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Published: Tuesday February 4, 2014 MYT 10:50:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday February 4, 2014 MYT 11:01:15 AM

Movies could save your marriage

A new study shows that watching movies about other couples who fight could be as effective as traditional marriage counseling sessions. - shutterstock.com/AFP

A new study shows that watching movies about other couples who fight could be as effective as traditional marriage counseling sessions. - shutterstock.com/AFP

Watch other couples fight to bring you and your spouse together.

MAKING it past the three-year itch could be as simple as popping in a DVD and watching other couples fight.

That’s the overarching conclusion of a new study out of the University of Rochester, which found that watching a film that examined the complexities of marriage and discussing the issues together as a couple can be just as effective at curbing divorce rates as traditional marriage counseling methods.

The findings, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, show that the movie method helped cut the divorce rate of newlywed couples from 24% to 11% at the three-year mark – the same success rate as supervised sessions conducted by trained therapists.

“Taking time to sit down and take an objective look at your relationship with your partner is going to be helpful for any couple at any stage,” said study lead author Ronald Rogge in a statement.

“They can make it a yearly thing they do around their anniversary – watch a movie together and talk about it. That would be a fantastic thing to do and a great present to give themselves each year.”

For the study, 174 couples were divided into three groups and underwent various marriage counseling methods. Couples in the movie group were sent home with a list of film titles and instructed to watch one film a week. Using a questionnaire, participants were then asked to talk about the marital issues presented in the film and relate them back to their coupledom.

Want to try out the movie method yourself? Rogge has put together the list of movies used in the study, a list of recommended titles, and the movie discussion questions online.

Sample questions:

What main problem(s) did this couple face? Are any of these similar to the problems that the two of you have faced or might face as a couple?

Did the couple have a strong friendship with each other? Were they able to support each other through bad moods, stressful days, and hard times? Did they listen to each other like good friends? Did the couple in the movie do considerate or affectionate things for each other?

In what way was this relationship similar to or different from your own relationship in this area?

Did the partners seem to have similar expectations of their relationship? Where did their expectations differ? Did it seem like they were aware of their own expectations? Were their expectations reasonable? Did they share their expectations with each other?

For the full list, visit Rogge’s relationship lab website at www.couples-research.com. – AFP Relaxnews

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment, movies, marriage, relationships

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