A nationally known author says though marriage is in trouble in the United States, he sees positive signs. Author and pastor Gary Chapman says America’s divorce rate discloses the problem, but he’s happy to see so many couples choose to seek counseling or attend marriage conferences, such as the national conference underway in Jefferson City. Chapman, a marriage counselor for 30 years, says communication is a key and he says most of us aren’t good listeners. He says studies disclose most people listen only 17 seconds before offering their opinion. Chapman says it’s important for married couples to listen to each other without a judgmental attitude. Chapman does support efforts, such as in Missouri to define marriage as between one man and one woman. He says the argument about same-sex marriage has brought about a clash of ideas in our society between those supporting traditional marriage and those attempting to redefine marriage. Chapman would like to see the rhetoric on the issue center on competing ideas and shun personal put-downs.