Movies that could save your marriage

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014. Filed under: Entertainment Film Health & Fitness Hollywood Stars Offbeat Online
A new study shows that watching movies about other couples who fight could be as effective as traditional marriage counseling sessions. ©Yuri Arcurs/shutterstock.com

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

(Relaxnews) – 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 percent to 11 percent 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.

Try out the method yourself using the movies from the study:

A Star Is Born

Adam’s Rib

Anna Karenina

As Good As It Gets

Barefoot in the Park

Children of a Lesser God

Days of Wine and Roses

Desk Set

Dying Young

Fools Rush In

Forget Paris

French Twist

Funny Girl

Gone with the Wind

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Hanover Street

Husbands and Wives

Indecent Proposal

Jungle Fever

Love Jones

Love Story

Made for Each Other

Mississippi Masala

Move Over, Darling

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse

My Favorite Wife

Nina Takes a Lover

Nine Months

On Golden Pond

Pat and Mike

Penny Serenade

Pfft!

Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker

She’s Having a Baby

Steel Magnolias

Terms of Endearment

The Devil’s Advocate

The Egg and I

The Male Animal

The Out of Towners

The Thin Man

The Way We Were

Untamed Heart

When a Man Loves a Woman

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

With Six You Get Eggroll

Yours, Mine and Ours

Additional movies recommended:

American Beauty

Anger Management

Autumn in New York

Bee Season

Before Sunset

Blue Valentine

Coal Miner’s Daughter

Couples Retreat

Crooklyn

Date Night

Deliver Us from Eva

Devil Wears Prada

Family Man

Father of the Bride

Fool’s Gold

Four Christmases

Her

Hope Springs

It’s Complicated

Julie & Julia

Jumping the Broom

Just Married

Life as We Know It

Longtime Companion

Love and Other Drugs

Marley and Me

Meet the Fockers

Monster-in-Law

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Obsessed

Something’s Gotta Give

Surviving Christmas

Sweet Home Alabama

Sweet November

The Five-Year Engagement

The Backup Plan

The Big Wedding

The Bounty Hunter

The Breakup

The Campaign

The Door in the Floor

The Good Girl

The Horse Whisperer

The Marriage Chronicles

The Mirror Has Two Faces

The Money Pit

The Notebook

The Story of Us

Think Like a Man

True Lies

Unfaithful

Waiting to Exhale

Wanderlust

Why Did I Get Married?

You, Me and Dupree

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.

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