A Breakthrough Solution for Marriage and Relationships (Adapted from “Breakthrough Solutions: How to Improve Your Life and Change the World by Building on What Works” by Eleanor LeCain)


In my new book, I identify breakthrough solutions in numerous fields that matter in our daily lives – education, parenting, crime and safety, marriage and relationships, peace and conflict transformation, jobs and the environment, poverty and prosperity – and the principles upon which they are based. These solutions demonstrate how we can dramatically improve the quality of our lives and those of millions of people, for billions of dollars less than we currently spend.

In February, the month of love, I want to share with you a breakthrough solution in the realm of relationships. There is an approach that has saved thousands of marriages and that can bring more joy for you with romantic partners, family members, co-workers and colleagues. Every breakdown is a chance to breakthrough to new ways of living in greater harmony with each other. I invite you to create better relationships by using Michele Weiner-Davis’ breakthrough approach.

The Breakdown – current situation

Most personal and professional relationships have at least occasional if not chronic stress. Half of marriages end in divorce. Millions more people feel trapped in loveless marriages and relationships and are afraid, unwilling, or unable to leave now, but may divorce in the future.

Here are some facts about marriage in the United States:

  • In 2003, 7.5 million couples married and 3.5 million couples divorced.
  • 33 percent of first marriages fail by the 10th year.
  • Second marriages fail even faster than first marriages: 39 percent of second marriages fail by the 10th year.

This traumatic upheaval often leaves deep emotional scars on the adults and children involved. Recent studies show that children raised in broken families have a harder time forming healthy long-term relationships. With divorce rates so high, we now have millions of children from broken marriages who are trying to form healthy partnerships as adults and doing it without the benefit of having had role models from which to learn.

Some adults are so devastated by a failed marriage they harbor bitterness and anger for years, sometimes for the rest of their lives. Some people marry again and divorce again, continuing on a path of broken hearts and shattered dreams.

The Breakthrough Solution – Divorce Busting®

Marriage therapist Michele Weiner-Davis believes that the vast majority of divorces in our country are absolutely unnecessary. Early in her career as a therapist, she advised people who were miserable in their marriages to divorce and attend support groups. But she noticed that divorce often did not solve their problems. People carried the pain of the failed marriage and its problematic issues into their next relationship. They discovered, too late, that their first spouse was not really the problem.

Searching for a way to help people work out their issues, stay together, and find more joy in their marriage, Michele did a profoundly effective thing – she helped couples focus on what they want in partnership and what works in their relationship now that helps them create that. She encourages people to get clear on what is most important to them in a relationship. With that vision in hand, she asks them to find what they like about their current relationship, even if it is one small thing amidst intense conflict.

While most counselors focus on problems in the relationship and spend months or years talking about the source of the problems, Michele focuses on what works for that couple, helping them rediscover their joy in partnership.

Michele calls her approach Divorce Busting®. Her success in helping to save thousands of marriages is because she emphasizes finding solutions rather than just analyzing why a couple is stuck. The approach helps couples clearly define where they hope to be in the future and gives them a step-by-step action plan for getting there.

Divorce Busting® also offers clear marriage-saving guidance to the spouse who wants to stay together should the other want out.

Her techniques usually get results within a month. Additionally, since most difficulties come from a lack of relationship skills, she teaches the skills needed to make marriages more loving.

Michele first shared her groundbreaking work in Divorce Busting: A Step-by-Step Approach to Making Your Marriage Loving Again. Her more recent book, The Divorce Remedy: The Proven 7-Step Program for Saving Your Marriage, offers a guide to revitalizing your marriage. It includes insights and case studies of people applying Divorce Busting® techniques. In both books she encourages couples to focus on “doing what works” in their relationship.

Michele has also created Divorce Busting® coaching, to offer marriage assistance by telephone. Coaches help the callers deal with their emotions, apply the principles to their particular situations, and formulate action plans to get their marriages back on track. Those who contact the coaches are usually in dire straits, involving affairs, separations, even papers already filed for divorce. The Divorce Busting® approach has turned even these extreme cases around.

Divorce Busting® is part of an emerging trend in psychotherapy, focusing more on solutions than problems. Michele Weiner-Davis co-authored a book describing that shift, In Search of Solutions: A New Direction in Psychotherapy: “It is a method that focuses on people’s competence rather than their deficits, their strengths rather than their weaknesses, their possibilities rather than their limitations.”

There is great power in focusing on solutions, in our personal lives and in society. Using this approach more frequently in all our relationships can be a powerful way of navigating turbulent waters to get the connection and joy we want in our partnerships.

Eleanor LeCain is the President of NewWayUSA, dedicated to improving lives by identifying and building on breakthrough solutions. For more information, go to www.newwayusa.com.

Sources:

  1. “Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for 2003: National Vital Statistics Reports.” Centers for Disease Control. Vol 52: 22, June 10, 2004. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm. [Accessed May 4, 2009].
  2. “New Report Sheds Light on Trends and Patterns in Marriage, Divorce, and Cohabitation.” Centers for Disease Control, July 24, 2002. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/02news/div_mar_cohab.htm. [Accessed May 4, 2009].
  3. Michele Weiner-Davis and William Hudson O’Hanlon. In Search of Solutions: A New Direction in Psychotherapy. Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc, New York, 2003: 1.

[1] “Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for 2003: National Vital Statistics Reports.” Centers for Disease Control. Vol 52: 22, June 10, 2004. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/divorce.htm. [Accessed May 4, 2009].

[1] “New Report Sheds Light on Trends and Patterns in Marriage, Divorce, and Cohabitation.” Centers for Disease Control, July 24, 2002. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/pressroom/02news/div_mar_cohab.htm. [Accessed May 4, 2009].

[1] Michele Weiner-Davis and William Hudson O’Hanlon. In Search of Solutions: A New Direction in Psychotherapy. Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc, New York, 2003: 1.

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