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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Relationships Aren't Always Easy - So Go To The Movies

Apparently there are four things that kills relationships stone dead according to Professor John Gottman:
- repeated criticism
- lots of expressions of contempt (like sarcasm)
- being defensive
- stonewalling, which is where there is NO communication.

If you're at the stage where it may not be working (and before you go to therapy or decide to quit), how about agreeing to watch a film together?
I'm not on about the usual ideal, 'happy ending', Hollywood blockbuster but something with maybe more substance, where you may learn something about people, relationships and yourself.

A new three-year study finds that divorce rates and break-ups were more than halved by watching movies about relationships and discussing them afterwards.

"You might not be able to get your husband into a couples group, especially when you are happy. But watching a movie together and having a discussion, that’s not so scary. It’s less pathologizing, less stigmatizing." - Ronald Rogge (the study's lead author)

After watching the film together, the couple then talk about certain aspects of it, that will reveal what they each think, areas of conflict, possible solutions to work on - and most importantly COMMUNICATION. As if you can talk about the problem, you are on your way to solving it.

Check out the video below and list of films and questions.

It may save your relationship or at least give you some good films to watch :-)

Original Movie List from the Study

A Star Is Born (1954)Mr. Blandings Builds his Dreamhouse (1948)
Judy Garland and James MasonCary Grant and Myrna Loy
Adam's Rib (1949)My Favorite Wife (1940)
Spencer Tracy and Katharine HepburnIrene Dunne and Cary Grant
Anna Karenina (2012)Nina Takes a Lover (1994)
Keira Knightley and Jude LawLaura San Giacomo and Paul Rhys
As Good as it Gets (1997)Nine Months (1995)
Jack Nicholson and Helen HuntHugh Grant and Julianne Moore
Barefoot in the Par (1967)On Golden Pond (1981)
Robert Redford and Jane FondaKatharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda
Children of a Lesser God (1986)Pat and Mike (1952)
William Hurt and Marlee MatlinSpencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn
Days of Wine and Roses (1962)Penny Serenade (1941)
Jack Lemmon and Lee RemickCary Grant and Irene Dunne
Desk Set (1957)Phffft [Pfft!] (1954)
Spencer Tracy and Katharine HepburnJudy Holliday and Jack Lemmon
Dying Young (1991)Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker (1994)
Julia Roberts and Campbell ScottJing Ning and Gang Wu
Fools Rush In (1997)She's Having a Baby (1988)
Matthew Perry and Salma HayekKevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern
Forget Paris (1995)Steel Magnolias (1989)
Billy Crystal and Debra WingerShirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis
French Twist (1995)Terms of Endearment (1983)
Patrick Aubrée and Josiane BalaskoShirley MacLaine and Debra Winger
Funny Girl (1968)The Devil's Advocate (1997)
Barbra Streisand and Omar SharifKeanu Reeves and Al Pacino
Gone With the Wind (1939)The Egg and I (1947)
Clark Gable and Vivien LeighClaudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)The Male Animal (1942)
Spencer Tracy and Sidney PoitierHenry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland
Hanover Street (1979)The Out of Towners (1970)
Harrison Ford and Lesley-Anne DownJack Lemon and Sandy Dennis
Husbands and Wives (1992)The Thin Man (1934)
Woody Allen and Mia FarrowWilliam Powell and Myrna Loy
Indecent Proposal (1993)The Way We Were (1973)
Robert Redford and Demi MooreBarbara Streisand and Robert Redford
Jungle Fever (1991)Untamed Heart (1993)
Wesley Snipes and Anna SciorraChristian Slater and Marisa Tomei
Love Jones (1997)When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)
Larenz Tate and Nia LongMeg Ryan and Andy Garcia
Love Story (1970)Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'NealElizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
Made for Each Other (1939)With Six You Get Eggroll (1968)
Carol Lombard and Jimmy StewartDoris Day and Brian Keith
Mississippi Masala (1991)Yours, Mine and Ours (1968)
Denzel Washington and Sarita ChoudhuryHenry Fonda and Lucille Ball
Move Over, Darling (1963)
Doris Day and James Garner

Additional Movies

American Beauty (1999)Obsessed (2009)
Kevin Spacey and Annette BeningBeyoncé Knowles and Idris Elba
Anger Management (2003)Something's Gotta Give (2003)
Jack Nicholson and Adam SandlerJack Nicholson and Diane Keaton
Autumn in New York (2000)Surviving Christmas (2004)
Richard Gere and Winona RyderBen Affleck and Christina Applegate
Bee Season (2005)Sweet Home Alabama (2002)
Richard Gere and Juliette BinocheReese Witherspoon and Patrick Dempsey
Before Sunset (2004)Sweet November (2001)
Ethan Hawke and Julie DelpyKeanu Reeves and Charlize Theron
Blue valentine (2010)Terms of Endearment (1983)
Ryan Gosling and Michelle WilliamsShirley MacLaine and Debra Winger
Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)The Five-year Engagement (2012)
Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee JonesJason Segel and Emily Blunt
Couples Retreat (2009)The Back-up Plan (2010)
Vince Vaughn and Malin AkermanJennifer Lopez and Alex O'Loughlin
Crooklyn (1994)The Big Wedding (2013)
Alfre Woodard and Delroy LindoRobert De Niro and Diane Keaton
Date Night (2010)The Bounty Hunter (2010)
Steve Carell and Tina FeyJennifer Aniston and Gerald Butler
Deliver Us From Eva (2003)The Break-up (2006)
Gabrielle Union and LL Cool JJennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn
Devil Wears Prada (2006)The Campaign (2012)
Anne Hathaway and Meryl StreepWill Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis
The Devil's Advocate (1997)The Door in the Floor (2004)
Keanu Reeves and Charlize TheronJeff Bridges and Kim Basinger
The Family Man (2000)The Glass House (2001)
Nicolas Cage and Téa LeoniDiane Lane and Leelee Sobieski
Fatal Attraction (1987)The Good Girl (2002)
Michael Douglas and Glenn CloseJennifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal
Father of the bride (1991)The Horse Whisperer (1998)
Steve Martin and Diane KeatonRobert Redford and Kristin Scott Thomas
Fool's Gold (2008)The Marriage Chronicles (2012)
Matthew McConaughey and Kate HudsonJazsmin Lewis and Darrin Dewitt Henson
Four Christmases (2008)The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996)
Reese Witherspoon and Vince VaughnBarbra Streisand and Jeff Bridges
Her (2013)The Money Pit (1986)
Joaquin Phoenix and Amy AdamsTom Hanks and Shelley Long
Hope Springs (2012)The Notebook (2004)
Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee JonesRyan Gosling and Rachel McAdams
It's Complicated,(2009)The Story of Us (1999)
Meryl Streep and Steve MartinBruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer
Julie & Julia (2009)Think Like a Man (2012)
Amy Adams and Meryl StreepChris Brown and Gabrielle Union
Jumping the Broom (2011)True Lies (1994)
Paula Patton and Laz AlonsoArnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis
Just Married (2003)Unfaithful (2002)
Ashton Kutcher and Brittany MurphyRichard Gere and Diane Lane
Life as we know it (2010)Waiting to Exhale (1995)
Katherine Heigl and Josh DuhamelWhitney Houston and Angela Bassett
Longtime Companion (1989)Wanderlust (2012)
Stephen Caffrey and Patrick CassidyJennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd
Love and other drugs (2010)What Lies Beneath (2000)
Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne HathawayHarrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer
Marley and Me (2008)When a man loves a woman (1994)
Owen Wilson and Jennifer AnistonMeg Ryan and Andy Garcia
Meet the Fockers (2004)Why did I get married? (2007)
Ben Stiller and Robert De NiroTyler Perry and Janet Jackson
Monster-in-law (2005)You, Me and Dupre (2006)
Jennifer Lopez and Michael VartanKate Hudson and Owen Wilson
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)Don Jon (2013)
Brad Pitt and Angelina JolieJoseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)Before Midnight (2013)
Jim Carrey and Kate WinsletEthan Hawke and Julie Delpy
The Best Man Holiday (2013)This Is 40 (2012)
Monica Calhoun and Morris ChestnutPaul Rudd and Leslie Mann

After watching the films, the couple then go through a series of questions as follows:

1. What was the main relationship portrayed in the movie? This is the relationship that you will focus on in the following questions.

2. 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?

3. Did this couple strive to understand each other? Did they tend to accept one another, even if they were very different? Or did the couple tend to attack each others' differences?
- In what way was this relationship similar to or different from your own relationship in this area?

4. 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?

5. How did the couple handle arguments or differences of opinion? Were they able to open up and tell each other how they really felt, or did they tend to just snap at each other with anger? Did they try using humor to keep things from getting nasty? Did it feel like they were really trying to understand each other?
- In what way was this relationship similar to or different from your own relationship in this area?

Article at:

Dr. Ron Rogge - Associate Professor in the Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology at the University of Rochester