Successful marriages don’t happen by accident. But how much work do these couples put into making their marriages successful? The easiest way to find out is to read their stories, perhaps ask them a question or two. But here’s the rub – can they teach you anything?
The science of counseling has developed over the years through one vital component – research. And what do they research? Marriages, relationships, families, and friendships. Researchers look at successful marriages, for example, in an effort to find common threads that exist. They also look at failed marriages to see what threads are common there.
Just as importantly, researchers compare the two groups. They look to see if any of the common threads in successful marriages exist in failed marriages; and whether any of the common threads in failed marriages exist in successful marriages. By analyzing the results of these studies, counselors can come up with theories as to what helps to make a marriage successful, and what may work to destroy a marriage.
If this research helps the counseling profession, then it can certainly help you. Instead of doing research, you are hearing from successful couples about their marriages. What has worked for them, what hasn’t worked, how they handled disputes, what sort of philosophies they based their relationship on. By talking to them, you can gain a real insight into what works in many relationships.
Sometimes, it only takes a small tip from another couple to transform a relationship from barely surviving to successful. There are no guarantees, of course, but unless you talk about marriage to other couples, you’ll never know.