GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)- Recently, Atlantic Magazine ran an article about a class being offered at Northwestern University titled Marriage 101 (The First Lesson of Marriage 101: There Are No Soul Mates, by Christine Gross-Loh, Feb. 12, 2014). The class has been offered for 14 years and its popularity has grown to such an extent that they commonly turn away students. According to the article, students attend one lecture a week and meet in smaller groups to discuss topics such as childrearing, addiction, infidelity and sexuality. They journal and interview long-term married couples along with the lectures and discussions.
Alexandra Solomon, professor and family therapist, teaches the class along with four other faculty and a group of teaching assistants. The course focuses on self-exploration and self-understanding. Solomon explains that the “foundation of the course is based on correcting a misconception: that to make a marriage work, you have to find the right person. The fact is, you have to be the right person.” In other words, if students learn to understand who they are and how their background affects the way they deal with life, they will find a suitable partner who is compatible. Along with self-realization, the students are taught how to affectively deal with conflict in ways that strengthen their relationship rather than chip away at it. The bottom line of the class is that relationships are work and they take skills that can be taught. This class teaches those skills.
What a great way to prepare college students for life. They would graduate with the knowledge to assist them in earning a living and the skills that help you choose the right mate and maintain a great relationship. It is certainly worth the tuition and may save them from the second most stressful life event. Divorce.
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