February 2010

netPsychologist.com Newsletter

Tools and Tips For Success In American Marriage.

Who Really Cares About Marriage In America (And Why Not)?


Marriage Fires! fire proof marriage

Driving home from yoga, I noticed a big banner stretched between two poles in the front yard of a church. The banner read: "Marriage Series starts February 14. Fireproof Your Marriage." The banner included a picture of a couple embracing each other surrounded by orange, yellow and fire colored hues.

That sounds interesting. I wondered what they'll be teaching? And what are couples supposed to fireproof their marriage against? What are the "fires" that destroy marriage?

My mind did not stop there. I couldn't remember ever seeing a sign encouraging people to take a course within a schoolhouse that would fireproof their marriage. To my recollection, I have not seen a single sign encouraging people to take any marriage course within the courthouse or a government building that would fireproof marriage. I've never seen a grocery store or department store encouraging people to take their marriage series.

Have you ever seen a sale banner on a car dealership's pretty lawn offering marriage fireproofing against any kind of burning flame if you bought one of their cars? But I would think marriages that don't burn up (or is it down) would be better credit risks and maybe even repeat customers.

I can see how marriage becomes the concern of religion in our society. Stable marriages support and benefit the church or synagogue or the mosque. Stable marriages bring stable families to church, and children, who then become followers of that religious way. That makes sense.

Corporations need stable marriages and families to buy their goods. Law enforcement and government agencies rely heavily on stable marriages to raise law-abiding citizens. "Fireproofed marriages", it would seem, benefit every institution in our society; schools, recreational environments, financial institutions and social groups, not just religious organizations.

Friends of friends need their friends to have fireproofed marriages or relationships. Every marriage or significant relationship that goes down in flames damages social and friendship connections.

When was the last time your friends invited you and your significant other over to their house for a series in marriage stability and improvement because they were concerned how the quality of your relationship might affect them?

In truth, my friends would be more negatively affected if my marriage burned up than my church would be.

Only the churches stick their necks out to proclaim a stake in stable, fireproofed marriages. Is it really that marriage is the most sacred of relationships and therefore only the purview of religion?

Marriage is no more sacred than a parenting relationship, a friendship, a job or career relationship, or the relationship I have with my tennis buddy, who provides me relief from this crazy world that I don't get.

If all aspects of our society claimed a role in strengthening and supporting marriage, what would that be like?

Pushing Does Not Bring Maturity.

The Couple's Tao Te Ching


by William Martin coulple hand in hand, bw

If you are always pushing yourself, your love will not come to maturity.

Pushing implies a preconceived direction while maturity considers many directions.

Striving for great achievement narrows focus, while maturity opens to many options.

Devotion to your career brings power and reputation, while maturity brings devotion to each other.

Work a modest number of hours, then go home. At home there is no need for pushing, no need for striving. Here at home your love finds its full expression.

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Contents of this newsletter © Paul W. Anderson, Ph.D.


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