A marriage saver?
A survey of the national divorce rate indicates that the rate has dropped 27.3% in 2007 from the previous year. A recent study, performed at UC Berkley's Department for Relational Science, is reporting that the recent drop in the rate of marital termination is surprisingly NOT due to an increase in communication, but the exact opposite. A growth in the popularity of a new technology called "noise canceling headphones", which are intended to reduce noise in such places as airplanes, subways, and cars, is having an unforeseen positive effect on marriages. Apparently not having to listen to your spouse can increase the longevity of a marriage.
As the UC Berkeley study indicates, more marital communication generally leads to spouses finding even more reason to not like one another. On the contrary, not having to hear one's spouse at all, has almost completely eliminated friction between the 400 spouses who participated in the study. One man, who has now been using the headphones for six months said "It's like a dream come true! Not only did it save my marriage, but my life. If I had to hear the grating sound of my wife's voice for even one more minute, I think I would have driven into the nearest bridge abutment."
And, though it is men who most frequently use the technology, women are also embracing the benefits. Sally Rodgers, a resident of Orange County, California, has indicated that she can now "...talk as much as I want, and [her husband] doesn't seem to mind. I can go on for hours on end about my mother and sister, and he just sits there with a smile. It's truly amazing!"
Bose, a premier manufacturer of noise canceling headphones is now embracing this new finding. Joe Franks, Chief Marketing Officer for Bose, has announced a new print ad campaign which will begin running in several men's health & fitness magazines this April. "We always knew the technology was great, but It's truly wonderful to see it saving marriages, and even lives in some cases." said Frank's. The new advertisement, which will also be presented in a large billboard overlooking Time Square, features a woman who appears to be yelling at her husband, who is wearing the Bose headphones and a smile. The tag line - "Women are better seen, not heard." - however, is drawing negative attention from some woman's rights organizations. Bose executives, however, have responded by simply putting on the headphones themselves and not listening to the complaints.
In a related story, Dr. Phil is now facing a class action law suit for falsely instructing couples to openly increase communication. "It was a total farce!" said Tony Walker, who initiated the law suit. "I took his advice, and tried to increase communication. You can't increase communication with someone who's hormones makes them completely irrational." said Walker. His suit claims that trying to understand woman's rational and reasoning for certain decisions and motives has led to a direct increase in male depression, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction. With the new findings about the benefits of noise canceling technology, it will only be a matter of time for marital counselors nationwide are facing similar fates, and will be hiding from what is no doubt going to be a marital counseling witch hunt.