All Couples need Help sometime
“We don’t need couple’s therapy. We have a good relationship.” The general feeling in the United States is that couple’s therapy is for couples with problems, when in reality, prevention is much more effective than intervention. Research from the Gottman Institute found that couples wait an average of six years before seeking any kind of help for relationship problems. What is wrong with that? – half of marriages that end in divorce do so within the first seven years. Marriage therapy is especially helpful during life transitions, like before getting married or before having a baby or before retirement.
Celebrities Need Help
Dax Shepherd and Kristin Bell (of Hollywood fame) have been very open about going to couples therapy. “We went to therapy early on to learn what our pattern of arguing was and where we needed to stop that,” Shepard explained during a Good Morning America interview:
“It is not easy to work around another human being, but if you commit to it, you can pretty much permanently respect that person… then it doesn’t really matter if you disagree because you still respect that person.”
Contempt will kill a relationship if it is constant. Criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling are common conflict behaviors for couples, but it’s critical that you recognize them and reign them in. Kristin Bell said.
“It’s all about contempt. Never roll your eyes at someone… I’m telling you—I disagree with him on almost everything, but I have intense respect for his critical thinking skills and the fact that we were raised differently. I always see his point. I do not and will not ever have contempt for him.”
One of the main goals of the Gottman method of therapy is to replace criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling with more effective communication strategies.
Barack and Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama in an interview with Oprah Winfrey talked about what it’s like to be married to Barak. The former First Lady said that she and Barack went to marriage counseling after their two daughters were born. Here is what she said:
“I share this because I know that people look to me and Barack as the ideal relationship. I know there’s #RelationshipGoals out there. But whoa, people, slow down—marriage is hard!”
Everyone can benefit from working on their relationship with a therapist—even the Obamas. Speaking on Good Morning America Michelle addressed the misconception that if you struggle or argue with your partner, there’s something wrong.
“I know too many young couples who struggle and think somehow, there’s something wrong with them. I want them to know that Michelle and Barack Obama—who have a phenomenal marriage and who love each other—we work on our marriage and we get help with our marriage when we need it.”
It is no surprise that celebrities have difficulties with their marriages, as John and Julie Gottman (of the Gottman Institute for Marriage) like to say, “we’re all in the same soup.” If you would like to read more about the principles of marriage therapy, please click on the link.