Making Marriage Simple 10 Relationship Saving Truths (2013), is a very personal look at Imago Relationship Therapy as seen through the eyes of Imago’s creators, Harville Hendrix and his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt. Written with humor, compassion, and honesty, Making Marriage Simple is a strategic blueprint for creating a stronger, more satisfying partnership in today’s world.
They take turns, chapter by chapter, explaining how they turned their own relationship around. Although they were the creators of Imago Relationship Therapy, at a certain point they realized they were not practicing what they preached and it almost destroyed their own marriage. As a result, they took a two-year sabbatical from any public speaking engagements around Imago and instead focused on their own relationship.
I was at the international Imago convention in Detroit when they resurfaced, much to the relief of all the participants. They had put themselves through the same exercises and techniques they had created for others. The magic worked and they did, in fact, re-create their “previous intimacy but on an even deeper, more profound level. Our marriage finally became the relationship of our dreams. (and) We believe everyone has the capacity to create this kind of relationship.”P.4. These are the 10 relationship saving truths they outline.
10 Relationship Saving Truths
- Romantic love is a trick
- Incompatibility is grounds for marriage
- Conflict is growth trying to happen
- Being present for each other heals the past
- It’s not WHAT you say; it’s HOW you say it
- Negativity is invisible abuse
- Negativity is a wish in disguise
- Your brain has a mind of its own
- Your marriage is a laughing matter
- Your marriage is the best life insurance plan
While these statements may seem light-hearted their explication of them contains profound wisdom and insight.
The Code of The Extraordinary Mind
Last month I reviewed the book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind. In it, Vishen Lakhiani suggests that extraordinary minds choose to change the world –to put a dent in the universe. Harville and Helen are likewise saying that If couples can learn these new relationship skills and put them to use in their own relationships they too will ‘put a dent in the universe’ in much needed and very positive ways.
My ambition, as is Harville and Helen’s, is to focus on upriver prevention rather than downriver cleanup. “Downriver issues (teen pregnancy, alcoholism, increased high school dropout rates, poverty – to name a few) are symptomatic of an unhealthy community. To go upstream, you’ve got to fix the community. The core of any community is the family. And the core of the family is the couple. Put simply: Healthy homes lead to a healthy society. And the way to ensure healthy homes is to have healthy couples”. (P.138)
Years ago when I first studied with Harville, the mission statement of the Imago Institute included the question: How do we raise healthier children? Well, who are the primary role models for children? The parents! The obvious conclusion is that if that relationship is healthy, less damage will be done to the children who in turn will do less damage to their children and on and on. By learning to relate in healthy ways we will have gone a long way toward healing this beautiful planet of ours.