The Link Between Happiness and Healing

I assume that when they fostered "supportive discussions," they encouraged the kind of passive-aggressive conversations long-term couples often have in marriage counseling offices, such as "The thing I'd like to improve about myself is to have more understanding about your lack of sensitivity in never remembering to put the toilet seat down in the middle of the night, like last Thursday when I fell in and threw my back out." Naturally, supportive discussion then ensues.

So that was the first evening they spent with Ronald and Janice. When they went back a couple of months later, things were very different indeed. On the next cozy hospital "getaway," Ronald and Janice skipped the whole supportive thing and forced the couples to switch topics to the all-time marital hit parade topics of money, or in-laws, or subjects specifically selected to spark an argument.

Our adorable wedlock research duo did not bother to serve even one measly cocktail before the emotional games began, which is where Ron and Jan manage to get on my last nerve.

Both the positive and negative sessions were videotaped by Ron and Jan, and then (they claim) meticulously analyzed for "evidence of hostility." I'll bet that cheapskates Ron and Jan had plenty of relaxing refreshments on hand for themselves during this part of the process.

As if being Ron and Jan's personal home game of Punk'd weren't pain enough, the study couples were '- and I am not even kidding about this '- wounded, literally, by their hosts before the staged conversations. I'll spare you the details.

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