A study finds watching rom-coms is as good for your marriage as couples therapy. Break out the popcorn, people.
Have you got five spare nights a month to watch movies with your husband? If not, you’d better start clearing your schedule, because DVD nights might be the key to making your marriage last.
A new study by the University of Rochester has found newlywed couples who regularly watched movies about relationships, then discussed them afterwards, had a lower likelihood of divorce. Researchers compared early marriage intervention programs among 174 couples, and concluded that discussing five movies over the course of a month can be just as effective as therapist-led methods.
So, in short: consider Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan and Hugh Grant as your new relationship counsellors.
To save you browsing time, the study team has helpfully provided a list of suggested movies and discussion questions, which you can find here. The list includes classics like Steel Magnolias, The Notebook and Fatal Attraction, so at least it’s going to be an enjoyable way to work on your relationship.
We love a good romantic movie here at iVillage, so in the spirit of this study we’ve compiled some of the marriage lessons we’ve learned from 5 of the best rom coms:
1. The Notebook
Okay, so it took several years, a lot of fights and a broken engagement for Allie and Noah to finally get together. But what their love story showed, above all, was that the strength of their relationship was based in pure devotion. Even when you love someone marriage isn't always easy, but with the right amount of commitment, effort and investment it'll work. Noah explains it perfectly. (Sniffle.)
2. When Harry Met Sally
There are a lot of lessons you could take away from this classic rom-com, including "you probably can't tell when your wife is faking it". But the moral of the story is this: the person you marry should be your best friend. When all the hot-headed passion of the early days dies down, you want to be with someone who makes you laugh and knows and loves you for who you are. Even if they drive you to distraction.