University of Kentucky




We're happy to respond to any specific questions you may have. We invite you to read the answers to questions we receive frequently. 

What is a healthy marriage?  In general terms, a healthy marriage is one that is relatively free of conflict and is characterized by a fundamental level of care, concern, and respect between spouses/partners. It is mutually enriching to both spouses, and to their children if they have any. A healthy marriage is evident through such characteristics as communication, fidelity, interaction, emotional support, and many others. 

What about domestic violence?  BHMI does not condone violence by one spouse/partner against the other, by parents against children, or violence is any other form or context. Whether physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, or other, violence is not a part of any healthy relationship. BHMI works closely with local domestic violence experts, can provide appropriate referrals as the need arises, and has an extensive protocol for this issue. Please see our Domestic Violence Awareness page for more information. 

What do you research?  Faculty and staff involved with BHMI research many different topics. Our main research efforts involve provide reports to partner organizations of the overall individual and relational well-being of their constituents. No one who completes a research survey with BHMI is ever identified with their responses. Faculty and staff also conduct research on domestic violence, marital virtues, marital stages of change, marital satisfaction, and others. 

Do you have classes?  Yes. BHMI often offers 1-day couples’ workshops. Additionally, local organizations partner with us to provide classes. A list and description of these classes can be found on our Community Calendar page. 

Who is eligible to attend classes?  Classes are open to adult individuals or couples of any relationship type. Because classes are often involve practicing skills with a partner, we recommend that interested individuals register with a friend or family member be sure they can take full advantage of what if offered. 

What if I need something more personal and thorough than marriage education classes (e.g. therapy or counseling)?  Relationship skills classes are a powerful tool, but are sometimes not enough. There are a number of local counselors and/or therapists trained in working with couples. One of our partners, the UK Family Center is a therapy clinic at the University of Kentucky that is open to the public and provides services on a sliding fee scale. You may also search for a local therapist through websites like 

What resources to do you have?  Aside from providing research and education resources to our partners and hosting educational events ourselves, BHMI houses a library of marriage and relationship programs, books, and other audio/visual materials. This library is available for browsing by our partners or others potential interested in purchasing these materials for their efforts to affirm and strengthen marriage and other relationships. 

Your grant is sponsored by the U.S Administration for Children & Families, Office of Child Support Enforcement. What does child support have to do with healthy marriage?  Child support professionals have recognized the link between strong marital and co-parenting relationships and the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of children. To this end, many child support agencies have become involved in healthy marriage efforts both to strengthen these relationships and to help disseminate information related to child support.  

Can I be a service provider?  Individuals or organization interested in providing services should contact BHMI Project Director, Erik Carlton, for more information. 

How can my organization partner with BHMI?  BHMI is always looking for and working with new partners. Our Partners sign an agreement to coordinate our research and education activities among their constituents and to play an active part in other initiative activities. Organizations who may not have a true constituency base, or who may not be prepared to facilitate research and education, may choose to be an Affiliate Partner. Affiliates self-select commitments, are supportive of BHMI and work to get the word out about our activities. Interested organizations should contact Cristyn White at 859.257.5527 or .


Healthy Marriage Initiative
206 Scovell Hall
670 S. Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40506
Tel. 859.257.5527
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University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, An Equal Opportunity University
Copyright 2006, Supported by CALE Lab, Last Updates: Friday, September 15, 2006