The Most Expensive Weddings Lead to the Shortest Marriages

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The Most Expensive Weddings Lead to the Shortest Marriages

The price on weddings has risen significantly in recent years. So-called “normal” couples today incorporate detailed websites, photo booths and giant ice sculptures into their marriages, and even throw weekend-long events. The industry likes to marry the idea of love and commitment with how much is spent. But although most of us scour the plan looking for ways of saving a few dollars, some wish money was no object. They secretly drool over celebrity-style affairs in exotic locales, taking place in lavish venues where so many luxuries abound their guests’ heads spin. We dream of becoming a part of what looks like modern day royalty. But be careful what you wish for. All of that style may be hiding a lack of substance, according to a study out of Emory University. You would think those who shell out the most mean it the most. But this study found the opposite to be true. The most expensive weddings lead to the shortest marriages. Two economics professors came to this conclusion. They also found that the higher the price-tag for the engagement ring, the greater the likelihood of divorce.

3,000 participants, married only one time, took part in this study. They found that those men who spent $500 to $2,000 were 1.3 times less likely to get divorced than those who spent $2,000 and $4,000. Those who spent $5,000 to $10,000 on the wedding were 3.5 times less likely to get divorced than those who shelled out over $20,000. In an email to Big Think researchers wrote, “Advertising has fueled the norm that spending large amounts on the engagement ring and wedding is an indication of commitment or is helpful for a marriage to be successful.” Though they’ve found a correlation, determining causation is far trickier. The economists surmise that such a big event inflates the expectations of the marriage. The couple is enchanted into the notion that things are going to be easy from here on out. Both parties have unrealistic expectations which undermine reconciliation when the couple hits a stumbling block. Those who have a more moderately priced affair have a level-headed view and so are ready when the inevitable difficulties arise.

No matter how much you plunk down for your wedding, there are some qualities that can be sustained by both parties to give the marriage the best chance of success. The first is to focus on the positive rather than the negative. There are little things that will inevitably drive you crazy. But if you can remember how supportive and understanding they are, you can perhaps overlook the hair they leave in the shower drain or that they are never once on-time. Invest in your relationship. This could be time, energy or thoughtfulness. But you get out of a marriage what you put into it. Communicate clearly and make sure you understand what your spouse has said or is saying. Lots of fights boil down to miscommunication. Fight smart. If you hurt your partner but win the argument, have you really won? Learn to let the little things go. And find ways to increase your closeness and strengthen your bond. For more on how to achieve marital success read, Strong Marriage, Happy Life: The Core Principles of a Successful Marriage and How to Make Your Marriage Work by Sonya Dawson.

Is Monogamy’s Death Due to Hollywood?

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Is Monogamy’s Death Due to Hollywood?

On TV and in the movies today we see lots of young, healthy, attractive people taking part in friends with benefits scenarios or no strings attached sex. Meanwhile, frustrated wives and overweight inept husbands blanket the TV and movie screens. Monogamy is seen as passé by many millennials. In a survey last year many millennials said they thought marriage would soon die out. So here’s a riddle spawned in real life, another case of either life imitating art or art imitating life. Is monogamy’s death due to Hollywood? Or is Tinsel town merely reflecting a cultural phenomenon taking place in our country today?

First, there’s the fact that Hollywood is only out to entertain. A sexy young couple trying to feel their way through a friends with benefits scenario is far more interesting than a married couple trying to decide what color tile should go in the new bathroom. TV teen shows also portray torrid love affairs to long term romances. “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “Glee” are all a testament to this. Also shows like “No Strings Attached” and “Friends with Benefits” made it onto the small screen for adult viewing this year.

Dr. Jeffrey Gardere a clinical psychologist recently spoke on this phenomenon, the lack of monogamy and the widespread portrayal of hookup culture. “To some extent Hollywood may be promoting the hook up mentality because that is much more exciting and sexy than promoting monogamy and stable relationships.  Today’s younger culture is about the hook up and fun instead of settling down, so certainly Hollywood will play to that audience. I also believe there is a tendency to promote that lifestyle as being more easy to achieve than it actually is. There are not enough stories about the emotional and even physical repercussions to the hook-up mentality.”

But Jessica Wakeman, famous author and blogger on women’s issues and pop culture for popular website TheFrisky.com said, “Hollywood is not accurate about a lot of things regarding sexuality, but I do think it portrays ‘hook-up culture’ somewhat accurately. Teenagers and young adults today are a lot more comfortable hooking up with each other without further commitment than at any other point in history. A lot of us have friends with benefits to meet our needs for sexuality and companionship.” Most experts agree that although Hollywood does influence us psychologically, it’s mostly economic reasons that have changed male-female relationships and gender roles. Still, the impact and role Hollywood plays in shaping our perception of this phenomenon will be debated for some time to come. To learn more about hookup culture read, The End of Sex: How Hookup Culture Is Leaving a Generation Unhappy, Sexually Unfulfilled, and Confused about Intimacy by Donna Freitas.