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Articles from September 2008

September 21, 2008

How to Enjoy Being Married for 80 Years

Wishing a happy 80th anniversary today to Clyde and Marie Barnes, and thank to Salt Lake's Channle 5, KSL-TV, for letting us know what Marie says is the secret to their success.

"We just try to love what the other one does and do it together. If he suggests something, I try to go along with it. And if I suggest something, he seems to do the same."

Sounds to me like Marie listens to Clyde's suggestions as if he still loves her and wants the best for her, and vice versa. It's a great way to live.

KSL-TV adds

They also say you can't forget the second staple of a successful marriage: a sense of humor.

That's what Mark Gungor says, too. He's worth checking out. So is his Flag Page.

September 10, 2008

World's Worst Marriage Advice

Need some marriage advice to help you through a disagreement? Mine would include this:

Stay away from!

What in the world are the anonymous folks behind this new website thinking? It's the "Isn't My Spouse Awful?" game taken to a revolting new level: invite everyone on the web to take sides in your dispute. Instead of resolving your differences and honoring the wonderful person you chose as your life partner, pile on a whole heap of hot, stinking "proof" that the two sides you've chosen up are your only available options, and one of you doesn't have the smarts or decency to choose it.

Please, please, please don't do this to your marriage. There is almost always a Third Alternative that beats, hands-down, the two you are fighting over. Here are a few past posts on how to find them:
Third Alternative for a Disagreement over Collecting Too Much Stuff
Third Alternative for a Disagreement over Weight Gain
Third Alternative for a Disagreement over Design of a New House

Sept 10 Teleclass: Insults and Putdowns

Join me for a free teleclass tonight on dealing with a common marriage problem:

Handling Insults and Putdowns from a Spouse

Wednesday, September 10, 2008, 9 pm EDT

September 9, 2008

Why Be Married? To Become Yourself Fully

Here's a blog post from a woman engaged for the first time in midlife on her surprising discovery.

It's different when you have love in your life. It wasn't the money I was afraid of losing, it was the opportunity to become who I really am. It's not possible to do that when you are afraid all the time.

September 1, 2008

Men Who Stray -- and their DNA

Some men have an easier time being married than others. Now we learn DNA plays a big part in marriage.

A brain hormone called vasopressin influences men's bonding with a sex partner. More vasopressin makes men feel closer and want to stick around. Hasse Walum at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and his research team report on the effects of a variation in the gene that determines the placement of vasopressin receptors in the brain.

Around 40% of all men inherit this variant from one or both parents. In this study of Swedish men, one copy increases the likelihood that a man will avoid marrying his partner or experience marriage problems big enough to make him consider leaving. Two copies increases it again, to more than double the divorce risk for men with no copies and more than one-third considering divorce each year.

Does this mean their marriages (or their wives) are doomed? Not at all. It means men with this genetic makeup need some way other than fleeting emotions to advise them on whether it's worth fixing a problem instead of walking out or starting an affair. For them, it can be very important to assume love and take a second look before acting on their initial, emotional interpretation of an incident.

I am sure others will claim, once again, that this is proof we're not meant to marry for life, that we should just move on -- or have an affair -- when the sex gets stale or we disagree. I think watching a little boy whose father has just moved out, a teenage girl who never knew her father, or a pair of 85 year-olds helping each other enjoy life makes it clear we humans have many excellent reasons to bond.

For more on the study, see The Washington Post or Bloomberg.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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