Can a healthy person compete in the marketplace of love? Read More
For a while I had a profile on a married and dating website. Most of the men I saw were in their forties and fifties. Mostly sane average Joe's. What struck me as strange was the expectations these men had. They (almost to the man) expected fidelity from their married girlfriends. They also wanted their girlfriend to be available on the weekends and weeknights even though the girlfriend also had a family. Needless to say, there was a lot of lying going on!
One of the happiest marriages I heard of was an arranged marriage. The two people involved knew they would have to work through a lot of differences so when the honeymoon period was over, they got down to the work that was the real relationship and became very close. They accepted that being together required compromise and communication.
I am now married over twenty years and am happy to do the work that is required to keep a happy marriage going.
"As part of an unusual experiment, the husband was instructed to “agree with his wife’s every opinion and request without complaint,” and to continue doing so “even if he believed the female participant was wrong,” according to a report on the research that was published Tuesday by the British Medical Journal.
"Enter the intrepid husband. Based on the assumption that men would rather be happy than be right, he was told to agree with his wife in all cases. However, based on the assumption that women would rather be right than be happy, the doctors decided not to tell the wife why her husband was suddenly so agreeable.
Both spouses were asked to rate their quality of life on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the happiest) at the start of the experiment and again on Day 6. It’s not clear how long the experiment was intended to last, but it came to an abrupt halt on Day 12.
“By then the male participant found the female participant to be increasingly critical of everything he did,” the researchers reported. The husband couldn’t take it anymore, so he made his wife a cup of tea and told her what had been going on.
That led the researchers to terminate the study.
Over the 12 days of the experiment, the husband’s quality of life plummeted from a baseline score of 7 all the way down to 3. The wife started out at 8 and rose to 8.5 by Day 6. She had no desire to share her quality of life with the researchers on Day 12, according to the report.
Whether you believe it or not, this was how most of my early relationships ended up... I would acquiesce to her every need and want because for some stupid reason I thought that was exactly what I needed to do to keep both her and I happy and to keep the relationship long lasting. Obviously, that isn't at all how it worked out and within a week or two the ladies would be giving me the tried and tired "I'm confused.. I don't know how I feel, I think we need a break". I was just as confused as they were but it's all starting to make sense, slowly but surely.
How about some honest give and take? I happen to like it when people I care about are honest and kind. Playing games is way too stressful, life is too complicated enough without the b.s. back and forth.
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J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.
Who says marriage is where desire goes to die?