Studio 5 Contributor and psychologist, Dr. Liz Hale, says every marriage could use a little repair work.
I feel so strongly about promoting a healthy marriage initiative in our state because marriage is in crisis. In 1970, nearly 80% of all American adults were married; today that number has dropped to 57%. The Marriage Index also reports that today 40% of all American children are born out-of-wedlock. In the midst of many external challenges, we forget how marriage can benefit personal lives and communities. We are losing our determination and the skills to keep marriage healthy and strong.
We need to think of marriage as a covenant relationship between a man and a woman; not as a throwaway consumer relationship where we’ll want a refund or exchange due to an imperfect model. Within sacred matrimony, the chances are enormously higher for personal growth, better health, more happiness, a longer life and greater well-being for children.
There are many great events planned throughout Utah for National Marriage Week. From Logan to St. George there are marriage celebrations happening in your very own community. Visit strongermarriage.org to see what’s happening in your area. One of my favorite events to discuss is happening Thursday Night, the 11th, from 7:0 to 9:00 PM at the downtown Sheraton Hotel. Dr. Barry McCarthy will teach some crucial skill-sets in reenergizing the role of sexuality in marriage as well as the how-to’s of affair-proofing marriage. It’s the deal of the entire year…$6.00 per person!
Regardless of your ability to attend a formal celebration, and regardless if you are married or not, you can celebrate marriage. Honor the time in years and months that you and your spouse have been together (call it “Another Anniversary”). Or, recognize a marriage in your extended family, church, or community that inspires you. If proximity allows, visit them in person and share how their marriage has had a positive and significant impact on you.
All couples have irreconcilable differences. What differentiates successful couples from those who are miserable and divorcing is that they have learned how to manage their differences, through affection, humor, tenderness, respect and commitment. Much of that involves the willingness and ability to repair. We need to be in repair-mode every day. The more we allow a tangle to continue, the worse it becomes. Those conflicts we resist diving in to, persist.
Because this is the season and month of love, I have a special gift for our Studio 5 viewers. My favorite hand-out in my practice is a list of about 65 different phrases that will assist couples attempting to repair a mishap, miscommunication or misunderstanding. This is the most powerful information we have available to us today as marriage counselors; the need to repair…..and the need to do so often! Click HERE for marriage repair checklist.
Dr. Liz Hale is a licensed clinical psychologist and a regular Studio 5 Contributor. Your comments and questions are welcomed! Please visit www.drlizhale.com to add your thoughts to today’s discussion or learn more about her private practice.