Do Marriage Counseling Apps And Marriage Books Help? | Paul Friedman
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Do Marriage Counseling Apps And Marriage Books Help? | Paul Friedman

Hi, I’m Paul Friedman. I founded The
Marriage Foundation but before I did that I was a divorce mediator and the
reason why I shifted was kind of a strange chain of events but you know I
got all of my clients from traditional marriage counselors who I liked and in
those days I thought divorce was a good thing. I thought the problem was with how
people got a divorce so I started divorce mediation with the
intention of creating a new way to get a divorce. But this young couple came in to
see me and I asked them, “Why you’re getting a divorce?” And they both started
to cry and they both said, “We don’t really want a divorce,” and all of a
sudden it came to me, okay “Wait a minute, how about if we use the
expertise that I have, maybe I can save your marriage. I don’t know,
let’s try it and if it doesn’t work I won’t charge you for the divorce,” which
is like between five and ten thousand dollars and if it does work I won’t
charge you for saving your marriage, be my guinea pigs and they agreed. And so
the first thing that I did was I went looking for answers, how do you save a
couple’s marriage and I discovered some things that were not good. Number one, I
discovered that the success rate for traditional marriage counseling was like
6%. It just so happened that I heard this thing on NPR where they were
discussing this and I did more research. I talked to my resources, the people who
sent me clients and they acknowledged it. They just try to help people get through
and then I started looking for alternatives. Okay, what else — can work and
I talked to ministers and pastors and rabbis and no one really had a good
answer. No one knew how to save a marriage is
the bottom line. And now what’s the latest thing, the
latest thing is marriage health apps and a friend sent me this thing and I
thought, you know what, it’s the same old same old.
Does it help? I don’t know I don’t think so I think what really works is
understanding marriage as a first step and so that’s where I went with this
first couple. What is the basis of marriage? And I asked the question that I
was divorced at the time, but I asked a question that I realized I never asked
myself and that is, why do I want to get married? And I wanted a universal answer,
we’re all human beings we all have the same basic needs. There’s got to be a
universal answer to many many things you know like, what do we need to live. We
need air, we need water for our bodies. I learned that we need touch, we need to be
emotionally connected to people but not everyone. I’ve heard stories of monastics
going way back. I discovered this when I was reading about St. Anthony who was
like the first Catholic monastic. He went into the desert for like 70, 80, 100
years by himself. There’s got to be something else. I asked myself, why do people get married? Well, the answer is so simple to be happier.
This is not in the apps. In the apps and in all of these marriage books etc, it’s
all about like understanding how men think, understanding how women think blah
blah blah but it doesn’t like connect the dots. But, how do you get happy
in a marriage? This is where the dots connect and then I asked, okay, “What is a
universal way for happiness?” And there is only one answer,
love. So my own background long before I got into this was kind of a spiritual
background. I meditate regularly, I love to read about saints. It doesn’t matter
Catholic saints, Christian saints, Muslim saints, Hindu saints — it doesn’t matter.
Saints are cool. I’m sort of steeped in spiritual principles so it was no
surprise for me that that was the answer was love and then it was a matter of
going back and working with my first couple, which I did. And what I had laid
out for them were ways to express love in your marriage, the dos and things
that will steal this experience of love in your marriage. The don’ts — that was my
first step and it worked really well. I mean it’s basically really simple. Don’t
criticize each other, don’t complain to each other which I know in this world
seems odd but it’s really doable. Don’t condemn each other and then the does.
Express loving thoughts to one another be intentionally nice to one another and
it kind of changed the dynamics of marriage as I understood it. So instead
of marriage being something that you just do and it works out.
Now marriage becomes something that you do every day that creates not just a
foundation for harmony, peace and love but it contributes every day. It’s like
feeding a plant. It’s like feeding a dog, a child
so I started to see marriage differently. And then I started to recognize
other things because this couple stayed with me for a while and the guy, or let’s
call him Joe comes back to me a couple months later. He says, “Oh my God, all your stuff works but I keep falling back into the same patterns,” and I
thought, “Wow.” I understood that because in the 90s, this, by the way, took place
around 2000. In the 90s, I had a real problem with anger and one day, I decided
I’m going to get rid of my anger. Bam! just do it. My first experience with
getting rid of anger was when I got anger. I said to my mind, no no no no. I
was trying to just get rid of it get rid of I ended up on the floor in the fetal
position grabbing myself. I couldn’t stop it.
After about 20 minutes of this struggle push it out of your head, push it out of
your head Paul. I got up I started calling all my friends pray for me, pray
for me. I called four or five friends please pray for me and it dissipated. And
then I started getting everything I could on anger and it was all about
anger management. So I thought okay I have to look into anger and understand
this sucker for my client. I tend to be more interested in helping others than
myself I’ll be honest. So Joe couldn’t control his anger, okay we’ll go right
down to and that was my problem too. So I thought okay, where does anger come from?
Wow, where does anger come from? Okay simply stated, it comes from not getting
your way and I thought okay, so we’re a bunch of immature idiots running around
on this planet. There’s got to be something where we can get hold of it
because understanding that it’s not getting our way is good it simplifies it
but, why should that matter? And I started realizing that there’s this struggle and
I may be getting too deep for marriage but
that’s what I had to do to really help people with marriage. So I got into this,
where does the anger come from and I realized there’s this biological
component and we’re souls. We’re souls, we’ve all heard of
marrying our soul mate. We’re souls so if there’s a struggle it seems
between the soul and the body, the body is all about survival, isn’t it? The body
is all about survival. We learn that somewhere what is it, in seventh grade about
survival fight or flight and every living organism is defined by its need,
the absolute necessity to survive. It’ll do anything to survive
and the body is telling the mind constantly, survive, survive, survive. And
so, anger is sort of like that first step that triggers us into the survival
mode and I said, “Joe, here’s what I’m discovering,” and he goes, “That makes sense. What do I do?” Well, he was right. What do I do with this
information? So I came up with this technique I call it the SEW technique and
it’s really effective. It’s in both the books that I’ve written
so far. It’s in my courses and this SEW technique, when you learn it properly and
it takes some doing to understand it because we all have so much confusion
about what and who we are but once you use this SEW technique anger is conquered.
It’s not managed. All of these anger management courses to me are not good
you know it’s okay, “Breathe, count to 10 count to 20, count to a thousand, fall
asleep, take –” whatever. I go right after it I go right after the anger and
I conquered it in myself. I struggled with it for nearly 10 years but once I
gave Joe the SEW technique and I started using I was like, “Oh my God. This is
powerful stuff.” So it became the basis for all of my marriage help in the
future and to this day, I’m doing this for decades. Our success rate is over 95% so
you don’t need a marriage app. You don’t need that. You need real good education
about marriage. You need some simple techniques that are simple but not
necessarily easy and then literally, your marriage will get better every single
day and then you don’t need an app. You don’t need reminders. You don’t need a
reminder to brush your teeth so the SEW technique, for instance, is something that
our clients use all the time until the day they die because you always have a
body and you the soul have to confront that. Now, when you do don’t forget as a
soul, you already are all love. So what we’re talking about here to replace the
app, you don’t need the app, you need to learn about marriage. Connect it with
some techniques that you incorporate into your life and you’re done. Your
marriage will be amazing. Now I love and prefer to teach people before they get
married, how to be married and these apps are for those people too but I’ll tell
you something. When we started because we have a sister organization called
Premarital Academy where we teach people and we have plenty of clients but when we
really wanted to go viral with it, we got a lot of resistance from women thinking
okay, “If my husband takes this course he may not want me anymore.”
Well, we don’t do that. We want to teach people how to be married. We don’t
get involved in your decision-making process I mean unless you’re thinking of
marrying a pedophile or something. So this is what it’s about, an app — no but
you know anything that you think will help you do but if you really learn it
you don’t need external things anymore and remember, you got married or are
getting married to be happier every single day and your marriage is set up
it’s so beautiful, what a marriage is it’s a setup for success,
a setup to be happier every single day of your life.
How? By feeling more loved every single day of your life and that’s a topic on
to itself so that’s it. I think this is a great introduction for you, something for
you to really think about. isn’t it? I mean I did a lot of work to get to where
we are now and hopefully, this information will catch on and spread
because it’ll end the divorce rate. For you, it should completely annihilate any
thought of divorce. You just need to learn about marriage — that’s it. So if you
like this video like it, share this. This is good stuff and you know it and if you
have a comment, put it in the comment box. I’ll respond to you there and if you
have a need for your own marriage to contact one of our counselors, it’s a
free service. Now they’ll probably direct you, they’re told to direct you to either
one of my books or to one of the courses to have a course for men and course
for women but occasionally, someone will write in with something where they don’t
need either they just need a good answer at the moment and they don’t get
paid, they don’t get a commission. They don’t get
paid for recommending anything. They get paid just for being there for you
because that’s what a foundation is all about we’re nonprofit. So again, blessings
to you, blessings to your spouse blessings to your family and God bless
you. Have a great great day and a great marriage. Love you, bye.

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