Marriage ranks as a very low priority among New Year’s Resolutions in the U.S. even though an alarming number of couples describe their marriage as unhappy and are worried more than ever about divorce, or being stuck in an unhappy marriage for the rest of their lives.
The top New Year’s resolutions for 2010 are entirely focused on self-help. This would not ordinarily be a problem, but because marriages involve another person, leading marriage counselors and educators are shocked that more couples remain so singularly focused; and so dangerously unaware that by not committing to resolve their marital problems in 2010, they put their entire family’s happiness at risk.
According to more than a dozen published surveys, 2010’s top ten popular New Year’s Resolutions include:
- Lose weight
- Enjoy life more
- Quit drinking
- Stop smoking
- Get organized
- Learn something new
- Get out of debt
- Spend more time with the family
- Help others
- Get more fit
“This is pathetic! Divorce remains at pandemic levels, while husbands and wives are fiddling while their marriage burns,” exclaimed Jeff Ullman, CEO of HappierCouples.com, the world’s first relationship coaching and concierge service for couples. “We have two choices: change the conversation from all about me/me/and ME, to us/we and You and Me; or risk being divorced or married for a very long time…. unhappily. Why not make a New Year’s resolution to make marriage a priority in 2010? This is not about spending more time with ‘the family’. It’s about spending time with your spouse; it’s about doing whatever it takes to make your marriage happy, passionate and thriving! Does anyone wonder why January remains the month with the highest number of divorce filings?”
A survey conducted by HappierCouples at the end of 2008 and again in 2009, suggests an even more dire prediction among married couples in 2010. Of the 300 couples surveyed, 68% admit they are stuck in an unhappy marriage, but have made no resolution to fix their marriage in 2010. “Couples are in denial”, said Cindy Ullman, HappierCouples Co-Chief Happiness Partner. “We will see an increase in addictive behaviors as alternatives to unfulfilled relationships. It won’t just be unhappy couples, it will be a generation of unhappy children raised in unhappy marriages.”
The Ullmans recommend 25 resolutions to make 2010 a couples’ happiest relationship ever. Here are five:
Resolution #1: Make a list of everything that makes your spouse happier and do them no matter what.
Resolution #2: Whenever you leave for extended hours apart, give each other a special loving gesture.
Resolution #3: ABC (Always Be Courting). Remember how you felt when you dated. So, put your date on your calendar and stick to it. Whether it’s night or day, do something fun. Alternate whose choice it is.
Resolution #4: Stop doing something that makes your spouse unhappy. (You know what it is, so cut it out!)
Resolution #5: Create and keep practicing your own unique rituals, whether it’s pet names, expressions, insider jokes, or anything that only the two of you hold precious.
Industry experts predict that unless more New Year’s resolutions and the commitments that follow contain the word “we” instead of “me”, 2010 will likely see more divorces and millions more unhappy spouses in unhappy relationships.
HappierCouples.com is the brainchild of Jeff Ullman, the creator of Great Expectations video dating and television’s longest-running dating show, Love Connections. Jeff and Cindy Ullman are Co-Chief Happiness Partners of HappierCouples.com, the world’s first concierge and relationship coaching website that gives couples the information and tools to live happier ever after.