Lessons In Lasting Love
By Lindsey Palmer
to divorce-proof your bond? Try taking a course in Love 101.
Just a few hours of marriage education can lower your chance of divorce by
31 percent, according to a recent Journal of Family Psychology study. And
experts say any couple can benefit from heading back to love school, no matter
how long you've been hitched. "We used to think only bad marriages end in
divorce," says Diane Sollee, director of the Coalition for Marriage, Family
and Couples Education. "But it turns out a lot of people are just
misinformed about how to make a marriage work." Here's the scoop on how to
get smarter about marriage.
● What is marriage education?
Marriage education courses can be anything from short, lecture-style classes to
weekend workshops to weeklong cruises. "Most people go into marriage with
the idealistic notion that they're becoming one with their perfect soul
mate," says Sollee. "These classes, which are led by therapists,
ministers, and regular people, address the reality of what marriage is - a team
of two people with two histories, two skill sets, and two perspectives to bring
to every issue, which will inevitably lead to lots of conflict."
● What exactly do you learn?
Most classes teach skills for handling all that conflict. Surprisingly,
successful and unsuccessful couples fight the same amount and about the same
things (money, kids, sex); it's a couple's ability to manage those
disagreements that's the best predictor of whether they'll stay together.
Depending on the class, you might also learn how to improve communication, keep
your sex life hot, or just have more fun together.
● How do you find a class?
Classes are held at places like community centers, colleges, and churches. They
might be free (say, at a church) or cost up to $650 per couple for a
full-weekend, two-day course. Check out SmartMarriages.com for listings, and
sign up to start learning to love better.
8 Ways to Say "I Love You"
It sounds even sexier in another language.
Je t'aime (zhuh tem)
Te amo (teh ah-moh)
Watashi wa anata o aishite-imasu (wa-ta-shee wa a-na-ta o
Ti amo (tee ah-moh)
Mi amas vin (mee ah-mahs veen)
Aloha au ia 'oe (ah-low-ha wow ee-ah oh-ay)
Ya lyublyu tebya (yah lyoo-blyoo tee-byah)