Will they make it?
We all know that George Clooney's romantic resume is impressive. He, himself, has been quoted as saying that he lost his virginity at too young an age. Since then, his love life has been a smorgasbord of sexpots. True, George did have a brief 4-year marriage with actress Talia Balsam. But after their 1993 divorce, his commitment to bachelorhood has remained firm.
During his bachelorhood, George has been with a string of beauties. Not to string anyone along, he's broken off with each and every one of his paramours around the 3-year mark—the point at which couples tend to either tie the knot or cut bait.
So what are the odds that George and Amal Alamudding (now Amal Clooney) will go the distance?
The good news is they seem to be similar in their political values. The subjects that George's films have addressed in recent years are political in nature, and Amal is a human rights lawyer who specializes in international law. So it would seem that the couple is homogamous in at least one important area. According to research, the more homogamous a couple is the greater their relationship satisfaction.
The couple also has another strong point in their favor— in speaking of his failed first marriage, George has been quoted as saying, "I was 28. I wasn't as tolerant as I should have been and I wasn't as willing to fix things as I should have been. Had marriage come later in life, I probably would have understood better how to make it work."
The fact that George knows that relationships take work is good sign. But the bad news is despite our best intentions most of us don't have a clue about what work we need to do to make a relationship work! Think about where we learned about relationships. In school? Not hardly! By watching our parents? Yes, but, sadly, most of us learned very dysfunctional strategies at home.
Here's the most important point. Conflicts and the angry feelings that go with it are inevitable in our intimate relationships. And no matter how much chemistry a couple shares and no matter how much they love each other, conflicts will arise. Yes, homogamy helps us avoid conflicts in many areas— the more similar we are the less we end up in conflict with our partners. Even so, conflict will still arise in our intimate relationships.
And it is unresolved conflict that is the number one killer of love. This means that we all need to learn how to address our conflicts constructively. Otherwise our conflicts go unresolved, anger builds and fights overtake the relationship.
The bottom line is this: No matter how much a couple loves each other and no matter how much chemistry they have, no relationship can survive unresolved conflict.
So, my suggestion for George and his new wife is to master my proven conflict-resolution method. This way they will be able to head-off and/or resolve the inevitable conflicts that will arise. In so doing, we'll be making sure that the love that brought them together keeps on shining for a lifetime of lasting love.
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