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Happier and longer lasting marriages with the harmony of science and religion


He can never, singly and alone, provide himself with all the necessities of ... Divine Fragrances, humility and lowliness amongst His loved ones, patience and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Happier and longer lasting marriages with the harmony of science and religion

Happier and longer lasting marriages with the
harmony of science and religion
  • Insights 2007

Ron and Anna Shigeta
Todays four points about marriage
  • Hygiene
  • Education
  • Progressive Revelation
  • Consultation

I. Hygiene
  • The Marriage Talk

  • …man cannot live singly and alone. He is in need
    of continuous cooperation and mutual help. … He
    can never, singly and alone, provide himself with
    all the necessities of existence. Therefore, he
    is in need of cooperation and reciprocity.

  • The Myth of Compatibility.

Differences and conflict occur in nearly all
  • By nearly all we mean all

Two friends…
O ye two believers in God! The Lord, peerless is
He, hath made woman and man to abide with each
other in the closest companionship, and to be
even as a single soul. They are two helpmates,
two intimate friends, who should be concerned
about the welfare of each other. Abdu'l-Baha,
Selected Writings, p 122
II. Education
What happens to you when you get married?
  • …with fire We test the gold, with the gold we
    test the Servants

  • Hi Honey,
  • Im home

Two Couples Argue
  • Will Couple A be together in 4 years?
  • Will Couple B?

Marriage Research Results Almost too Good!
  • Early studies (1970s) showed professional
    Therapists, Clergy had an essentially random
    accuracy at spotting troubled couples.
  • Early 1990s analysis of the effect of
    conventional Marriage Therapy shows that divorce
    returns to previous levels in 3 months.
  • Some models show a 94 accuracy (correlation
    with model) predicting whether a married couple
    will become divorced within the next 4 years.
    Even simple questionnaires have gt 80.
  • Models from this analysis assembled describe a
    useful understanding of human communication.
  • Workshops and therapies designed from this model
    may halve the divorce rate in participants.
    (broad study of marital preparation workshops
    shows a 33 reduction in divorce among

Other Myths about Divorce Investigation and
checking Assumptions
  • Quid pro Quo (exchanging favors one for one)
  • Infidelity (the great majority of divorces do not
    include infidelity)
  • Monogamy is for women
  • Dominance Structures are Functional/Dysfunctional
    (two theories)
  • Behavior Change
  • Conflict Resolution (resolving a chronic problem
    in marriage)

Other Myths about Divorce Investigation and
checking Assumptions
  • Active listening (I am hearing you)
  • Communication Styles (Men from Mars/Women from
  • Reinforcement erosion (mutual reinforcement
    decreases over time)
  • Mind Reading is dysfunctional (finishing others
  • Showing anger (!)

The Four Horsemen
  • Contempt speaking from a higher plane
  • Stonewalling withdrawing from a discussion
  • Criticism blaming others character
  • Defensiveness denying responsibility for the

Can we keep the four horsemen at bay?
  • Mild as Milk

Whats going on …inside?
  • Activity resolvable/unresolvable.

  • Making Deposits in the Emotional Bank Account

Thus is it incumbent upon us, when we direct our
gaze toward other people, to see where they
excel, not where they fail.
  • Spiritual Susceptibities
  • And submission.

III. Progressive Revelation
  • An exalted state of being

growth happens by tests
Marriage Education
Men Science Emotions
Women Religion Reason
A Master Couple
Audio John Gottman and Argument of a Master
Couple From The Sanctity of Marriage Show of
This American Life on NPR
1250 1325 1425 1605
Educated Families for an Educated World.
Compare the nations of the world to the members
of a family. A family is a nation in miniature.
Simply enlarge the circle of the household, and
you have the nation. Enlarge the circle of
nations, and you have all humanity. The
conditions surrounding the family surround the
nation. The happenings in the family are the
happenings in the life of the nation.
(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal
Peace, p. 157)
IV. Consultation
  • Rinse,
  • Repeat

The Cycle of Consultation
  • The prime requisites for them that take counsel
    together are purity of motive, radiance of
    spirit, detachment from all else save God,
    attraction to His Divine Fragrances, humility and
    lowliness amongst His loved ones, patience and
    long-suffering in difficulties and servitude to
    His exalted Threshold.
  • -Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p.
    87 - the Spiritual Assembly

  • So they must confer and consult in such a way
    that neither disagreement nor abhorrence may
    occur. When meeting for consultation, each must
    use perfect liberty in stating his views and
    unveiling the proof of his demonstration. If
    another contradicts him, he must not become
    excited because if there be no investigation or
    verification of questions and matters, the
    agreeable view will not be discovered neither
    understood. The brilliant light which comes from
    the collision of thoughts is the "lightener" of
  • (Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith Section, p. 406)

Differences / Contention
Ye have been forbidden in the Book of God
to engage in contention and conflict, to strike
another, or to commit similar acts whereby hearts
and souls may be saddened. (Baha'u'llah,
The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 72) The shining spark
of truth cometh forth only after the clash
of differing opinions. (Abdu'l-Baha,
Selected Writings, p. 87)
The Four Bad Attitudes to overcome revisited
  • Contempt Humility… seeing yourself as lower
    than the rest
  • Stonewalling Detachment
  • Criticism Attraction
  • Defensiveness Radiant Acquiescence

…For a great reward
  • Sorrow not if, in these days and on this earthly
    plane, things contrary to your wishes have been
    ordained and manifested by God, for days of
    blissful joy, of heavenly delight, are assuredly
    in store for you. Worlds, holy and spiritually
    glorious, will be unveiled to your eyes.

Consultation Exercises
  • Resolve a vital question by coming together and
    voicing your opinion. Honestly.
  • Question 1 How can single people get along
    better? What advice do you have to give about how
    the opposite sexes should interact? e.g. What
    would make a dinner date more pleasant?
  • Question 2 What should you really know about
    someone you were really going to be spending your
    life with?

Todays four points about marriage
  • Hygiene Brush every day
  • Education Mine the precious gems
  • Progressive Revelation A lifetime of growth
  • Consultation Comes with spiritual growth

VI. Resources
  • MarriageTransformation.com
  • Bahais Susanne and Criag Farnsworth give a 3 day
    workshop. At Bosch most years.
  • Pure Gold Encouraging Character Qualities in
    Marriage is their text
  • There are extensive book reviews on this site as
  • Gottman.com is John Gottmans research and
    training site
  • Couples workshops in Seattle
  • Therapist Certification and Training, June 2006
  • Book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage
    Work by John Gottman
  • DVDs
  • Marriagescience.org our blog that reviews
    marriage research.
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