What To Expect When You  

GeeseAnentLavas 57F
87 posts
2/25/2006 6:57 pm

Last Read:
10/3/2012 2:02 am

What To Expect When You

A happy marriage is one in which the partners don’t fight and no one’s unfaithful -- right?
1) The number one predictor of divorce is:
a. Ongoing disagreement over money and financial issues.
b. The habitual avoidance of conflict.
c. Yelling and screaming during fights.
2) Couples that “go the distance” -- whose marriages are successful -- have fewer disagreements about the three core issues: sex, money, and housework.
True False
3) Couples that are constantly yelling at or complaining to one another are doomed.
True False
4) When discussing a problem or disagreement, it is important to:
a. Keep feelings out of the discussion, and try to stick to the facts.
b. Be sure you can accurately state your partner’s position, including his or her feelings and fears about the issue being discussed.
c. Focus on practical solutions -- on solving the problem. Too much discussion can sidetrack you
5) Extramarital involvement occurs in happy marriages and is not necessarily a symptom of a distressed relationship.
True False
6) After the birth of the first child:
a. There is little impact on the marriage; the quality of a marriage depends more on issues of couple compatibility.
b. The marriage enters the “warm glow” stage and stays there for several years.
c. Marital satisfaction drops.
7) Couples should try to resolve most of their disagreements.
True False

KEY:
1) b. Which is sad, because we often avoid conflict precisely because we are so much in love, and we believe disagreeing or fighting might cause a divorce. We’re aware that there has been a 50-percent divorce rate for 30 years, and we’re scared. But the way to have a happy marriage is to learn how to handle the inevitable disagreements that are part of every relationship.
2) False. Research shows that the couples that make it and the couples that fail disagree the same amount. They also disagree about all the same issues, and there are five core issues, not three -- add children and in-laws to the list. It turns out it’s not whether you disagree that makes a difference (that’s normal); it’s how you handle your disagreements.
3) False. Yelling, complaining, crying, and even revisiting the same issue “over and over and over” might be annoying, but it’s behaviors like avoidance, disengagement, contempt, blame, criticism, and “the silent treatment” that lead to divorce. Complaining is saying, “It drives me totally crazy when you call and get the answering machine, and don’t leave a message!” Criticism is, “You are so inconsiderate! You never leave a message when you call.” Contempt is deadly: “Some people know what an answering machine is for. I guess that takes a brain. More proof that you’re as dumb as your mother.” Complaining -- even if you yell, even if it’s the same old complaint -- brings up the issues. That’s a good thing. Criticism and contempt erode love.
4) b. Many disagreements have nothing to do with the facts, and everything to do with our feelings about them. It is crucial that you understand each other’s positions -- both what you think about the issue, and also how you feel about it, your fears, ambivalence, and dreams. Oftentimes understanding and mutual respect are all you really need; some issues don’t have solutions. In fact, most problems or disagreements in a marriage have no solution -- they are chronic or “irreconcilable.” Couples simply need to contain them and keep them from contaminating the rest of the marriage. Mary Matalin and James Carville are the poster couple for how this works.
5) True. Many people who have affairs report that their marriage is fine, they love their spouse and family, and they don’t love their paramour -- they just wanted excitement or variety and deluded themselves into thinking that it wouldn’t hurt anyone. Frank Pittman, M.D., author of Private Lies and Grow Up!, says a man’s male relatives’ and buddies’ views on monogamy are a better predictor of affairs than the quality of the marital relationship. For example, if a Kennedy was faithful for too long, his dad might have asked if he was eating his Wheaties. Barry McCarthy, Ph.D., author of Rekindling Desire, agrees. McCarthy believes that a commitment to honesty is as important as a commitment to monogamy. Often couples discuss how they will deal with money, kids, and housework before they marry, but not what they’re going to do when sex gets stale or someone’s attracted to a coworker or neighbor.
6) c. There is so much more to disagree about. This is when couples really need skills. In 70 percent of couples, marital satisfaction drops during the three months before and the three months after the birth of the first child.
7) False. All couples have approximately ten issues they will never resolve. If you switch partners you’ll just get ten new issues, and they are likely to be more complicated the second time around -- especially if kids are involved. What’s important is to develop a dialogue or “dance” with your particular set of irreconcilable differences, just as you would cope with a chronic bad back or trick knee. You don’t like them, you wish they weren’t there, but you keep talking about them and learn how to live with them.
Diane Sollee, M.S.W., for all the latest research on marriage.


slipkid43 61M

2/26/2006 7:18 pm

Very enlightening. Sobering, not exactly erotic, but much more engrossing then the average blog pablum you see here at AdultFriendFinder.


cgn39snipe 65M
1 post
5/12/2006 7:08 am

I know that marriages where one or the other partner has affairs all too often go down in flames. I was deeply in love with my late wife for our fabulous 30 year marriage. We were NEVER unfaithful to each other, but we saw many marriages fall apart due to extramarital affairs. Committing means being faithful to each other forever!!! The "researcher" who came up with the data was probably trying to find an excuse for his/her own infidelity. In over thirty years I have heard the same argument time after time and in each case it proved WRONG!!!!
A person with experience is never at the mercy of a person(a fool) with a theory. Complain, say you are the exception, but your relationship will never reach the thirty year mark.


rm_gardian60 57M
1 post
7/3/2006 10:29 pm

i believe in love and marriage but both persons in the relationship have to be on the same page with their belief that they are going to make it and comuncate with each other. it will not work if one person is trying and the other is not. marriage takes work every day not just when you or your partner feels like it. the partners have to believe and want to reach the same goals.

don


dansxtratsty2 63M
1 post
9/1/2006 1:13 pm


There are far to many people these days that have
completely forgotten or never knew just what commitment means!
The word disposable should never be equated to a marriage.
Yet it seems that is exactly what most people think that it's
the thing to do when the wow wears off and the lust for
something new and exciting rears it's ugly head .
The only thing that should ever divide two people that have
committed themselves to a loving relationship with each other
is death. Plain and simple !
A man and a woman in love should NEVER give in to the
temptation of lust ! We should have enough RESPECT for each other
and ourselves to never have to wonder if either of us is fooling
around !


rm_klitlicker53 64M
12 posts
9/10/2006 7:47 pm

Commitment.Most people in a relationship have no idea what that means. I've been thru 3 marriages and loved em all. Even with the affairs.Guess I was brought up with old time values but after so much you can't take anymore. Not to mention if there are kids. Is it fair to keep them in a relationship that is disfunctional? I think not.


usbass500 57M
33 posts
11/25/2008 12:37 am

Very informative. I learned a few things here.


fitncurious 56M

8/25/2009 5:20 am

Going the distance has a lot to do with the ability to be "real" with each other... No ones perfect and doubtful you will find that with any two people, but the ability to live a simple real life with each other give comfort and stability in the middle of a storm...... good article.

nothing wrong with a good argument and make up!


rm_peter2 76M
167 posts
8/27/2010 4:58 am

omg you have such a great head on your shoulders.


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