Lifetime Membership Marriage Ascenders Program 4.0
This should not be: Divorce rate~ 1st marriage 47%; 2nd marriage 67%; 3rd marriage 75%. You know what else shouldn't...
...be? This stuff:
1.It shouldn’t be that if you marry for love, and most of us do, that you look at those divorce rates above with a kind of nervousness that usually sounds like, “geez, I really hope I married Mister Right or Miss Right…’cause, um, some days, not many, but some, I wonder.”
2.It shouldn’t be that in a country where we marriage scientists know, after observing couples interact for 10 minutes, who will likely divorce and who won’t, that you, my dear reader probably do not know what we are looking for.
a.(What we’re looking for, btw, is evidence of contempt. Marriages can’t survive it. And those predictions are accurate at a 97% rate, which is almost unheard of in science.)
3.It shouldn’t be that the national narrative is that marriage break up because of poor selection. What irks me especially about this is that we are acting as if people who are perfectly capable of making good selection decisions regarding houses, cars, and careers, cannot make a good selection on something as significant as a life partner!
a.[NOTE: I use the word “partner” to mean people in committed relationships. I am doing that to be inclusive to be sure, BUT more importantly years ago I started looking for a better word than spouse because that’s a legal phrase and I stay focused on people doing their PARTS in a marriage …hence they are partners.]
Here’s what I think should be:
1.A divorce rate of around 10%. That’s how many people divorce in under a year and hey, maybe they were incompatible.
2.An educated coupled land where everyone knows the toxic impact of contempt
3.A national narrative that marriage is the hardest relationship that any of us will ever have, that it’s worthy of our efforts, that becoming best friends is an absolute possibility with the right skills, and that those skills are learnable and SHOULD be learned because that’s a part of the responsibility that each of us have to our marriages, not just to ourselves and our partners.
I created the Marriage Ascenders program to be a “lighthouse” for couples who are at sea, whether it is stormy or not.
How does it work?
Instead of focusing on whatever character issues are in the picture we focus on skill building. There’s no poking around in your past. What you get is guidance (and a little bit of prodding) regarding your future. It’s not free but it is extraordinarily affordable, especially considering the costs of weddings and divorces.
The course content is textbook based. I choose the textbooks because they are written by psychologists who have devoted decades of research and practice to understanding what makes marriages work. I do not use self-help books. C’mon! Marriage is more important than that!
The content is taught via live, weekly 60-minute webinars that are recorded for easy replay later any time over the next 10 days or so.
If the content of a particular webinar really resonates with you, you can click into the deep dive videos where I cover the content in greater detail, add in content that is not in the textbook, discuss my personal and professional experiences regarding that particular bit of micro-content. Under each video there is a place for you to ask questions or make comments. I answer the questions there.
If you want some direction in application in your life, you can download the workbook authored by me for that course and do some of the activities that I have described there. The activities are exactly the kinds of “homework” assignments I have given to couples for over decades of doing marriage therapy. The activities are of three types: 1) reflecting, 2) writing, 3) doing, 4) dialogue. Also, in the workbook are links to stuff on the web that I found pertinent to the topic. Some serious, some of it just for fun.
We cover 3 topics in the Marriage Ascenders program, each topic chosen by me based on the three large skill-set areas needed to create and maintain amazing marriages:
1. Science of MARRIAGE BASICS: This is the anchor course and gives a complete overview of the science of marriage.
2. Science of CONFLICT: This much needed course helps couples understand that conflict does NOT mean your marriage is breaking. It means you are IN a marriage! We focus here on how to use the conflicts that naturally occur to strengthen your relationships.
3. Science of CONNECTION: Your partner knows more good and bad about you than anyone else. That’s okay. Depth of authentic connection is at the base of the best marriages around. There are skills, most of them about conversation, that deepen and strength marriages, regardless of what people have gone through with each other.
The Marriage Ascenders program is NOT a batch of tips or quick tactics like “never go to bed angry.” Believe me, science has debunked that myth. If what you want that kind of thing, you will NOT want to become a Marriage Ascender. This is the exact opposite of platitudes. This program proves that it’s both easier than you think and harder than you think to create and maintain a great marriage. The easy part is learning about and developing the skills that you’ll need to develop. The hard part, for most of us, is swallowing our pride, acknowledging that mostly we don’t know crap about marriage, setting aside old narratives, and then committing to learning the skills.
The overall length of the Marriage Ascenders program is 15 weeks (5 weeks/course).
If you’d rather just read the texts that I use for the Marriage Ascenders Program, here’s the list:
Dr. John Gottman’s What makes love last
Dr. Dan Wile’s After the Honeymoon
Dr. Sue John’s Love Sense
Does your partner have to take it with you?
No, but I hope she or he will. I probably don’t have to spend too much stating the obvious that marriage is an interpersonal relationship and it’s easier and faster to make things go from bad to good and from good to great when both people are on board.
When does enrollment open up next?
Feb 1, 2016. First class is Feb 8, 2016.
What do I do next?
Get on my email list. I’ll be sending out information to those who are interested.