Edward and Debbie Smith give new meaning to the term “Power Couple” with a foundation built on their belief in God; they enthusiastically embrace their mission to help others reach their full potential in life. Edward and Debbie are business partners, friends and lovers. Together they are raising three children while building two businesses, leading out in Couples’ Ministry in their church, and growing as Relationship Educators, Life Navigators.
Edward and Debbie are authors of two books, “The 5 Star Marriage. The 5 Star Husband/Wife.” Shortly after the books were placed on Amazon, The 5 Star Husband/Wife climbed to the fourth Position, placing The Smiths on the Amazon best seller list.
THE SMITHS understand the devastating effect of divorce from their personal experiences. Because of this, they are determined to become champions for successful marriages! They understand that strong marriages lead to strong children and families, which lead to strong churches, which lead to strong communities.
THE SMITHS enjoy doing all things together. They often travel from state to state speaking to others about entrepreneurship and business ownership. They both have a passion for families and enjoy facilitating workshops and retreats for couples and families. As life Navigators, they are committed to helping others aim higher and reach further. THE SMITHS have a big vision for the future. It is a vision that involves helping as many people as they can develop a progressive mindset so they can live life to the fullest potential. It is a vision they fully plan on realizing because ALL things are possible with God!
THE SMITHS will help you:
• Identify strength and growth areas
• Explore personality traits
• Strengthen communication skills
• Resolve conflicts and reduce stress
• Compare family backgrounds
• Comfortably discuss financial issues
• Establish personal, couple, and family goals
Couples face many pressures that negatively affect their relationship:
• Views on financial responsibilities
• Values and goals
• Communication styles
• Parenting styles
Marriage counseling involves both partners working though their differences to solve problems in the relationship. THE SMITHS approach to marital and couples therapy is a brief and directive talk therapy style that is solution focused.
Couples often enter into marriage relationships without having a clear vision of the fundamentals of a marriage relationship. Some of the areas we will cover are as follows;
• The criteria for marriage
• The Christian Husband/Wife
• Before your marriage
• Your wedding day and after
Couples need the support and encouragement of other couples to help foster a thriving relationship. Couples Club in an interactive support group in a safe environment where married couples interact, share, laugh, and grow.
• Ice Breakers
• Break-out sessions
• Hands-on workshops
• Lively Discussions
We create environments in our marriage workshops or weekend retreats where intimate partners transform who they are for each other. Our workshops offer a variety of learning experiences depending upon the workshop or weekend you choose. Here is some of what you will learn during a weekend retreat with us:
• Relationship communication skills
• How to heal and resolve old relationship problems
• Exploring and increasing sexual intimacy
• Your vision for a healthy marriage
• How your relationship history affects who you are
• How to “grow yourself” in relationship
• How touch is an integral part of being a loving couple
• Appreciating each other and having more fun.
• Turning frustration into requests
• How to be an intimate team.
• The dysfunctional family
• So you think you want to get married?
Edward and Debbie Smith of East Stroudsburg, who have a Facebook page and website both titled "MEET THE SMITHS," help couples build stronger relationships. Their website is meetthesmiths.org. (Andrew Scott/Pocono Record)
By Andrew Scott
Pocono Record Writer
If healthy families make for healthy communities, then families cannot be healthy unless their relationships are.
That's where people like Edward and Debbie Smith of East Stroudsburg come in. Married for eight years, the Smiths help couples and ultimately families improve their relationships.
"We don't really refer to ourselves as 'counselors,'" said Edward Smith, the East Stroudsburg Salvation Army shelter director. "We're certified relationship educators."
The couple has a website and Facebook page advertising what they do. The Facebook page and website are both titled "Meet The Smiths," like the TV show which both predate.
The Facebook page features the couple discussing a different topic about marriage and relationships each week on a video series titled "Monday Mornings With The Smiths." Alicia Middleton, owner of Rainey Roo Productions in East Stroudsburg, produces the video series, with Edward Smith and friend Mel Grant of New York providing the theme music and two of the Smiths' children operating the video camera.
Edward Smith has authored a book, "The Five-Star Husband," while Debbie Smith has written "The Five-Star Wife," and the couple together wrote "The Five-Star Marriage." All three books are available on Amazon and the couple's website.
Both college-educated New Jersey natives with West Indian roots, the Smiths have known each other since childhood. They went separate ways after college, with Edward working for Champion Mortgage and Debbie going into insurance claims investigation and human resources management.
The two reconnected years later. Edward was the father of a daughter, now age 29, and Debbie was raising her children, now ages 19, 15 and 11. The couple married in 2007 and moved to the Poconos, escaping the urban hustle and bustle for a fresh start.
"We began attending the Seventh Day Adventist Church (on West Main Street in Stroudsburg) and wanted to become more active in our church and community," said Debbie Smith, now a staffing coordinator at Express Employment in East Stroudsburg. "After our church voted us in as family life leaders, we started a couples club to help couples with their relationships. Our club now has more than 20 couples and meets once a month. We meet at each other's homes or go out to eat."
The Smiths talk to couples face-to-face, by phone or by Skype, as well as travel to present workshops in other communities.
"We've worked with married, divorced, separated, the entire gamut," said Debbie Smith. "We find the more common issues many of them face involve communication, finances, power struggles over who's the breadwinner, or who earns the bigger salary, and educational barriers."
'Empty nest' issue
And then there's the "empty nest" issue.
"A husband and wife have been so busy focusing on their children and not each other," said Edward Smith. "Once the children are grown and move out, Mom and Dad are left with each other. The problem is they've focused so much on the children that they don't know each other anymore. They've become strangers living together and end up getting on each other's nerves. So, it all comes back to communicating and giving each other attention."
In many families living in the Poconos, one parent commutes to work out of the area while the other stays home with the children. And the weekends are nowhere near enough time to spend together.
"This, too, can strain a marriage," said Debbie Smith. "So, we encourage people to keep in contact with each other and talk to each other when they're apart."
The Smiths also work with singles who have a negative view of marriage, after seeing other people's experiences, but still hope to meet that special someone.
The couple's goals include starting a boot camp including more of a focus on relationships between parents and children. Part of a men's group meeting monthly, Edward Smith plans to focus more on improving men as fathers and husbands.
The couple's three children, Maryland college political science major Zjayah Baker, East Stroudsburg High School North sophomore Zharia Baker and Lehman Intermediate School sixth-grader J.D. Baker, do their part as well.
"Our children talk to their friends whose parents may be having some issues and they mention us and what we do," said Edward Smith. "They mention our books."
THE SMITHS can be reached through their website at meetthesmiths.org.