“I know only one couple that has a good marriage. They’ve been holding weekly meetings for fifty years.”
The above was said by a psychologist who arrived early for my June 18, 2010 continuing education class at the U.C. Berkeley Extension: “Helping Couples Succeed in Long Term Relationships: The Marriage Meeting Program.”
Another psychologist in the class was skeptical: “Are you always against divorce no matter what?” he challenged.
“Not necessarily,” I replied; sometimes it’s the best thing to do–but not always.
“So we agree,” he said, gruffly. But he wasn’t finished. “This won’t work for our clients.They’ve been sexually abused and have substance abuse problems,” he said, his tone still angry. Much later, he later apologized for having come in with a chip on his shoulder (proving that psychotherapists are human too).
“That’s true in some cases,” I said. “Not everyone is ready to conduct a successful marriage meeting.” Despite the confrontational tone, both points have some validity.
However, many people are able to conduct successful marriage meetings, including some where alcoholism/recovery is a concern. At least half of the couples who attend my workshops subsequently hold productive meetings.
Others may need professional help before they are ready for marriage meetings.
The main consideration is whether people are willing to invest time and energy into creating a better, or an even better relationship.
I am committed to teaching more classes for therapists about the Marriage Meeting Program. Here are a few evaluation comments from others who attended this continuing education class:
“It was great material.”
“I enjoyed learning about the Marriage Meeting Program as a whole. Really enjoyed Dr. Wile as well.”
“A strengths based perspective.”
“The model and structure of a marriage meeting was good to learn.”
“I appreciate your pleasant style. Thank you, Naomi.”
Many relationships can be turned around when couples are willing to invest energy into implementing the Marriage Meeting Program.
Teaching this class and working with these incredible professionals was a terrific experience. I am glad to customize this program for other groups and look forward to presenting it on October 29, 2010 at Alliant International University in San Francisco.