Unhappy Couples, Unhappy Marriage: A Disturbing Prediction for 2010

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:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Enjoy life more
  3. Quit drinking
  4. Stop smoking
  5. Get organized
  6. Learn something new
  7. Get out of debt
  8. Spend more time with the family
  9. Help others
  10. 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.

About HappierCouples:

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.


Great Expectations Paves the Way to HappierCouples

Were you in a committed relationship in 1975? Were you dating? Or, were you too young to date?

During the Wild 70s, couples broke up in record numbers. Marriage was ‘out’; divorce was ‘in’, and living the ‘good life’ as a single,’ was never more popular. Yet, a young video journalist who grew up in Los Angeles never knowing any divorced people, looked around and asked one question: “What do people expect for their love life?”

The answer came back: Each had great expectations.

The Birth of High-Tech Dating

Thirty-four years ago — in a single 8×8 windowless Century City high-rise office building — Jeff Ullman created the very first modern dating service; and, he named it after what people felt about their love life: Great Expectations.

During the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and even into this century, dating services had one thing in common: people who didn’t use them thought they were for ‘losers’….the ugly, uneducated, immoral and unstable. Yet, for at least 20 of those years, this one entrepreneur stayed true to his vision of helping people fall in love for the right reasons, with the right person.

Some of the 100,000 singles who became couples because of the businesses we created in the 20th Century.

Jeff Ullman thought that the real losers were people who knew they could have a great relationship,but continued to try the same things again and again, but each time getting the same bad results. Regardless of their physical beauty, wealth, education or status, winners realized it took real effort to figure out their resources and opportunities. For two decades his philosophy and methods helped more people meet and marry than anyone. And, while he appeared 100s of times before the media trying to re-shape and focus attention on a bad relationship joke: “What happens to people who think the grass is greener on the other side?” The not-so-obvious answer to so many: Someone still had to mow it. Whether it was finding or keeping a relationship, it was hard work.

What Do You Do, After You Said, “I do”…

When he left Great Expectations in the care and feeding of a new corporate owner, he knew that the number of couples who divorced through his service was remarkably low. What he didn’t know was whether that would continue as he moved on to other entrepreneurial challenges.

In 2005, Ullman celebrated his anniversary with his wife, Cindy. Looking over their lives, and what it took to raise six kids something stunned him: “Cindy, have I done wrong? Have I helped 100,000 people meet and marry, but not left them with any real tools to stay together? Would their lives go as they expected?”

Who Lives Happier Ever After?

Over the next three years, while Jeff envisioned a structure, method and benefits package to help people stay happily in love, Cindy researched every possible attribute that might influence what makes for a good marriage, patterned after both their parents’ fun, friendship and passion. By 2008, they were ready to build what you’re about to experience.

Thirty-four years ago — in a single 8×8 windowless Century City high-rise office building — Jeff Ullman created the very first modern dating service. He named it after what people felt about their love life: Great Expectations.

Happily Yours,