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North Carolina

Better Marriages North Carolina Council is a group of couples who believe in marriage, know that a good marriage takes some work, and that communication with other married couples really helps improve our own relationships. We are affiliated with Better Marriages, a nonsectarian nonprofit which is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We are not affiliated with any religious denomination. The North Carolina Council invites you to consider making your marriage the best it can be. Help yourself while helping others!
2015 Retreat/Conference Registration is Now Open! Join us for the marriage enrichment event on March 6-7, 2015 in Cary, "Unplug to Connect: Disconnecting from Distractors to Enhance Your Relationship."

Learn more at the event web page here, register online here, or download the brochure here to mail in.
Please look through our website and see how you can participate with other North Carolina couples.

Educating Couples for Vibrant, Lifelong Relationships

We all want the same thing, whether our relationship has just begun or we've been married for years: We want a
healthy, mutually-satisfying relationship with the one we love. Check us out. We're confident you'll find something that serves your interests well. Better Marriages North Carolina exists to serve you as a couple, whatever the stage of your life and relationship.
  • We have resources you can use to strengthen the connection between you and your partner.
  • We sponsor statewide events, to stimulate your ongoing growth together.
  • We sponsor marriage enrichment groups where couples gather for mutual support and encouragement.
  • We even offer training for couples who want to have an impact on the lives of (or, 'lead and influence') other couples.

You don't have to be a member of Better Marriages to attend meetings, though we do encourage you to join. Better Marriages NC seeks to promote and provide enrichment opportunities and resources that strengthen couple relationships and enhance personal growth, mutual fulfillment, and family wellness. Its programs are educational in nature and are not intended as therapy or counseling.

Mission and Vision


To promote better marriages by providing enrichment opportunities and resources to strengthen couple relationships, increase intimacy, and enhance personal growth, mutual fulfillment, and family wellness.


To create a network of couples building healthy marriages by providing marriage education and enrichment opportunities in partnership with other public, private, and faith-based organizations.


In September of 1967, and at the age of 60, David Mace moved to Winston-Salem, NC to become a Professor of Sociology with the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University. Previously David and his spouse Vera had jointly served as executive directors of the American Association of Marriage Counselors from 1960-1967, and even earlier during the 1940’s as joint directors of the Marriage Guidance Council in England. They would both move to the United States in 1949 when David would begin his first decade of professorship at Drew University in New Jersey, before finally making their last move to North Carolina.

Following a lifetime of “working for better marriages”, David and Vera would establish the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment (ACME) on their fortieth wedding anniversary in July of 1973. Following their slogan for ACME, “to work for better marriages, beginning with our own”, David and Vera would create an organization that married couples could join to express their support of marriage and grow in their marriage relationship. This emphasis would significantly differ from their earlier focus on counseling and intervention, and instead focus on enrichment and education. According to David Mace:

“Our hope was that it might be quite natural (with no direct religious, political or professional connections of any kind) and might, therefore, become a coordinating agency for other organizations that were developing programs in this new field; that it might undertake the task of setting standards for leadership; that it might encourage the development of local chapters which could promote in their communities the cause of better marriage.” (Mace, Close Companions, 1982).

Following the lead of David and Vera, a small group of North Carolina couples, many from the Winston-Salem area, soon joined to establish the Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment North Carolina Council. With a focus on marriage support groups and education, the North Carolina Council has grown to include local chapters and marriage enrichment groups from Asheville to Wilmington.

Additionally, the North Carolina Council has presented an annual marriage enrichment conference for three decades, historically during the month of February. Most recently, following the lead of the national organization (Better Marriages), our state council has undergone a name change, becoming known as Better Marriages NC, and has continued to operate with one of the largest state memberships nationally. Additionally, North Carolina is the home of the Better Marriages national office, located in Winston-Salem, NC. 

Upcoming Event: 2015 Better Marriages North Carolina's Annual Marriage Enrichment Event

Join us for an exciting marriage enrichment experience in the Raleigh/Cary area. Enjoy quality sessions designed to help couples look at their relevant issues, located in a fantastic Atrium Hotel where you will connect with other couples committed to their marriages.

The retreat/conference kicks off on Friday at 7 p.m. Couples will need to have dinner prior to coming to the program, but will enjoy an ice cream bar, social time and a dance after the keynote speakers. Friday evening keynoters are Wayne and Turner Tamberelli.  They will lighten your hearts as you smile and laugh through their presentation of a modern married couple in this age of numerous marriage distractions.  Watch and listen as this couple overcome their obsessions with electronics and the many other activities that keep couples from sharing the love and joy of a happy growing marriage.

The retreat/conference continues Saturday morning at 9 a.m. with Track #1: Disconnecting, and Track #2: Connecting, with three workshops in each track from which you may choose. Please note, first time marriage enrichment attendees have the option of selecting the Marraige Enrichment 101 track, which will introduce couples to marriage enrichment concepts throughout the day and keep couple together for all three sessions.

Lunch and a luncheon program will follow the morning workshops. After lunch, Track #3 will be offered again with three workshops from which to choose. The retreat/conference will close by 4:30 p.m. after a time to reflect on our retreat/conference experiences and a wrap-up.

Door prizes and a raffle will also be part of the retreat/conference. 

Online registration is available here, or download a brochure here.

Friday, March 6
4-6 p.m. Registration
5-7 p.m. Pre-Conference Social Hospitality Suite
7:15-8:30 p.m. Opening Presentation by Turner and Wayne Tambrelli “Disconnecting From the Distractors”
8:30-9:30 p.m. Ice Cream Bar Social
9-11 p.m. Dancing
Saturday, March 7
9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Special Track Option – Marriage Enrichment 101 (Couples stay together for all three tracks)
9:00-10:30 a.m.
Track 1 – Disconnecting (attend one workshop)
• What to do When the Power Goes Out             
 • Disconnecting from Distractors: “Keeping the Main Thing: The Main Thing”       
 • Taking a Tech Time Out on Your Marriage
10:30-10:45 a.m.
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Track 2 – Connecting (attend one workshop)
 • Connecting in the Bedroom (Intimacy and Sex)
 • Connecting in the Kitchen (Cooking Together)           
 • Make Love Not War: Anger is a Significant Gift
12:15-12:45 p.m.
12:45-1:45 p.m.
1:45-2:00 p.m.
After Lunch Break

2:00-3:30 p.m.
Track 3 – Getting Back on Track (attend one workshop)
 • Connecting: “The Happy Secret to a Happy Marriage”
 • Connecting to Enhance Your Communication          
 • Connecting Through Couple Massage
3:30-3:45 p.m. Break
3:45-4:30 p.m.
Closing Session and Wrap-Up

Saturday will give couples the opportunity to select workshops from three tailored Tracks dealing with the important issues of Unplug to Connect: Disconnecting (Track 1 Saturday 9-10:30 a.m. sessions), Connecting (Track 2 Saturday 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. sessions), and Getting Back on Track (Track 3 Saturday 2-3:30 p.m. sessions).

Workshop descriptions are listed below. During registration, you will be asked to select a first and second choice for the two morning and one afternoon session. You will only be scheduled for your second choice if your first session fills up early or become unavailable.
What To Do When the Power Goes Out
Leslie and Jim Rhodes
This workshop will focus on ways to enhance our relationships that are not dependent on twenty-first century technology. Last year’s ice storms introduced many of us to a non-electronic time. Each couple will be invited to participate in an “unplugged” activity and begin to formulate ideas for their future “snow days.”

Disconnecting from Distractors: Keeping the Main Thing: The Main Thing    
Elaine and Bill Matthews
It has been said that the average person checks his/her cell phone 110 times per day and that young adults (18 to 24) send 2,022 texts per month. Want to know how to identify and keep the main thing the main thing? Then come and explore an innovative approach to: (1) evaluating your current relationship, (2) making what you discover and like a part of your daily routine, and (3) creating a to-don’t list!

Turn Off the Tech and Turn On Your Marriage
Myra and Michael Holmes
Can the beauty and elegance of an iPhone, iPad, or Galaxy negatively impact your relationship? … You bet it can.  During this seminar, Michael and Myra will help you to better understand when it’s okay to turn on the technology; but more importantly, you will leave knowing when to turn off those sexy little devices and redirect your attention toward your mate. 

Connecting in the Bedroom (Intimacy and Sex)  
Ken and Vernita Griffith
It's not unusual to become disconnected in the romance department every now and then. In this workshop we will explore a collection of ideas and activities that promise to reconnect you to your spouse and allow those sparks to fly once again. Prepare yourself for gleaming giggles, igniting information, and energetic incentives.

Connecting in the Kitchen (Cooking Together)
J’Metria and Arthur Anderson
Romance can and should start in the kitchen. Come learn how to flirt and cook in order to warm up for the love making that
will take place in the bedroom. We will show you a sweet treat to get the flirting started before you get home.

Make Love Not War: Anger is a Significant Relationship Gift    
Bill and Linda McConahey   
Many couples avoid conflict in their lives together, however both anger and conflict are inevitable in intimate relationships. If fact, conflict is often a gift and points to the growing edges of your relationship. This workshop will focus on using anger and conflict to enhance and grow your relationship.

The Happy Secret to a Happy Marriage
Roberta and Terry Heinlein
According to psychologist Shawn Anchor’s book, The Happiness Advantage, 90% of long term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way we process the world. Couples will participate in five activities to promote happiness and improve success in their marriage.

Connecting to Enhance Your Communication
Renee and Chuck Hinson
In this session, we will be reviewing the best features of several communication strategies and exploring how each of these might be applied to the challenge of reestablishing intimacy after a disconnect. There will be opportunities for couple dialogue throughout this workshop!

Connecting Through Couple Massage (Bring a pillow)
Mary and Tim Hart
Enjoy couple time while learning basic massage techniques that will bring you closer. Learn a powerful non-verbal communication method. During this session, couples will learn about the importance of touch and the value to their relationship, and how touch affects both the physical and emotional aspects of each person.

Special Track  – Marriage Enrichment 101
Alice and Lee Carnes
(Couples stay together for all three tracks) Connecting for First Time Couples ***This class is highly recommended for all couples who are new to Marriage Enrichment and/or Better Marriages***
This workshop is an introduction to relationship principles and skills that are the hallmark of Better Marriages. Learn proven skills to take your relationship to a deeper, happier, and more loving place.

March 6-7, 2015


Online: Register on this website now and receive confirmation in minutes!

Paper Mail: See Brochures & More Information

Hotel Information

Embassy Suites
201 Harrison Oaks Blvd.
Cary, NC 27513

Call 919-677-1840 and ask for the Better Marriages North Carolina rate of $109 plus tax and fees. Rate is guaranteed through February 6, 2015, based on room availability, so make your reservations NOW! This same rate is good March 5-7.

For directions or to learn more about the Embassy Suites Hotel visit the hotel web site.

For additional questions, please contact:

  Better Marriages NC Retreat/Conference
  Frank McElroy, Registrar
  5019 Tanglewood Drive
  Raleigh, NC 27612
  919-782-5407  (Primary)
919-673-7847 (Alternate)

Past Event: 2014 "Let Love Lure You In" Marriage Enrichment Event

A great group of couples escaped to a romantic mountain inn for a weekend filled with education, connections and experiences focused on enriching their marriages! We gathered on April 4-6, 2014, at the Lake Lure Inn, where scenes from the iconic movie Dirty Dancing was filmed.
A highlight of the wonderful weekend was the program facilitated by expert leaders Clay and Jane Turner, who guided couples to help everyone discover the full potential in their marriages. You can check out the print brochure here.

Past Event: 2013 North Carolina Organization's Marriage Enrichment Event

Couples had a wonderful time at the Better Marriages NC's annual conference on February 8-9, 2013, in Clemmons, NC. Using the theme of "Keep It Simple Sweetie," we offered quality sessions designed to help couples look at their relevant issues.  Presenters were local experienced favorites who present marriage enrichment in very entertaining and meaningful ways, and married couples had the opportunity to hear and dance to your favorite love songs during the conference! This was a great time to connect with other couples committed to their marriages and it was definitely a weekend to remember. Check out the brochure here.

Past Event: 2012 North Carolina Retreat and Conference

Thank you to everyone who joined us for a fantastic marriage enrichment experience in western North Carolina on Friday, April 20 to Sunday, April 22, 2012. From quality sessions designed to help couples look at their relevant issues, to fantastic local mountain music, dancing and dining where couples connected with others committed to their marriages, to exclusive time to enjoy the area's beautiful offerings, this was certainly a weekend to remember. To see more about the program, take a look at the brochure here.

Past Event: 2011 North Carolina Retreat & Conference

We had a wonderful time in 2011 at our annual retreat and conference. Using the theme of "Stop in the Name of Love: Relax, Reconnect, Renew," more than 40 couples gathered in Raleigh to focus on enriching their marriages. To see more about the program, take a look at this brochure.

Visit these links to view a variety of materials for a wide range of couple interests, available from the Better Marriages national website:

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning about marriage enrichment groups or education opportunities in your area, please contact us by email.

North Carolina Board Members

Jim and Kathy Weidner
Charlotte, NC

Chris and Ron Musgrave
Winston-Salem, NC
Carl and Nancy Terry
Raleigh, NC
Jim and Leslie Rhodes
Burlington, NC

Joel and Joyce Goodwin
Salisbury, NC
Cranford and Othella Johnson
Winston-Salem, NC
Elaine and William Matthews
Garner, NC
Wayne and Turner Tamberelli
Rocky Mount, NC
If you are interesting in serving on the board, please contact Kathy and Jim Weidner

Marriage Enrichment Group Contact Couples

Nathan and Anne Johnson
Asheville, NC
Ann and Dennis Wooten
Burlington, NC

Jim and Kathy Weidner
Charlotte, NC
David Salman and Nancy Mayer
Durham, NC

Nancy and Carl Terry
Fayetteville, NC

J’Metria & Arthur Anderson
Garner and Clayton area, NC

Doug Burns and Janet Doughty
Raleigh, NC
Joel and Joyce Goodwin
Salisbury, NC
Turner and Wayne Tamberelli
Wilson/Rocky Mount/Greenville areas, NC
Skip and Jean Larson
Winston-Salem, NC
Nancy and Carl Terry
Other Areas in NC

Better Marriages National | Email us
© 2012 Better Marriages North Carolina/Association for Couples in Marriage Enrichment NC Inc.