Learning how to be a good spouse shouldn't just be something we pick up by accident.
Even though the marriage rate in the United States is on a steep decline, chances are that the majority of kids growing up today will get married at some point in their lives. If current trends continue, about half of those will end in divorce.
Research published in the Couple Family Psychology journal found that the top five reasons for divorce are a lack of commitment, infidelity, too much conflict, getting married young and financial problems.
Wouldn’t it be great if we were taught from a young age how to be a good spouse so we could avoid these pitfalls? But in American culture, most of us aren’t taught the specifics of how to have a happy and healthy marriage. Most of us tend to pick things up from watching the married people in our orbit, most likely our parents.
Look how well that’s going.
Artist Doug Weaver had a much different upbringing. His mother, Mickey, made a curriculum for him and his two older brothers when they were kids to help them be great husbands when they got married.
"When I was a kid, my mom did this thing for me and my two older brothers called 'Husbands in Training,'" he explained in a TikTok video that has more than 5.9 million views. "It was a full, multiple-level curriculum on how to be a better husband."
Weaver says the training covered topics from chivalry to eating to a rather uncomfortable discussion on "the ethics of the porn industry." His mother also stressed the importance of listening to women and identifying when another man may be giving them trouble.
"There was a lot of really good stuff in that curriculum," Doug said. "There were things like what to do if your spouse says something and the information they give is wrong. How to handle it if they say something wrong in public versus in private, when it is appropriate to correct them and when it isn't."
Weaver’s mother was also way ahead of her time because she made a big deal about teaching her sons the importance of consent. "We talked about consent, we talked about the basics of respecting and honoring women and listening to women, and all of the things that really just make you a decent human being," Doug explained.
Husbands in training! #parenting #storytime #story
The lessons were so powerful that even Weaver’s father decided to take the course. "A lot of the things that we were learning from my mom were things that he was never taught growing up,” Weaver said. "So, he decided he also wanted to take 'Husbands in Training.'"
The course officially ended when Weaver and his brothers got married. "My mom even made certificates of completion that she signed and gave to each of us on our wedding day," he shared in his TikTok clip.
However, the video Weaver shared was so popular on TikTok that he’s making his mother’s course available to the general public. “After posting about ‘Husbands in Training’ on TikTok, the TT community really wants my mom to produce content about raising boys to be good men,” he wrote on a GoFundMe fundraising campaign last month.
The overwhelming response to Weaver’s TikTok has inspired a new YouTube channel to spread Mickey’s lessons far and wide. But it has also made a lot of people realize that teaching people how to be great spouses is a lifelong journey and should be a major part of child-rearing. Learning how to be a good spouse shouldn't just be something we pick up by accident.
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