Monday, August 18, 2008

Married for Life Part II

In an earlier post I discussed why marriages fail. Here’s more on the topic.

I believe another reason for problems in marriage are unrealistic expectations coupled with a “me first” attitude. I suspect many people today get married expecting their spouse to make them happy all the time, meet all their needs, always be romantic, and they will never have problems. Guess what? That isn’t reality, as we all should know.

Yet when these expectations are not met, the spouse is often dumped, or the relationship becomes distant. The fact is, no human being can possibly meet all of someone’s needs and desires, and the pressure to do so can ruin a marriage as well.

Throughout most of history, many needs were met outside of the marriage. For men, fraternal organizations, guilds, and other predominantly male gatherings satisfied many of their social, ego, and relationship needs. You still see that in some societies today. However, in American society most men don’t belong to any organization, have few if any close friends, and rarely socialize with other men (except for business).

Women throughout history had their female relatives, who generally either lived in the same compound, or down the street. Women had mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters and good friends to rely on, to support them, and to spend time with. Women worked together in doing chores, so that the younger woman had continual guidance, socialization, and support.

Today, women usually don’t have much in the way of female support or companionship, so they rely on their husbands, who often aren’t up to the task. While men need to listen to and support their wives, women also should develop some close female friends with whom they can safely share their feelings.

More on the topic of marriage in a future post.

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