Dr. Michelle Golland: It has been announced that Heidi Klum and her husband, Seal, are working on a new Lifetime show about love and marriage, called "Love's Divine." As a relationship expert who works with distressed couples who are near divorce, I think this is a great idea. We hear so much in the news about celebrity marriages falling apart. From Tiger to Tipper, we hear about couples who have fallen out of love -- or fallen into the arms of 20 other lovers in the course of their marriage. To hear a true Hollywood-marriage success story is a breath of fresh air.
Heidi and Seal are obviously doing something right in their marriage: They have been married since May 2005 and have three children together. They shared the following keys to a successful relationship during a recent interview. I couldn't agree more!
1) Find common ground.
2) Seize the moment.
3) Two words: commitment and respect.
4) Embrace both the big and small gestures.
5) Put each other first ... even before the kids.
Neither of them are therapists, but that doesn't mean they don't have valuable opinions (based on their own experience) to share with the public. My support for those who are willing to spread the word about ways to create connected and authentic relationships is unwavering. I know some people feel that Heidi and Seal giving relationship advice is ridiculous ... but I say, more power to them!
In working with couples, I have found that having positive role models who actually do this "healthy relationship" thing can be one key to a successful marriage. The more we see good, real, authentic marriages on TV, the better off we will all be. I believe this TV show could create the opportunity for people to get some real tools to help them weather the inevitable storms that occur in any marriage -- and some creative ways to stay connected, as well.
If people tune in to their show because they are celebrities ... great! My hope is that when the show is turned off, viewers will simply try the five steps laid out above. If more couples embraced just those five things, I promise you we would have fewer divorces and more happy marriages.