"Most of us are now free to walk away from our marital commitments more easily than from any other contract in our lives." --William J. Doherty
Wayne and Tamara have a problem with people in the relationship industry. They say the most ridiculous things. Advice on winning, or winning back, the person you want used to be the province of astrologers, numerologists and fortune tellers, among others.
Carry a rabbit's foot, spit three times over your left shoulder, and wear an amulet were all accepted forms of advice. Mother and grandmother, dad and granddad, also had their recommendations. As did friends.
Over 75 years ago psychologists began muscling their way into this field. If the divorce statistics are any gauge, the advice hasn't gotten better or more reliable. As the number of counselors has increased, so has the amount of divorce.
Amulets were a lot cheaper.
Bill Doherty would be among the first to agree there is a lot of bad therapy out there. In fact, he confesses he started his career as a therapist believing individuals need to be free from unhappy marriages. Now, however, he is solidly 'pro-marriage.' In a way, he is a symbol of the problems in this industry.
If you go to a physician, he or she will take a medical history. From that history, they will tell you what they believe the problem to be and make a recommendation. They don't make the recommendation first. They take the history first.
But people like Bill don't particularly want to know the history of the relationship. The real premise of their advice is people need to stay married. If they approached their field like scientists, physicians, detectives or even a good mechanic, they would take a relationship history before making their recommendation.
"Let's see, you got married because all your friends were getting married, he was a good dancer, your biological clock was ticking, she was accidentally pregnant, your parents wanted grandchildren... Sorry, folks, you may not have the right foundation for a lasting marriage."