Marriage Counselor

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Hollywood to Be Your Marriage Counselor

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Hollywood may be a real place out in Southern California, but it produces fantasy. The stuff Hollywood puts on TV and movie theater screens isn’t real. Most of it is not even close. Take relationships. They are purposely sensationalized to entertain. That is why you shouldn’t trust Hollywood to be your marriage counselor.

Relationships are incredibly complex things, according to the therapists at Rye, NY’s Relationships & More. Hollywood has little time for the complex. They need to wrap everything up in a two-hour film or a 30-minute sitcom. Real life doesn’t work that way.

Relationships are a Journey

Next time you are watching a film or TV show in which a couple’s relationship plays a central role in the plot, pay attention to how that relationship is depicted. In almost every case, it will be depicted as a destination. In other words, the story talks about how the couple reaches a certain place in their relationship.

The destination mentality is necessary in Hollywood due to the nature of the art. But in real relationships – those not found in TV shows and films – a couple isn’t seeking to reach a destination. They are on a journey. That is what relationships are. They are journeys that begin when couples meet and continue until either death or splitting up separates them.

Counseling Is a Planning Session

In keeping with the journey theme, going to marriage counseling is like having a planning session. Imagine you and a partner decided to travel around the world to see how fast you could make the trip. You would start your journey with an overall plan for success. But in all likelihood, you would start each day with a planning session for the next leg of the journey.

Marriage counseling is remarkably similar. Couples sit down with therapists to assess where they are, where they want to go, and how they are going to get there. This is an oversimplification, of course, but you get the point.

The main difference with marriage counseling is that couples often need to dig fairly deep to uncover the weaknesses in their relationships. Planning the next leg of a literal journey tends to be a lot easier. In relationships, digging deep causes pain and friction. It is rarely pleasant, but the rewards are well worth it.

 A False Impression of Love

Hollywood treating relationships as a destination is only one reason for not trusting what you see on the screen as sound relationship advice. There is a second reason: Hollywood constantly offers us a false impression of love. You know the drill.

How does Hollywood depict love? As emotional and physical attraction. If someone thrills you emotionally, you must be in love. If the two of you are having sex, you must be experiencing genuine love. That is Hollywood’s position. But it’s wrong.

Love is neither an emotion nor a physical attraction. Emotions are what they are. As for physical attraction, it is a biological function. Love is completely separate. It is a mindset. It is an attitude expressed by action.

The Other Person Comes First

When you genuinely love someone, that other person comes first. Every parent knows this truth. So why are couples, perfectly capable of putting their children ahead of themselves, unable to do the same thing for their spouses? Often times it is because they have been fooled by Hollywood’s version of love.

Do not ever trust Hollywood as your marriage counselor. Hollywood is fantasy. In reality, relationships are complex propositions that require real work and self-sacrifice. The most enduring relationships are built on genuine, selfless love.

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