Thursday, July 14, 2011
Link Thursday: The Curse of the Just-OK Marriage
Stumbled upon this article this week - a lot of us are in this boat, whether we're married, in committed relationships, or with a partner. Routine settles in; life just rolls along... and you wonder where the heck the spark is, where the heck is the person you signed up to be with, where the heck the person you were went AWOL!
And romance writers - why is it most romances end at "I love you, will you marry me?" Very few stories touch upon life after marriage... and we all know Real Life is no HEA!
What to do then?
Check out this amazing article! It speaks for itself. You can grab it online here, and it is written by Carolyn Campion.
The Curse of the Just-OK Marriage
After a few years of marriage and maybe a few kids, many couples settle into a routine and can take their spouse and relationship for granted. Here are ideas on how to keep the spark alive.
By Caroline Campion
In her latest book Marriage Confidential, Pamela Haag examines the growing trend of "semi-happy" married life. If you're coupled up - or want to be - you've got to read this.
Glamour: Why did you decide to write this book?
Pamela Haag: I was drawn to it by the marriages that I saw every day, including my own. I'm married to a great guy, and he's a wonderful husband. But nonetheless, over the years, I haven't felt totally fulfilled by marriage. So I conducted a survey of almost 2,000 people and found that many of them felt the same way.
Glamour: Is that the "semi-happy marriage"?
Pamela Haag: Yes: It's not that the marriage is terrible, with people who are arguing or miserable. But they're stuck in an ambivalent stage. I've always heard there was a question that Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver used to ask his pitcher Jim Palmer when Palmer was struggling: "Are you going to get any better, or is this it?" That's the soul of the semi-happy question: Is this all there is?
Glamour: So are we supposed to settle for the nice guy, or go for the one we're totally crazy for?
Pamela Haag: We grew up with a romantic ideal, but a lot of women aren't sure if they believe in it. Experts say compatibility is key. But when a marriage is too much like a friendship, it loses energy.
Glamour: This long after the feminist revolution, shouldn't marriages be better? It seems like they're not.
Pamela Haag: While liberation freed women from having to look at men as meal tickets, it also freed men to start looking at women as meal tickets. The latest research finds that 22 percent of wives are now earning more than their husband. The problem is, these "workhorse wives" often shoulder most of the household work and child care, too!
Glamour: You also mention that "children are the new spouses." How so?
Pamela Haag: When I grew up, there were times when adults wanted to be alone and have adult conversations, and kids were told to scram. Now kids are so often invited and have become the focus of family life, and that can negatively affect marriages.
Glamour: So how does one avoid falling into a semi-happy rut?
Pamela Haag: It's more about how you live in a marriage than whom you choose. I think people in happy marriages live like they're on vacation all the time, in the sense that they're paying attention to each other and trying to have some fun. Marriage should be enjoyable rather than just hard work.
Glamour: Have you applied these principles to your own marriage?
Pamela Haag: Yes! I do think that our marriage is better because of this, and we're paying more attention to each other. I think my husband's very brave to allow me to write about it!
From Mauritius with love,