Watching movies with spouse can solve relationship problems between the partners, according to a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
The researchers say that the movie method turned out to be just as effective as traditional marriage counselling methods. For the study, researchers divided 174 couples into three groups: conflict management; compassion and acceptance training; and the movie method.
In the first group, couples were taught a skill known as “active listening,” a method that aims to slow down the pace of heated exchanges by requiring partners to paraphrase what the other says. The purpose is to ensure that the message has been properly understood.
The second group performed relationship exercises and sat in on lectures that encouraged “compassion and empathy.” Couples were asked to think of their partner as a friend and practice random acts of kindness and affection.
For the last group, the counselling was less intense. After hearing a 10 minute lecture on the importance of relationship awareness, couples watched “Two for the Road” romantic comedy movie. Later the couples were asked to discuss the main problems in the film and then they were then given a list of 47 movies and asked to perform the same exercise at home, once a week for a month.
The results showed that the last method was the least supervised of the three, the movie method worked just as well at fostering a healthy relationship. All three methods halved the divorce and separation rate from 24 per cent (control group) to 11 per cent.