This page is where I put interesting things regarding marriage I have run across. It is not based on any extensive review of marriage advice.
For Better by Tara Parker-Pope lists some characteristics for success/failure of marriages:
One Christian friend who had done a fair amount of marriage counseling told me that marriage counseling does not have a good record. 75-80% of couples still get divorced.
See WARNING: Marriage Counselors Do More HARM Than Good Unless You Know... at marriage-success-secrets.com.
He said the biggest marriage issue is a focus on problems. Even working on solutions is still aimed at the problem.
In "The Four Loves of a Successful Marriage: A Marriage Guide", Keith Brown, a Presbyterian pastor who has led many marriage enrichment seminars and counselled hundreds of couples, says,
"I've become convinced that it takes four kinds of love to build a successful marriage.
I heard an interview with John Gottman, author of many marriage books including ("The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work : A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert", 1988) which prompted me to google some of the topics he discussed.
Gottman's studies showed that all couples argue and get angry with each other. Successful couples did not put their partners on the defensive and moved toward resolution rather than escalation in an argument.
Is Marriage Good for Your Health? - NYTimes.com April 18, 2010
The health - marriage connection:
In 1858 a British epidemiologist named William Farr did a sutdy called the "conjugal condition" of the people in France and found that the unmarried died from disease in undue proportion to their married counterparts. Of course correlation doesn't imply cause and effect. Unhealthy people may be less likely to get married.
However current studies have found the same thing. In 2009 the Journal of Health and Social Behavior published a study which grew out of work by researchers at the University of Chicago. It not only found that married people were healthier, but people who had been single their entire lives were healthier than people who were married and divorced or widowed.
As a widower who is healthier than most of my friends my age, I think these studies are all flawed. Many men rely on their wives to prepare healthy meals, and when left alone resort to junk food and an unhealthy lifestyle. As long as you take care of yourself and maintain social relationships thru organizations, friends, church, ... I think single people can be as healthy as their married counterparts.
See: Is Marriage Good, NY Times April 18, 2010
Esther Perel author of the 2006 best seller Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, says,
"In order for couples to remain interested in one another, they require distance, transgression, surprise, and play. We must be able to stand back from our partners, to view them as separate, mysterious people, for them to remain objects of our desire." She poses some interesting questions like "can desire be sustained over the long haul?" and "does intimacy make for a satisfying sexual relationship?"
See her TED Talk
"For Better": The science of marital unhappiness, by Tara Parker-Pope
Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence, Esther Perel
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