Improve Your Marriage Singlehandedly
In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Lunch Break columnist Elizabeth Bernstein offered great hope to anyone in a less-than-perfect marriage.
She reported the results of a study by Howard Markman, one of the marriage education greats I have studied with. His lab at the University of Denver followed 300 couples for five years after receiving marriage skills training. One month after training, it did not matter if both in the couple had attended or just one. The marriages were equally improved.
At eighteen months, they saw something very interesting. If only one spouse had received the training, the marriage was doing better if the one who got trained was a woman. This is great news, because it is much more often the woman who is willing to go to counseling or a marriage education program, and it is much more often the woman who files for divorce if nothing gets better.
One woman Ms. Bernstein interviewed for the article went to counseling alone. She said it took her two years before she stopped blaming her husband and started trying to enjoy being married without changing him. Two years! If you're reading this blog on a regular basis, I know you have already made the shift that led to a happier marriage for her and her husband. This makes me very happy. Thank you.