A recent study claims that newlywed couples who watch rom-coms together are at a decreased risk for divorce. While this study might carry enough weight to help a woman convince her husband to have a “chick flick” movie marathon or watch The Bachelor every Monday night, there was one glaring oddity in the methodology: the movies shown to the participants.
What movies do you think of when you hear the term “romantic comedy”? We’re not talking Sleepless in Seattle, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Say Anything, or any ‘90s movie starring Hugh Grant. This study instructed participants to watch five of what they classified as romantic movies: Love Story, Husbands and Wives, Anna Karenina, Indecent Proposal, and The Out of Towners.
Love Story? Bring a box of tissues. Anna Karenina? Bring a pillow. Regardless of our objection to the classification of these movies as romantic comedies, the point of the research is that at the end of the three-year study, 13.3 percent of the couples who watched the flicks had separated, 13.4 percent in counseling groups had separated, and 24.4 percent who received no counseling at all had separated.
Are movies as effective as marital counseling? Maybe, given these percentages. Watching the movies and discussing marital problems afterward seemed to be as helpful in keeping couples together as more structured, intensive counseling programs.
According to the lead author of the study, “The results suggest that husbands and wives have a pretty good sense of what they might be doing right and wrong in their relationships. Thus, you might not need to teach them a whole lot of skills to cut the divorce rate. You might just need to get them to think about how they are currently behaving. And for five movies to give us a benefit over three years – that is awesome.”
Let’s just hope the next study doesn’t include a viewing of The Break-Up or analysis of celebrity divorces.
In all seriousness, divorce is a very real thing. If you’re in the process of searching for a divorce attorney, contact Femminineo Attorneys in Mt. Clemens, MI, to schedule your no-cost initial interview.