Marriage, divorce and new love will be in the air when Oakland University’s own Terri Orbuch, “the Love Doctor,” discusses her relationship studies on the Katie Couric Show, set to air at 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22, on ABC.
Dr. Orbuch will offer insight in her new book, “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship,” which hit bookstores this June. The professor of sociology wrote the book based on her long-term National Institutes of Health-funded study.
“My field of study is interpersonal relationships – what keeps them together, and what breaks them apart. I think people are fascinated by relationships and how they work, because relationships are the backbone of our existence,” Dr. Orbuch said.
“Happy healthy relationships are integrally tied to our health and well-being. Just being in a relationship isn’t enough. A good relationship can alleviate stress, help you to feel more positive and confident about yourself, give help or support when times get tough, improve your immune system, lower your blood pressure, and more.”
Dr. Orbuch’s new book is a continuation of the work that went into her first bestselling book, “5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great.” While the first book primarily investigates the experiences and advice of happily married couples, the new book examines what can be learned from couples who have divorced.
Both books utilize Dr. Orbuch’s ongoing study, which follows the same 373 married couples for more than 25 years. Now 46 percent of the couples have divorced, whose experiences and lessons have provided the basis for her new book.
“As a professor and relationship researcher, I believe that social science should be written for a general audience,” Dr. Orbuch explained. “I want my work to translate into something useable, and that’s how I’ve shaped my career. My work then, brings science to real couples in the form of highly practical tips and easy to understand approaches.”
At Oakland, Dr. Orbuch is currently teaching the course SOC 206: Self and Society. Next semester she will revive one of her favorite courses, SOC 337: Interpersonal Relationships. For more information about Dr. Orbuch’s work, view her website at drterrithelovedoctor.com
Dr. Orbuch’s Top Three Pieces of Relationship Advice:
• Do small things often to show your partner they are special and valued. In my study, couples who regularly made their partners feel special, valued and cared for were the happiest. This includes simple gestures such as compliments, hand holding or phrases like "I love you," "You are the best partner," and "Thank you."
• Accentuate the positive. Focus on what’s going right in your relationship and build on those things, rather than dwelling on problems.
• Practice the 10-minute rule. Most couples think they talk to each other all the time. But how often do you talk about things that really deepen your understanding of your partner? The happy couples in my study talked to each other frequently—not about their relationship, but about other things—and they knew a lot about their partner in four key areas: friends, stressors, life dreams, and values.