I am frequently asked, "Is there such a thing as a happy marriage these days?" Clients often come in to see me, cite celebrity couples who are breaking up and then let that impact their decision on whether or not to marry. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are but just a few of the couples who are often mentioned to me. Clients are fearful of marriage as a result. Peoples' attitudes seem to be, "Every marriage fails eventually, so what's the point, anyhow?" Or, "So many of my friends are separated, divorced, or fighting, it's really hard to remain optimistic about marriage."
The comments above are based in fear -- more specifically, fear of the unknown. People don't know exactly how marriage will turn out when they enter it, and for the fearful, anxiety ensues. The fact is, as long as there are marriages there will be those that work and those that don't. Hollywood is not immune from such phenomena, so don't look towards celebrities as role models. There are things you can do to ensure a healthy relationship, even through differences and difficulties. These are my tried-and-tested tips that have helped countless couples in my practice become fearlessly married.
- Define a healthy marriage. If you wanted to open a coffee shop, would you model it after the dingy one on the corner, or the thriving Starbucks? Rather than focusing on others' botched relationships, look at what works.
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