Love in Marriage is a Relatively New Idea

marriage

Love in Marriage is a Relatively New Idea

We think of love as the reason for marriage as a foregone conclusion. Historically speaking, that isn’t the case. Love in ancient Greece was thought of as a mental illness, as was it in Medieval Europe. In France in the Middle Ages it was thought to be cured with intercourse with the beloved or some other. Marriage on the other hand was to combine wealth and for political power. It was also to make children to work family farms. Parents would be shocked in those days if their children wanted to marry for love.

Physical attraction has always been a part of marriage. The world over and throughout history polygamy has been the most popular form of marriage. It even appears in the Bible with King Solomon and David who had many, many wives. In a certain culture in Tibet, the Na people have the women go to the next village to conceive. Then they raise the children with their brothers. The children don’t have any parents like we think of them. They are raised by the whole village. Like that African saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Too much love within marriage was thought to poison throughout ancient and medieval times in the West. However with the American and French Revolutions we saw a change in mindset. People were concerned with their personal freedoms and the pursuit of their own happiness, as Jefferson so eloquently put it. Working for a salary instead of on the farm helped break marriage away from the economic sphere and to the sphere of the heart. Only in the middle of the nineteenth century did Americans begin marrying for love. They convinced themselves that it was the only reason to marry and that it had always been so.

The largest group to marry was the returning G.I.s and their Rosie the Riveter’s just after World War II. The men worked and the women stayed home to care for it and the children. Salaries rose for men. But a lot of women found it confining. Enter the women’s liberation movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. Women flooded the workforce. Soon we saw no fault divorces, the biggest years were between 1978 and 1980. 67% of divorces are filed by women. Today we are seeing vast changes. Some wonder if it is the end of marriage as we know it. But no one is tying the knot in America today, or at least not saying they are, without being in love. To learn more on this topic read, Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage by Stephanie Coontz.

How You Subconsciously Maneuver into Controlling Relationships

Upset Woman

How You Subconsciously Maneuver into Controlling Relationships

If you feel like you have no control in your life but are always being controlled, feel overwhelmed by pressures, or that you are helpless because your power has been taken away, you could be creating a situation where you always export your sense of power and control to others. This generally isn’t a conscious move. If you feel a lack of power or control in your life, feel helpless but don’t know what to do, then this is probably you. The first issue is becoming aware of it. Once you have done that you can take steps to turn things around and take control of your life again.

HERE’S HOW YOU SUBCONSCIOUSLY MANEUVER INTO CONTROLLING RELATIONSHIPS:

First, you stop taking care of yourself in the right way. Whether you are smoking, shirking off exercise, over-eating or eating the wrong things, whatever the situation when you don’t take care of yourself you are sending an unconscious message for others to take care of you. The next sign is that you rail against the expectations or authority of others. Those with rebellious attitudes often are screaming at authorities to control them. They hate authority and at the same time they wish deep inside to be controlled by it. Those who wish to be controlled often don’t make the best choices in life. They fall apart at the last minute. They lack follow through. They flake out. They fail to complete the assignment and they telegraph their inability to handle things in the process.

Those who subconsciously want to be controlled may ask those in positions of authority question after question about a task or assignment. They may not even need help but feel inadequate, they are seeking attention and even friendship, or they want someone else to take over. Are you willing to take risks? Do you fear or loathe making mistakes? If you do, then you may be screaming for someone else to come in and take over. Are you a person who just can’t say no? If you constantly overextend yourself and can’t follow through, then this may be you. Do you feel as though you have no say in what’s happening around you? Do you feel as though your opinion doesn’t amount to much, if anything at all? The fact that you feel this way means you are ripe to be controlled because you yourself don’t value your own opinion.

Are you attracted to the controlling type? If your partners always seem to be persuasive, charismatic, strong, independent minded and even controlling and manipulative people, you have to consider that subconsciously you want to be controlled. Do you know your own feelings on what is going on in your life? If you can’t tell how you feel about things, or do things even though they make you feel uncomfortable, you may be practicing a type of self-sabotage that leaves you subconsciously exporting your power while consciously despising what is happening to you. For more on breaking free of negative patterns read, Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior by Mark Goulston and Philip Goldberg.

Why Some Women like Serial Killers

Portrait of beautiful couple

Everyone knows this story, a normal woman becomes intrigued by a serial killer and leaves her normal life to marry him. It’s true and there are countless stories. But the reasons are generally the same. They believe they can change him. Others see the hurt little child inside and want to care for and nurture that child. He can be completely faithful, in this sense the “perfect boyfriend” who is at all times only thinking about her and has no opportunity or need to be unfaithful. Though he can say he loves her, there are no messy relationship problems that will spring up and spoil what they have. The couple doesn’t have to discuss parenting or money issues. No one crosses the line or has to be held accountable for anything. Henry Lee Lucas had one eye, and a supposed sexual relationship with a drifter. Yet he had many female admirers, one who even planned to pose as his ex-girlfriend even though he had admitted to strangling her and chopping her up into little pieces. Some experts believe that a woman’s desire to be with a serial killer is equivalent to fanaticism. These women are either highly insecure or can’t go about having relationships in the normal way and so seek out a relationship that they truly can’t have.

Though, there are cases that break this scenario. Married, educated, attractive women have fallen for serial killers, some even judges and psychologists. Women who fall for these predators are usually in their thirties or forties. Their motives for getting involved with who they do often vary but both members usually protect the relationship fiercely from outsiders. There are those who say they know that the object of their affection is guilty of the heinous crimes they’ve allegedly committed. Others swear by their sweetie’s innocence. These types of relationships can seem to be devoid of all logic. Perhaps this is why some women like serial killers, that and a biological phenomenon found in primates. Females, as researchers have discovered, often prefer males who are larger, more aggressive, and even louder. These are clear-cut markers of male-ness. In humans perhaps these women see in such a powerful male something that no ordinary man can deliver. Through this male then the female is protected and even gains status. Those who want longer than their allotted fifteen minutes of fame may use it as a chance to get more exposure than they normally would as well. To learn more about the history of serial killers in America, read Natural Born Celebrities: Serial Killers in American Culture by David Schmid.

Narcissists are More Prone to Sexual Infidelity

narcissist

There are all kinds of problems being in a relationship with a narcissist and here’s one more thrown on the pile. According to new research, narcissists are more prone to sexual infidelity.  Laura Widman and James K. McNulty were the researchers who uncovered these results by studying 123 newlyweds through their first four years together as husband and wife. Using surveys and lab experiments, infidelity, sexual satisfaction and marital satisfaction were all gauged. Questions regarding sexual narcissism were highlighted including sexual entitlement, empathy, view of their own skill and sexual exploitation. To determine whether someone was a sexual narcissist or not, researchers asked questions on a five point scale. Sample questions were: “I feel I deserve sexual activity when I am in the mood for it”,   “I could easily convince my spouse to have sex with me if he or she was unwilling”, and “I really know how to please my spouse sexually.” The research revealed a pattern, those with higher sexual narcissism levels were more likely to cheat. As the researchers themselves put it, “The spouses who were more confident about their sexual skill were more likely to commit an infidelity.”

If your partner shows the traits of sexual narcissism they will be more likely to go astray, according to this research. The researchers wrote of this, “Interventions may benefit from identifying and targeting individuals who have narcissistic tendencies that manifest in the sexual domain.” You can find this article in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior. So what are some of the signs you need to watch out for to see if you are with a sexual narcissist? A sexual narcissist uses sex for their own gratification, they don’t care much about their partner’s though they may feign that they do. Just like with other parts of the relationship, it is all about them all the time. At first, it may feel thrilling and exhilarating. But after a while you will realize that your own needs aren’t being met, or even regarded. In fact, they are usually simply cast aside in one clever way or another. Sex or the withholding of it is at their whim and pleasure. If you aren’t into it or don’t want it when they do, there is something wrong with you. There is no intimacy with a narcissist. In fact, at times it may be more about power and control than bonding or connecting. The lover is, in this realm as in all others in the relationship, a toy to be used, manipulated and abused all at the whim of the narcissist. If you are with someone with any of these traits it is best to untangle yourself from the relationship. This mental condition isn’t healthy and it will bring you down so as to hoist your partner up. Find someone who is also interested in fulfilling your needs, wants and desires. For more on this topic, read Narcissistic Lovers: How to Cope, Recover and Move On by Cynthia Zayn and Kevin Dibble, M.S.

Things about Dating that Go Unnoticed

dating

Nobody said dating would be easy. There are a lot of layers to how and why people get together. It’s so complex. Yet that’s one of the reasons it is so worthwhile. There are lots of things about dating that go unnoticed, little rules and phenomenon that if we tune into we can perhaps navigate this precarious and often perplexing world more easily. Reddit users were recently polled on what user mertell called the “unspoken rules of dating”. The results appeared recently in the Huffington Post. The first was that standards are not always the same. You may think your standards never change. But often they shift due to how attracted you are to someone. The more attractive they are, the lower the standard they have to meet. Many people will even put up with more and more frustrating behavior from someone who is attractive than someone who is not. Though some people try to attach all kinds of systems, and even science into dating, success is often more up to luck and chance than any systems put in place. If there was a scientific method in order to find your perfect match there wouldn’t be so many articles or self-help books, videos and TV shows with experts weighing in. But if it were so easy to find your perfect match, though the anxiety would be taken out of the equation, wouldn’t some of the magic be gone, too?

Playing games is something that lots of people say they want to avoid. This is often thought of as manipulative behavior such as trying to get attention or even sex out of someone you don’t want a relationship with, but leading them on as if you do. Though many say they are tired of game playing, manipulation at least on some level is part and parcel of every romantic relationship. Power struggles, suggestions made to feel as though they are the person’s own decisions and other thought to be positive nudges can also be considered game playing. Really it’s how it is done, the way it is done and the intention behind the manipulation that really counts. One sure truth is that dating will be painful at some point. Most people have their heart broken at some time in their lives, not to mention all the uncomfortable moments dating can produce. As one Reddit user put it, some of the terrible things that can happen include, ”Falling hard for someone who doesn’t notice you, meeting someone wonderful who you click instantly with who is already taken, having someone lead you on only to use you for sex or attention with no intention of progressing the relationship the way you’d want to, investing in someone only to find out they’re a total asshole, having to reject someone who is a good person because there is no feelings on your part, being cheated on or getting dumped because your [partner] found someone they like better…” Lastly, even if a first date went well remember it’s like a job interview. Are you entirely yourself at a job interview? Most people don’t really let you in until the second or third date. So watch and wait to see who really is across the table from you. To learn more about unspoken dating rules, read Not Your Mother’s Rules: The New Secrets for Dating by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider.