The Science Of Marriage
How It Developed And Continues To Heal Marriages
By Paul Friedman, Founder of The Marriage Foundation
These teachings were developed the hard way: lots of scientific research, prayer, thinking, and trial and error. Many now agree that these teachings are the ultimate marriage science, in a world currently struggling with marriage.
In 2003, when I was still a divorce mediator, a young couple visited me to dissolve their marriage. They told me their story, and I was taken aback by how few problems they were actually dealing with.
Their marriage, compared to many, was hardly a catastrophe. But they had no idea, as few people do, how hard their lives would be if they divorced. Nor did they know how hard divorce is on kids — the dark secret of the divorce industry.
I asked for an opportunity to help them save their marriage, which they agreed. Over the next few months, I established an underlying premise for marriage, then devised a workable solution.
They were my guinea pigs, and yes they are still happily married.
The Underlying Premise
The premise about marriage I came up with is not provable, but it is an effective basis to build on and is one many agree with.
My premise is that God created marriage as a perfect vehicle for achieving the highest and greatest happiness.
I am convinced that the reason so many marriages fail is due solely to a lack of training. Say you were given an airplane. While it is a wonderful gift, it would be deadly for you to use without adequate training. The same goes for marriage. Inadequately operating your marriage will kill your happiness, but learning how allows you to fly high in marital bliss.
So I began with this basic assumption: A marriage that is working properly will produce happiness beyond what one could achieve through material possessions.
A Schematic For Marriage
Anything that functions can be reduced down to a schematic, or a simple diagram or structure. But I had never seen or heard of one for marriage, so I began creating one.
There is an overwhelming amount of bad marriage advice out there so I had to start from scratch. I couldn't afford to take anything for granted as I was working with people's lives! I challenged and either proved or disproved every concept I came across.
I found that trendy ideas of so-called equality and fairness, and especially “balancing” genders, turns out to be completely inconsistent with producing happiness. The very ideals of “love” have been crucified by socially accepted selfishness and pettiness.
Once I had the structure of marriage in place, I devised the marital pathway to happiness to guide struggling couples.
Highest Ideal Of Marriage
Marriage is simply beautiful. Living by the highest ideal of marriage achieves the very purpose for getting married: to experience unconditional love.
This is accomplished by establishing it in your mind as your vision. Make it the polestar of your life and let all your actions be guided by this singular desire.
Simply put, your ideal in marriage is to perform only actions that create unconditional love, and avoid any actions that move you further away from it.
The Cause Of Marriage Problems
The “problems” of marriage that pop up in our daily lives: the fights and arguments, the poor communication and petty behaviors are not the real issues. They are just symptoms.
The root problem, which underlies all others, is simply ignorance of marriage. Knowing how marriage is constructed, how it works, how you relate to not only your spouse, but to your marriage itself, and to your own deep needs.
I found that there is a definite cause and effect relationship that stems from all of our actions in marriage. There is a definite science to marriage that is as reliable as gravity. If you perform marriage-destructive behaviors, your marriage will fail. If you perform marriage-building behaviors, your marriage will succeed.
It is as simple as that.
The Innate Drives
When I present my discoveries to biologists and psychologists, I am usually met with surprise and deep pondering. They are amazed at how these obvious concepts have not yet entered mainstream thought. My hope is that our efforts will have a transformative impact on the field of psychology, establishing a more reasonable basis for future social work.
Another key premise I rely on is that you are a soul who has a body and a mind. This means the latter two are possessions which you can, and are obligated, to control. However few act as if they have control, instead letting their minds and lives be run by habits.
I discovered that the unfettered mind is controlled by the biological innate drives (primarily the drives to survive and procreate). That is wrong to allow.
While allowing these drive-based habits to run your life may work in some areas of life, these behaviors will undermine your marriage, no matter how sincere you are, or how well you understand the structure of marriage, if you don't learn to control your mind, your marriage will eventually fail.
I realized no one was going to get anywhere unless they could control their minds and habits. I devised a simple tool that any normal person can use to identify and change their subconscious habits, which control the mind. The SEW Method is simple yet effective and has been continually praised over the years. Since it's development, it has been allowing people to slice through bad habits like a hot knife through butter.
Just the other day, a brand new client wrote in, "I finished the first lesson and used the SEW method this past weekend. It was a real life saver as the conversations we had could've gotten ugly."
Until one has begun the process of gaining control over the mind, it is impossible to have a successful marriage. For that reason, the SEW is where our programs begin.
Healing A Marriage
It is much easier to work on creating habits that create marital happiness than focusing on eliminating marriage-destructive behaviors. Being positive is much more effective than working on "problems".
But it is also important to be aware of The Three Killers Of Marriage so they can be avoided. Understanding the destructive behaviors provides the contrast to understanding the marriage-building behaviors.
A deeper understanding will allow you to avoid the pitfalls and traps as you sail on your way to marital bliss.
Fast Forward to Today
After the initial ideas had proven effective, it took many years and meeting with hundreds of individuals and couples to perfect the system we now have.
As this work grew, I published two books and in 2009 founded The Marriage Foundation to develop a greater infrastructure to further spread these teachings. The foundation now offers educational programs to train and certify marriage counselors, provide premarital training for both engaged and single individuals.
Our original marriage help services have also been expanded, as you are reading now, to provide online video education classes, and support provided by our trained and certified counselors. We are already helping clients all over the world from our offices in San Diego, but eventually we will open up marriage help centers all over the world.
The work itself and our clients demonstrate every day the efficacy of these marital principles, every day.
The bottom line is the only acceptable marriage is one which is continuously growing in happiness. Any other result from marriage is due to failure to follow the operating principles that are revealed by these teachings.
Struggling in your marriage doesn't mean you are bad people, even if you are both performing actions that hurt each other. The primary issue is simply and only the lack of knowledge about marriage. You are attempting to fly it without knowing how. Let us teach you so you can fly high in happiness. Read more about our Complete Marriage System and sign up today.