As divorce rates in the U.S. were rising by the end of World War II, so were fears over the state of marriage and family life. Skyrocketing rates sent many couples to seek expert advice to bolster their marriages. During this time, the idea that marriage could be saved—and a divorce prevented—with enough work gained ground, according to Kristin Celello, assistant professor of history at Queens College, City University of New York, in her fascinating book Making Marriage Work: A History of Marriage and Divorce in the Twentieth-Century United States. A slew of experts stepped in to help American couples strengthen their unions...and with some interesting suggestions.
I had been working with a couple on the concept of making amends and offering one another sincere apologies for ways in which they have hurt one another. He stated truthfully that he was not ready to offer an apology that was genuine because he still was not getting what he wanted and needed in this marriage. After further discussion, both people were able to see they have some deep roots of resentment and bitterness towards one another that they were not willing and able to release yet.
Few things harm a relationship more than an affair. Whether the affair is emotional, a 'one night stand,' long term or a cyber-affair, the betrayal delivers a life-altering blow. Will the injury to the relationship prove fatal? There are some essential steps a couple must take for there to be any hope that the relationship can survive an affair. If done wisely, there is hope the relationship will come through the ordeal stronger than before. Here are eight steps that can help save your marriage.
According to research by Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, while 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, 67 percent of second marriages and 74 percent of third marriages end in divorce. Is this surprising?
"Honey, I have to join Ashley Madison." So began the pitch I gave my wife to let me join the marrieds-looking-for-affairs website, AshleyMadison.com. It would be part of my research into women who cheat, why infidelity is increasing, and what can be done to possibly affair-proof a marriage. I was proposing to "cheat" on her for a few weeks, to talk to and attempt to seduce as many women as possible, and get a real-world understanding of why women want to stay married but also need some illicit action on the side. Of course, on my end, there'd be nothing more than conversation. She looked at me straight-faced, unflinching. I searched her eyes for any telltale sign of the Charles-I'm-going-to-punch-you-in-the-face-right-after-I-castrate-you look; nothing. After a long pause, I got her only thought: "No, I get it," she said emphatically. "It's a great story. But it’s kinda like asking the newly vegetarian fox to guard the henhouse, isn't it?"
My partner and I are having another round of therapy to decide whether our relationship has any life left in it. It got me thinking about marriage counselors, relationship coaches and therapists. There are many talented people out there doing relationship work, but there are also many ineffective ones. I think an ineffective coach or therapist can do more harm than good, and I’ve identified a few things to look for.