What is a "happy marriage?” Here are some facts (according to this person):
1) 50% of marriages fail in divorce. The other 50% are probably not happy either.
2) Not many people I know could claim being in a happy marriage. Consider your own circle.
3) For most, I’d say they’re just hanging on for convenience.
Rather then send people to a therapist, maybe a lawyer would save them time and money!
Is there such a thing as a "happy marriage" among most people?
Yes, “Curious,” there are many, many happy marriages. I know of lots among my own “circle.” And through this advice column, I get emails from many happy couples as well.
However, when those people in “happy marriages” write, it’s often because they’re shocked or surprised at others’ negative attitudes within their partnerships.
For example, they’re surprised when a spouse who gets laid off becomes depressed, and the partner doesn’t get it or decides that’s the time to start cheating. Or, when they read how many people resort to snooping instead of talking to their mates about feeling insecure in the relationship. Or, they are shocked about couples who can’t find compromises in differences over in-laws, money, ex’es, each other’s children, etc.
By contrast, the happily ‘marrieds’ describe their own stories of rising above life’s challenges, and working out some problems (often with therapists’ help).
See lawyers’ instead? Yes, when efforts to reconcile or resolve issues fail, I do advise that legal help IS vital for both partners to part with their rights affirmed.
By the way, if you’re thinking of getting married some day yourself, you’ll need a more positive attitude than what you’ve written here, to make it last.
And if you are already married, you sound pessimistic, which suggests to me that you have some troubles with your mate, and I do believe that’s the time to seek counselling together.
As for “hanging on for convenience,” that’s another generalization without any backup. In a truly happy marriage, people stay together over the long haul because they’ve built a deep love infused by respect and loyalty.
It binds them even when life gets “inconvenient” because of the compromises that are needed and the inevitable trials that must be faced over the years.
My next door neighbour’s a 40-something woman from (Ellie: a country that’ll be unnamed) who goes out in her back yard several times a day and makes that horrible noise of clearing her throat and then spitting out on her lawn. It’s a gross thing to listen to. It’s making me sick.
We live in the city, so our houses are close. Is this type of behavior acceptable in (her country)? How do I get her to stop? I was thinking of writing her an anonymous letter.
Close your window facing her back yard, and turn up the music inside. It’s her house, her habit, and her rights to clear phlegm if she pleases. As for your naming her country of origin, there are plenty of born-here folks with less than appetizing personal habits… starting with men who grab at their pants’ crotch in public.
If you ever rise above prejudice to speak to your next-door neighbor, you might gently ask if she has a sinus problem (common in North America) because you hear her clearing it, and could recommend she ask her doctor for a nasal spray to relieve the symptoms. Then you could sign yourself, “Helping Out.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the elderly couple who bring their adult son and his wife their "finds" from their apartment's garbage room (June 30):
Reader – “Their son should tell them to take it to a second-hand store or flea market. If their "finds" are constantly rejected there, then they can safely assume they have no real value and this might break them of their habit. But if they're purchased, it may give them a little hobby in retirement and relieve some of their worries about money.
“There’s currently a TV public service announcement promoting bicycles for Africa. All they need do is go around the city on any garbage night with a pick-up truck and they could stock a whole village!
“On one hand, we simply don't know how well off we are compared to everyone else while on the other we seem determined to flaunt it with our throw-away society.”
Tip of the day:
You can see many happy marriages, if you remove the veil of cynicism.