One of the biggest challenges for relationships today is the lack of positive marriage and relationship role models. Too often we see friends, family, and coworkers complaining about their significant other, getting separations and divorces, and overall being unhappy. We see TV and movies showing the same things: arguing, contention, resentments, break ups, infidelity, and on and on. It is no wonder that people have largely lost faith and confidence in relationships and marriage success today. When most of what you are seeing and hearing about are problems and failure with relationships, this is the understandable, natural result.
Therefore, in order to battle against these influences, strategically looking for and trying to emulate positive, successful role models of relationship success becomes very important. So, where can you look to for examples of relationship health, happiness, and success? Here are a few sources to consider:
Positive Relationship Role Models:
*Family: do you have any family members who have been able to marry, stay together, and be decently happy? Parents? Siblings? Grandparents? Aunts, uncles, or cousins? Scan through the different marriages in your family tree. Who has the healthiest one? Why is it healthy? Observe, take notes, commit to replicate this. Call them or write to them and ask questions. Ask for their advice. Family is the first place to look.
*Friends: do you have any current or former friends that are in a happy, lasting marriage? Why? What do you observe? What have they told you are their “secrets to success”? If your friends are more from an earlier time in your life and you have drifted apart, get back in touch with them, such as through social media. Ask them what helps to make their marriage so good and strong. Note anything that stands out and look to incorporate that into your life.
*Coworkers: whether your fellow coworkers are above your level, at your level, or at a lower level in the business, any of them can potentially have a strong, healthy, happy marriage you can learn from. Observe. Befriend them to whatever level you reasonably can. Tactfully ask for ideas and suggestions for marital success. Keep your conversations with them appropriate, but find out what you need to know, nevertheless. The advantage of coworkers is that you will be spending a lot of current time with them, so they can be valuable resources.
*Fellow Church Members: Look for happy, healthy marriages in your ward and stake. Look to the bishopric and other church leadership positions. Look to how these couples treat each other, talk to each other, and talk about each other. Listen to the comments they make in classes and talks. Look for whatever positive tidbits they can give you to let you in on their secrets. A lot of times it can be subtle. But, observe. And if you are close enough to them and it seems appropriate, ask them. Looking to fellow church members also can include looking to general authorities for some of the insights and stories they give in their talks in relation to their marriages. That can also be very helpful. Take note of how and why there are successful in their marriages. Look at how they describe and talk about their spouses and their marriages in general.
*Hollywood: Even though in real life, few true Hollywood couples role model actual health and happiness, good couples are sometimes at least played and acted out successfully by them in some TV shows or movies. Why can this be helpful? Because this too offers and opportunity for insights, inspiration, and motivation. Think of some of the Hollywood couples acted out on film that treated each other well, were faithful, and truly seemed affectionate and loving. A good example that I would suggest looking to as healthy and happy—especially by the end of the movie—is the Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) / Iris Gaines (Glenn Close) couple in the classic movie, The Natural. They both treat each other well, respect each other, and are true friends to each other. In the movie, neither even mistreats or disrespects each other either, with is a nice rarity. If you have not seen this movie before, I highly recommend it. By the way, there is also a love triangle in part of this movie that involves Memo Paris (Kim Basinger), illustrating an unhealthy relationship by contrast.
When it comes to healthy, happy relationships, look to those who have done it and are currently doing it. You don’t have to recreate the wheel. Copy and incorporate what the successful couples do (and don’t do) in your own relationships and you will be well on your way to having this kind of marriage as well. You can do it. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Dating, Healthy relationships
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).