ups and downs, especially now, as these State Parole Officers deal with what so many other couples are facing during this economic downfall.

James and Latisha Wallace from Fresno, "We're now at a three day furlough, which is normally a 14-percent cut per person, but since both of us are employed, it have required us to have 28-percent cut for our household."

The Wallaces are one of about 130 couples who took part in this all-day marriage counseling workshop at the Fresno Convention Center.

"Open honest communication that allows the feelings of closeness to flourish".

The event was put together by the Fresno County Marriage Coalition, a non-profit group who specializes in family mentor programs.

Last year, the coalition says there were more than 4,000 divorces in Fresno County.

Director Ron McLain said although it's too soon to say how the economy will impact divorce rates this year, he does see a trend.

Ron McLain, Healthy Marriage Coalition said, "You know we work a lot with couples during the week and there is just an incredible strain on marriage, family and so whenever somebody becomes unemployed like so many are in our region, it just builds that pressure up and a lot of it comes out in the home."

Which is what brought the Wallaces to Saturday's workshop. They said they're prepared for a tough road ahead, one they're committed to taking together.

"You can make it through, it is tough times, however, like my husband said, we're not alone, we're not alone."

Today's event brought in fewer couples than expected. The Fresno County Marriage Coalition said half of the people here Saturday have recently lost their job. They hope to have another event in September.

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