Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Till Death Do Us Part or...

...your marriage counselor goes out of town. Actually, even that might not make a difference.
Cuz guess what? Despite afternoons full of Dr. Phils and Oprahs doing emotional on-air counseling, urging activist approaches to picking up your marriage by the bootstraps and making it work, despite a therapy-friendly culture in which couples counseling has become the best way to make it to to the third date--well, it turns out it might not work.

Just two years after ending counseling, 25 percent of couples are actually worse off than before. And after four years, 38 percent are divorced. Oops.

But wait, don't start dividing the assets yet: there's a new approach!

Instead of all that emo-crap--the behavioral marital therapy, the insight-oriented marital therapy, the emotionlly-focused marital therapy--instead of all that sharing of feelings and baring of one's selfish blanket-hogging soul, today it's all about acquiring hard skills. It's about learning how to get through the damn marriage and not diggin' around in the messy stuff. It's called Marriage Education, it's happily sponsored by the Bush administration, and it's the Newest New in adult learning.

There's the Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills, or the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program. These are real programs. And you will be quizzed tomorrow.

With this approach, it's less about learning to love each other, than learning to workshop well together. So shut up, quit blubbering, and do your homework! And if you don't get along, you get an F.


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