Don’t Marry for Love

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Don’t Marry for Love

We mostly consider those who marry for other reasons besides love sick, depraved, morally bankrupt or in some sort of unenviable position that elicits our sympathy. The truth is people marry for all kinds of reasons, not always for love. Some are trying to escape a rotten home life. Others are afraid of being single. There are those escaping poor financial prospects. And those seeking power and position, the original reason why most people tied the knot historically, procreation notwithstanding. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century that we have the idea of romantic love we have today. And the 1970’s change in divorce laws and focus on the pursuit of personal happiness that made everyone crazy to marry for love. But perhaps our standards for what love and romance are are too high? Are our expectations getting in the way of true marital bliss? People who marry for companionship may marry for a better reason than love. And oftentimes their relationship and their marriage remain stronger because of the lack of elevated expectations.

Of course love is an important human emotion. No one is saying not to marry for love. But there has to be other things to consider. Is this person kind and considerate? Do they really care about you? Do they have any destructive behaviors that will hurt you, themselves or tear down the marriage? Be realistic when choosing a mate. If you are running off for love but everyone in your life is telling you it is a mistake, do some soul searching. Look into your heart of hearts. Is there some reason why things won’t work out? Remember that love changes. People grow and change over time. Marriage is supposed to be forever. But you really don’t know what storms your marriage will weather. As quickly as it comes over you, love may leave. It could be one reason why they have drive-through wedding chapels in Las Vegas. Love is a great motivator. But common interests, common values, a great sense of humor, excellent communication, trust, and respect are all qualities to consider in a mate as well. If you are marrying someone forever they should definitely possess all of these qualities for the relationship to survive and thrive. For more advice read, 1001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married by Monica Mendez Leahy.

Why do Baby Boomers Divorce the Most?

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Why do Baby Boomers Divorce the Most?

Though it’s always quoted as hovering around 50%, the divorce rate in America is now closer to 40% than 50%. This is true for almost every demographic except the baby boomer, those born between 1945 and 1964. For them the rate has grown to 50% in two decades. So why do baby boomers divorce the most? Some experts have posited that since baby boomers came up in an age of great prosperity and challenged every aspect of conventional society from gender inequality to civil rights, they are now challenging what it means to be middle-aged and redefining marriage and relationships too. Others say that they are looking for a relationship that is unattainable, perfection. Still others believe that they want the most out of life, including attraction and sexual satisfaction in their partners. As baby boomers age their peculiarities will be of much study to psychologists, demographers, sociologists and many others. The question will be how marriage and relationships change in this important demographic as they continue to age and what unique qualities will there be when they are seniors.

Baby boomers were the first generation to reject traditional gender roles outright. With the advent of the birth control pill came the sexual revolution as well as great strides in feminism. Of course this was also the generation that challenged the traditional notion of marriage and enacted a record number of divorces through the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. It may be their propensity toward divorce that causes their children, the Gen X, Gen Y and Millennial generations to wait longer to get married and start a family. It may also be the reason that the younger generations are cohabitating more. Of course financial considerations also come into play, and perhaps are more of a cause.  But the baby boomers paved the way to make it possible. The mistakes of the baby boomers and their propensity toward divorce may have also made marriages much more stable, decreasing the divorce rate among later generations. This is because people are much more serious when entering into a marriage. They take it very seriously, do not want to be divorced and so they wait and make sure the person is the right one before going ahead and getting married. If you are looking for a relationship as a divorcee from the baby boomer generation, read the book, Boomers Guide to Dating (Again) by Laurie A. Helgoe, Ph.D.

Which is better, Adultery or Divorce?

annoyed

Which is better, Adultery or Divorce?

When in a dysfunctional marriage where you both feel a real relationship is out of the question, but you decide to stay together for financial reasons, for the sake of the children or because it’s too painful or burdensome to get divorced, in this situation it’s difficult to know how to proceed. Is adultery then the only way forward? Or should they just go ahead and get divorced? In the long run, which is better, adultery or divorce? Each person and couple in this unfortunate predicament must evaluate carefully how they each feel, using their values, judgment and beliefs in order to decide what is best for them. So then since everyone is different, we can’t ask which is better in a large blanket statement, since everyone must evaluate for themselves. But in general, which of the two alternatives is morally a better choice, adultery or divorce? This is not in terms of a bilateral divorce where both parties decide to get divorced. Nor is it unilateral where one person wants a divorce but the other does not. This is when one person is interested in taking part in a romantic and physical relationship with another outside the marriage.

From an ethical standpoint divorce is a far better choice as it does not involve deception. If you are in a loveless marriage but decide to stay together for financial reasons but are childless talk to your spouse about having an open marriage. At least if there is a way to communicate honestly about things, perhaps there is a chance not of reconciling the relationship but the mutual respect that both people shared. If the couple has children, it’s a much thornier issue. They will find out sooner or later that mommy or daddy has someone else. So how do you counteract this? Divorce would be the better option there. Or perhaps separation if the financial burden is too much. If this is a high conflict relationship get out. High conflict homes are the worst environments to raise children in. It would be much better to have two divorced but happier, well-adjusted homes than one miserable one together. The deception part of adultery, especially if it’s long term or serial adultery is the worst part. It shows a grave disrespect for the other person. Like it or not when we marry we attach ourselves to a legal and social union. It may not be easy when marriage falls apart. If you are in this situation, learn to talk to one another and solve things so you can find mutual happiness in some way. See what can be worked out. Give respect and expect it in return. Sooner or later all the tumblers will fall into place. To learn more about adultery in marriage read, Parents Who Cheat: How Children and Adults are Affected When Their Parents are Unfaithful by Ana Nogales, Ph.D.

Do Men Avoid Dating Successful Women?

SUCCESS-WOMAN

Do Men Avoid Dating Successful Women?

For the first time in American history, women are surpassing men in bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Single, professional women are one of the fastest growing demographics in the country. Though they still do not make what a man does for the same job in many places, in some urban areas professional women’s salaries are outpacing men. What’s more, over half of all households will see a female breadwinner by 2025. That is amazing progress in a very short period of time, though the feminist movement has its roots a long way back in American history. Some women however say their success in the scholarly and economic realms is having negative consequences on their dating life. There are professional women who say the men they date are intimidated. They either pull away or blow them off due to a discomfort with the woman’s success. Perhaps these men find it emasculating, it is thought. Lots of these women’s girlfriends today console them by saying so, at least. There is even a school of thought that says a woman should dumb herself down in a man’s presence in order to make him feel comfortable and allow the relationship room to grow. But is it true? Do men avoid dating successful women?

Sure there is a segment in the male domain that pine for the 1950s. They believe in traditional values and are put off by women who are independent. But is this the majority of men? Certainly not. Nor is it right to generalize, which in addition to being inaccurate is in a way sexist since it paints all men as antiquated, chauvinists. There are lots of men who appreciate the success, knowledge, skills and other aspects of an accomplished woman. They also want a partner to share interesting times and conversations with, someone with many facets and dimensions, just as women do.  In fact, there are a lot of men who brag about the accomplishments of their wives and girlfriends. There is too a growing segment of stay-at-home dads and lots who enjoy it. So what’s really going on here? Their selection process could be an issue. What kind of men is this person seeking? What qualities do they all hold in common? Are they chauvinists, traditional or perhaps they fear commitment? The woman herself may also be subconsciously sabotaging her chances at love due to some deep-seeded trauma. Another aspect, it might be the woman’s personality itself. Pushiness, vanity, decisiveness, being opinionated and other aggressive behaviors propel some forward in their career. But on the dating scene these qualities are a huge turnoff.

In terms of selection process, lots of women say they want a man who is just as accomplished or more. But then are they selecting someone who is also decisive, aggressive and opinionated? When two people share such personalities the relationship quickly becomes an arena of locking horns rather than a relaxing atmosphere where love and romance can flourish. Only selecting this type, a person who fits a checklist of certain career accomplishments also shows underlying issues. This person worries of what others think or has a need to project their value. One’s relationship can be seen as a reflection of one’s self. But why don’t they explore other sides of their personality? We don’t have to date someone we view as a colleague. Looking for someone to love is not the same as a job interview. So someone who is opinionated may enjoy hanging out with someone who is open-minded, shy, artistic and free spirited. This may nourish other aspects that are suppressed in their normal, workaday environment. A professional woman may be interested in someone who is accomplished but in a totally different field or way. Lastly, sometimes this attitude that no men are good is an armor to protect from the fear that they themselves are at fault, or doing something wrong. Each person brings problems into a relationship, big and small. No one is perfect. We are all human. But it is in examining our mistakes and our own flaws that we can grow and develop and become better. There’s an old Buddhist saying; when the disciple is ready the master will appear. When the heart is ready, love will be there. For more savvy ways to navigate your love life read, Love Smart: Find the One You Want–Fix the One You Got by Dr. Phil McGraw.

Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

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Signs you May be Entering or are in a Bad Marriage

When you see a disaster is eminent, the best plan is to get out before it’s too late. After that, it’s all triage. Nowhere else is this truer than when entering into a bad marriage—the consequences of which can follow you for years. Sometimes we’re blinded by love. At other times, something arises that cannot be reconciled. Either way, when the divorce is final, we often look for easy things to blame. We feel confused, overwhelmed, hurt and angry. But usually there are many things that lead to the decline and dissolution of such a relationship. Enjoy love but keep on the lookout for important warning signs. You may be able to duck a bad situation or likely recognize when your relationship is heading south. Do you remember your first fight? Few couples do. Well, maybe some women do. In any case, lots of couples fight about the same things, money being the topmost issue, confirmed in several studies. But if you start fighting about money early on, say as you’re boarding the plane on the way to your honeymoon, the marriage could be in trouble. That’s according to research out of Kansas State University. That’s because arguments about money early on affected the marriage even years later. Fighting about money was the “top predictor for divorce” regardless of socio-economic status or income level.

If you got married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas at the spur of the moment, surprise–you might not make it. But if you dated for three years before deciding to get married, you have a 39% less likelihood of seeing the inside of a divorce court, according to researchers out of Emory University. Couples who dated for three years had far better odds than those who dated for less than a year. Are you both teetotalers? Or perhaps you both like to party until the wee hours. If you’re drinking habits diverge sharply, your relationship might soon too, so say University of Buffalo researchers. If one spouse drank heavily, the couple was more likely to get divorced. But the same results weren’t true when both partners tipped the glass often. Apparently, it’s the mismatch rather than the habit that causes strife.

Did you two talk about a prenup before marriage? If so, you are more than likely to keep your money when you two go your separate ways. That’s because the longevity of the marriage isn’t the utmost concern to both parties. Couples that don’t share a bank account are 145% more likely to divorce, says the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. The reason is financial generosity and sharing is conducive to marriage. It makes you a unit. Keeping things for yourself and separate is not, though of course we all need some individuality. Still, complete separateness denotes something. How much did you blow on the wedding? Some events seem to cost more than a mortgage nowadays. But one Emory University study found that the more you spend on the wedding, the less likely you will have staying power. That’s because spending more gave each elevated expectations for the marriage. When you aren’t ready for problems when they inevitably strike, there are no coping strategies set aside to deal with them. Those who coughed up $20,000 or more were 3.5 times more likely to divorce than those who spent $5,000-$10,000. Social networking sites have us all interconnected. They influence us more than we think. In fact, one study published in “Social Forces” Journal found that if a friend or neighbor got divorced, that person was 75% more likely to get divorced themselves. For ways to make you marriage strong whether entering into or already in the thick of it read, The Marriage Guide Book: How to Make Your Marriage Thrive by Vanessa Pagan.