Perhaps! A 2013 study comparing different types of marriage intervention programmes reported that the three-year divorce rate for couples could very well be halved if the couple watches five movies about relationships and marriage and takes part in guided discussions afterwards for over a month.
This exercise is aimed at increasing relationship awareness, with the premise that couples already have the necessary skills to deal with the challenges in their marriage (skills which most marriage intervention programmes focus on teaching you over many sessions and many months).
This means that more often than not, couples just need opportunities to sit down, and think about their own behaviour and interactions with each other. Watching movies where the actors face relationship highs and lows over a period of time allows couples in real life to make comparisons to their own experiences. Guided discussions after the movie then allows couples to focus the conversation on their own relationship, which is not something that people do enough in everyday life.
Yay to more movie nights then! While the research has a lot of potential and is still ongoing, this is one practice you can start in your own household. Here are some of the movies used in the research, including other recommended movies you could watch:
Yours, Mine and Ours
The Out of Towners
The Devil’s Advocate
The Devil Wears Prada
Meet the Fockers
These are some questions you can use for post-movie discussion:
- What was the main relationship portrayed in the movie? This is the relationship that you will focus on in the following questions.
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
For more information on the study (including full list of movies and questions) click here.
Do you think this could help strengthen your marriage? What are your views? Share them with us below!