Have you ever noticed that romantic comedies nearly always end with a beginning? If Hollywood is to be believed, all couples meet in some awkward, yet adorable way, they then have to navigate their way around a series of obstacles, during which one of the two will invariably screw up, which leads to a heartfelt confession of love, and then the movie ends with this couple embarking on their life long journey together. Roll credits. These films teach us that the hardest part of a relationship is the actual coming together, and once you’ve conquered that comic minefield, you’ll live happily ever after. Anyone who has ever been in a relationship can tell you that this is far from the truth. Relationships are work, and at times they can be downright difficult, but with relationships, as with life, it is all about the journey itself and not the destination.
Nobody understands this more than authors Helen LaKelly Hunt and Harville Hendrix, and they have written several books over the years outlining how to foster and encourage healthy and satisfying relationships in today’s ever complicated modern world. Their latest book, Making Marriage Simple, is being released today, and it focuses on ten simple truths that they have discovered within their own marriage that can help any couple become a better partnership.
Helen and Harville have come by this knowledge through years of working in the field of marriage therapy, as they have been advocating for better relationships for over thirty years through workshops, lectures, and counseling. In 1980, Harville developed Imago Relationship Therapy, and began encouraging couples to work through their problems from a relationship point of view as opposed to an individualistic one. Together with Helen, they have authored over half a dozen books on the topics of marriage and love, and in the process they have helped thousands of couples find more meaning and impact in their relationships.
A recent National Survey of Family Growth found that half of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce, and that the probability of a first marriage lasting for more than ten years in only 1 in 15. With these kinds of statistics, we all could use a few tips on how to keep our relationships going, because life is a grand adventure that can be made better when shared with a loving partner.
You may be wondering why I keep saying Helen and Harville, suggesting that we are good friends or something. Well we are. Many of you reading this know that Helen, the incredible Helen, is the co-founder of Women Moving Millions. Heaven knows what I would be dong at this moment if it were not for Helen. Helen surprised us all last week at our board retreat by saying, “by the way, I have a new book coming out next week.” She said she wanted to write a book that was for everyone! And that it is. Within minutes of getting on my plane home, I was in to it and full of take-aways that I could not wait to share with my husband of 17 years. This book is a gift to us all! I guarantee it will be a best seller so buy it now, read it, and give it to all your loved ones!
There are a few people you meet that truly change the direction of your life, and Helen is at the top of the list. While nurturing and growing Women Moving Million, and doing a million other things, she wrote this book and is truly on a mission to strengthen marriages around the world. She often says some of the most meaningful work she does is one on one with couples. Doing any one of these things does not define who she is. She is many things – a philanthropic instigator and visionary, a mother to six, a wife, a best selling author, a dear friend. In this timely conversation about women doing it all , and Leaning In, we need to further lift up the stories of women, like Helen, who truly define what living a robust, meaningful, and accomplished life is all about.
PS – Though we are celebrating Helen’s new book, “Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance” will always be my personal favorite!
Picture was taken at our board retreat last week. ( thanks to Laura Moore for her help in writing this piece)