Frequently someone will post that they are looking for or seeing a "pro-marriage" counselor. They are aware that marriage counselors can be dangerous and that some break up marriages. So they look for a counselor who is "pro-marriage," believing that this is the way to be safe.
Well, last night Prisca and I watched a movie about marriage, from a director who makes lots of good movies with a "pro-marriage" slant. We've enjoyed a lot of his movies, but let me tell you some of the lessons we learned from this "pro-marriage" movie:
* In good marriages, people still fight and argue. It's normal. You just have to accept it.
* Marriages go in cycles. Sometimes you love, sometimes you don't. You just have to accept it.
* You should trust your spouse, which means giving them some privacy.
Let me tell you, Dr. Harley will tell you these ideas are not true, and that they will destroy a marriage! But of course these and many other marriage-destroying ideas are accepted by many counselors, even "pro-marriage" counselors.
Dr. Harley was always "pro-marriage," but when he began counseling, he was unable to save marriages, even among "pro-marriage" church people. Being "pro-marriage" is not enough to save a marriage. You have to actually know what to do to build a good marriage, and many times that means rejecting faulty ideas we've learned.
Really, practically everybody will say they are "pro-marriage." An affair is the most traumatic thing a human being can do to another, and people feel that no matter what they believe about marriage. And everybody can see the wreckage that divorce makes on society and the productive benefits that intact homes have. Hating adultery and being "pro-marriage" is normal. It doesn't earn you a medal. And it doesn't mean you know how to save and build marriages.
Check out the truth: in real good marriages, romantic love is sustainable for a lifetime, even though most "pro-marriage" counselors do not believe that!http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8118_real.html
And in real good marriages, couples do not fight. Fighting and arguing is hell in marriage. It's like a nuclear bomb: noone wins, because the devastation is horrendous. Accepting it will not make your marriage better: it will justify ruining it! This is why Dr. Harley has a zero-tolerance policy in marriage for the three abusive love busters that make up arguments; demands, disrespect, and anger:http://www.marriagebuilders.com/mb2.cfm?recno=4&sublink=29
And also in actual, real, good marriages, couples practice transparency with one another. They don't keep secrets from each other or have "privacy" in marriage, because they are one. Good marriages are a blending of two people, and in a blending, keeping secrets does not make sense. Total honesty and transparency in marriage not only keeps both husband and wife accountable and facilitates blending and intimacy, it also usually meets a vital emotional need for one or both spouses:http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi3900_honesty.html
No matter where you live, there is a good chance that the culture around you is steeped in ideas that harm marriage. Only 20% of marriages are actually good for life, and even among those marriages many couples are not aware of what they are doing that makes their marriage good compared to other marriages. If you want to have a good marriage, don't just listen to "pro-marriage" counseling. You may end up receiving ideas that lead your marriage down the path to failure and misery. Save your marriage using information from people who have actually studied good marriages and know how to create them:http://www.marriagebuilders.com/mb2.cfm?recno=3&sublink=20