All Articles Tagged "marriage"
There are many factors that explain why some are happily married while others aren’t. And now, science suggests that possession of certain personality traits may play a significant role in marital satisfaction.
According to Fusion, a recent study, which was published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, examined the correlation between personality traits and happiness levels before and after marriage. Researchers differentiated between personalities by using the Big Five scale, which identifies people’s personalities by “agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness.”
Initially, researchers found that women who married during the study started out happier than those who never married, which supports previous research that suggests happier people are generally more likely to marry. The year leading up to the marriage, the life satisfaction of these women increased; however, their life satisfaction tended to decline gradually once they were actually married. Men also experienced a decline in satisfaction after saying “I do,” but they experienced this decline a lot sooner than women did.
The good news is that not everyone experienced a similar rate of decline, and apparently, this is where the personality traits come in. Women who scored highly conscientiousness scale—in other words, they think of themselves as “more thorough, careful, and vigilant in life” and women who scored low on the extraversion scale—”meaning: they consider themselves introverted”—were more likely to “sustain” the life satisfaction levels they had prior to getting married.
Interestingly, researchers wrote that “women who scored themselves as moderately low on conscientiousness quickly experienced falls in life satisfaction,” adding: “After some years, the life satisfaction levels of those moderately low in conscientious are similar to those that remained single throughout the study.”
As for the guys, researchers saw that guys who rate highly on the extraversion scale were more likely to maintain happiness levels for longer periods of time.
“Whilst all men experience a pre-marital increase in their life satisfaction, men that are extraverted seem to experience longer-term benefits to their life satisfaction during marriage. Introverted men, however, experience significant drops in their life satisfaction that result in them being approximately 0.20 SD lower in life satisfaction than those who never marry,” the authors wrote.
When attempting to explain these correlations, researchers reason that conscientious women likely “prioritize the success of their relationships” and in turn, enjoy their marriages more.
“Such a result might be explained by the tendency for conscientious individuals to place more value on relationship goals and therefore, conscientious individuals may strive harder to ensure success,” the wrote.
Researchers arrived at their results after pouring over data collected from 2,015 individuals before and after tying the knot as a part of the German Socio-Economic Panel study. Participants were surveyed each year from 2005 to 2012. 468 participants married for the first time and remained married during those eight years. They were the focus of the study.
I mentioned last week that my father is a huge Prince fan and the one who introduced my mother, sister and I to his genius.
So, needless to say, he was deeply affected by his death last week. In my hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana, DJs announced that there would be a celebration of the late artist, downtown, starting at five o’clock. My father starts work at an ungodly hour and was already off by 4 p.m… My mother, on the other hand, owns and operates a daycare and was still at work, waiting for parents to pick up their children. So, while my father called her and told of his plans to attend the celebration, she couldn’t make it. But knowing how much Prince means to my father, she encouraged him to go and have fun.
Sadly, that’s not what happened.
The party, which was supposed to be held at a bar, was actually housed in a tent outside of the venue. This might not have been too terrible if the weather were accommodating. Instead, it was raining…hard. There was no dance floor, the tent was erected over concrete and it too was darkened by the rain.
Needless to say, it was wack and my father was there for only a few minutes before he peeped game and went home.
Later that evening, as he was telling my mother about the epic failure that was the Prince celebration he said, “You know I just wanted to sit and listen to his music, maybe dance a bit.”
My mother’s ears perked up at that last part. Now, I wasn’t in the room, but I imagine the discussion went something like this:
“Dance?…Dance with who?”
“You know, I would ask a woman to dance.”
“You don’t think that’s inappropriate?”
“No, I was there celebrating the work of this artist. It’s almost like a homegoing celebration. It’s ok to dance. A woman would see my wedding ring.”
“A wedding ring doesn’t mean a thing to some people.”
“We would just dance and then say goodbye to one another. “
“I think it’s inappropriate. You never know what someone else’s intentions are.”
A few days later, my parents called my sister and I and ran this scenario past us. Even though my father was the one who presented the story, as my mother said nothing, we agreed with her. Initially, when my dad said dance, I thought he meant by himself. But then the thought of him asking another woman to do so gave me pause.
Partially because what my mother said about not knowing another person’s intentions. But also because in so many situations asking someone to dance is a precursor to other things. And rather than having to shut another woman down, I think it’s best to play it low key, keeping it unmistakably platonic and cordial, when you find yourself out in a social setting without your spouse.
Still, I’m not married and I’m not sure if this is a hard fast rule.
When I told my coworkers this story, one of them mentioned something about a male relative who had taken up salsa dancing. He was attending classes, trying to learn the technique. Naturally, he was dancing, and very closely I might add, with other women. He found he really enjoyed it and invited his wife to take some of them with him. But each time he invited her, she refused, claiming it wasn’t her thing.
That is a bit different. One, he’s in a classroom setting and two, he keeps extending an invitation to his wife and she keeps refusing, when she knows that not only will he be dancing with other women, it’s also something he enjoys doing and she’s choosing not to be a part of it.
Shouldn’t he be well within his rights to enjoy this activity?
To me, it’s a slippery slope.
What do you think, is it inappropriate for married couples to dance with someone who isn’t there spouse, particularly when their partner is not at the same venue.
Should I stay or leave?
This is a question that crosses the minds of people in long-term relationships more often than they probably care to admit. Sometimes, these concerns are fleeting. They are often the result of temporary frustrations or other random feelings that missing out. Other times, it’s something deeper.
“The only thing determining whether to stay or leave is how we feel, which can be a pretty hard matter to work out for ourselves,” says philosopher Alain de Botton in a video from The School of Life. “Our feelings have a dispiriting habit of shifting and evading any efforts at rational clarification.”
For those who have seriously found themselves at a crossroad, and are wondering whether or not it’s really time to peace out, the Architecture of Happiness author recommends doing a self-check by asking yourself the following questions presented in the video below.
The relationship is over, but you have a child together, which means that in a way, you’re tied to one another forever. You have to work together raise the beautiful little human you created, which includes keeping each other abreast of significant lifestyle changes that will affect your kid. But exactly how much information are you expected to disclose to your ex? And how do you know where to draw the line?
A hot topic around the office lately has been whether or not parents should feel obligated to inform their exes when they’re tying the knot. Of course, the obvious answer is yes. You’re fastening your life to that of another, which means that this person will become a major fixture in your child’s life as well—if they haven’t already. In a perfect world, you and your ex have a fantastic co-parenting relationship, and you’ve managed to forge a friendship over time. It’s nothing for you two to get together so that you can share the good news with him over lunch and a cocktail. He’ll congratulate you, and you’ll slip him a wedding invitation. He’ll come out and celebrate your big day, and everyone will live happily, ever after. Unfortunately, in the real world, not every situation is this clean or amicable. And when you’ve found yourself in a volatile co-parenting relationship, the last thing you want to do is fan the flame by telling your ex that you’re about to marry someone else—especially if you’re not protected by a legally binding custodial agreement.A friend of mine is getting married in two months. Although his 8-year-old son knows, and he’s perfectly cool with it, my friend has not informed his ex-wife of his marital plans. Their breakup was not pretty, and during the years that followed, his ex has seemingly resorted to every measure possible to get under his skin—including showing up at his job trying to cause a scene and telling their child some pretty terrible lies about him. Ugly doesn’t even begin to describe how bad things got. Thankfully, their relationship has improved over the past year, and except for a few out-of-the-way remarks, they have been able to keep conflict to a minimum. But he fears that informing his ex of his upcoming nuptials will undo all of their progress, and since she’s known to go to extremes, he worries that she will try to retaliate. A few months back, was very close to telling her, but after a while, he started to wonder what the point was.
A friend of mine is getting married in two months. Although his 8-year-old son knows, and he’s perfectly cool with it, my friend has not informed his ex-wife of his marital plans. Their breakup was not pretty, and during the years that followed, his ex has seemingly resorted to every measure possible to get under his skin—including showing up at his job trying to cause a scene and telling their child some pretty terrible lies about him. Ugly doesn’t even begin to describe how bad things got. Thankfully, their relationship has improved over the past year, and except a few out-of-the-way remarks, they have been able to keep conflict to a minimum. But he fears that informing his ex of his upcoming nuptials will undo all of their progress, and since she’s known to go to extremes, he worries that she will try to retaliate. A few months back, he told me that he got very close to telling her, but after a while, he started to wonder what the point was.
His concerns are clearly understandable, but I’m just wondering how long this will continue before his ex-wife learns this information on her own, and is pissed off that he didn’t tell her. In my mind, she’s going to react however she’s going to react, whether it comes from him or someone else, so why not just get it out of the way?
One of my colleagues feels very strongly about this subject. She believes that anytime people are raising children together, they should always be familiar with who the other person is dating when that third person will be around the child. She also feels that the ex should absolutely know when the other parent is getting married—especially if it’s the custodial parent. Another coworker, on the other hand, doesn’t feel that the engaged parent owes their ex any explanations. For me, I would say that when a healthy co-parenting relationship is established, there’s no need to withhold this kind of information; however, when you find yourself in an ugly situation, perhaps it’s better to keep your mouth shut until you’ve consulted an attorney about how you can legally protect yourself from your ex should things go awry.
What do you think? Are you obligated to tell an ex when you’re going to remarry? Why or why not?
Eve is winning at both love and career, and we couldn’t be happier for her. Recently, the Barbershop: Next Cut actress opened up to People about her marriage, and she’s definitely giving us #relationshipgoals.
“Honesty and loyalty. You know we take it day by day, month by month,” she said of hubby, Maximillion Cooper. “We respect each other; we are the realest. It’s the realest relationship I’ve ever had. He’s my homie. All those sound like cliches, but really it’s working.”
The rapper, who is set to go on tour with Gwen Stefani, also dished on adding to their family. Currently, the pair co-parent four children from Cooper’s previous marriage. In fact, it seems that they’re already working on baby number five.
“We can’t wait to have kids of our own,” she said. “Whoever is in charge, make it happen. I can’t wait.”
As you may recall, the couple tied the knot in 2014 after dating for four years. The pair met in 2010 at Cooper’s annual racing event, Gumball 3000.
“It’s fun; we’re driving together for his company Gumball 3000. That’s how I met him. That’s a test for a relationship, drive 300 miles. Trust me; we’ve done it three years in a row,” she said.
We love their love.
(As relayed by Lauren R.D. Fox based on a culmination of experiences)
Last week my husband went to visit his friends in San Francisco. Although we have a three-month-old newborn, I thought he deserved to take the trip since he has been helpful around the house and with our child.
When he returned home from his week-long trip, we sat and chatted about what he and his friends did. As he shifted through the normal and somewhat boring details of his trip, my husband unexpectedly shared that he went to get a full-body massage. For those who are not in the “know,” that type of massage usually ends with “happy endings,” (i.e. female masseuses give men hand jobs).
Although some women would angrily respond to their partners after hearing such news, I wasn’t. In fact, I was fascinated and asked my husband what the experience was like. As he gave me insight on what it was like to receive those special massages, we traded laughs and eventually fell asleep until our son woke us up.
The next day, my husband stayed home with the baby and I went to have brunch with an old friend. While we waited for our food, my friend and I traded motherhood stories until the topic of sex came up. She asked if my husband and I were having sex as often as we would like and I told her the truth: no. But I quickly brushed it off by laughing that my husband takes care of himself or receives “happy endings” while on vacation.
With a horrified look on her face, my friend said that she can’t believe I allow my husband to cheat on me by receiving full body massages from random women. I told her I didn’t give him permission, it was a one-time ordeal and I didn’t count it as cheating. But now I’m questioning my reaction. Did my husband cheat? And did I allow it?
“What would it take for you to remove your wedding ring?”
That’s one of the first questions I was hit with this morning when I got to work. It was posed by one of my coworkers and inspired by speculation that Monica Brown and her husband, Shannon Brown are on the outs following rumors of infidelity.
According to B. Scott, the beautiful wife and mom stepped out for a performance this weekend sans her gorgeous, diamond-studded eternity band and engagement ring, and folks are busy connecting the dots, trying to figure out whether or not this means that things are over between her and Shannon.
I always try to remain optimistic, especially when it comes to people’s marriages, so until we see that this has become a pattern or Monica comes straight out and says that it’s over or that the rumors are true, I’m going to assume that she simply forgot to put her rings back on before the performance. I hate to assume the worst or speak negativity over anyone’s union, and I don’t want to speculate. I do not know what’s going on in that marriage. So I’ll just send some prayers up for them and their family and mind my business. But the question presented by my coworker did trigger an interesting discussion, and that’s what I’d like to explore in this post.
“What would it take for you to remove your wedding ring?”
My coworker, Veronica, is always talking about people who treat their spouses like a boyfriend or girlfriend. You know, the types who change their relationship statuses on Facebook from “married” to “single” or “it’s complicated” after every little fight, who regularly threaten to pack their sh-t and head over to their mama’s house, drop their married name from their Facebook pages, who remove their rings in a heartbeat just to make a point. Most of us have witnessed someone act out this way, and in many cases, the person is just trying to push their partner’s buttons. In many cases, over time, the relationship shrivels up and dies. When you continuously threaten to leave a partner just to get a rise out of them, after a while, the fear of losing you loses its power. Not to mention that these kinds of threats seem to erode the foundational pillars of a relationship. If I can count on you threatening to leave me every time you’re angry, what do we really have?
I can recall one couple who was engaged to be married. The woman in the relationship was always taking off her ring and telling her fiancé that the wedding was off. This went on for years, and eventually, the guy got to the point where he stopped taking their engagement seriously. By the time she seriously started working towards making wedding plans, he was mapping out his exit strategy.
I know that marriage comes with its share of ups and downs, and spouses have the potential to hurt their partners in a way that no one else can, so I really can’t be 100 percent certain of what I would do or how I would react when placed in challenging marital situations; however, I would hope that I wouldn’t remove my ring until papers are served and it’s clear that things are over. One coworker agreed that she, too, would wait until papers have been signed. Another colleague shared that she would take off her ring once if she is completely sure that she’s done with the relationship. But for some, it’s not that deep. For them, the ring is just a small symbol of the union, and removing it out of anger is really no big deal. They just put it back on when they’re not angry anymore and keep it pushing.
We’d like to hear from you. Do you remove your wedding ring when you’re angry at your spouse? Do you believe that this has had an impact on your marriage in any way?
When I first got engaged, the thought of having to part with my ring for any reason literally brought tears to my eyes. The thought of trading it in for an upgrade seemed preposterous. To me, it wasn’t just a ring. It symbolized the love of my fiancé and the fact that on one warm, summer night in September, he got down on bended knee and asked me to be his wife. I definitely won’t say that it’s Blac Chyna status or anything, but it’s absolutely gorgeous to me (keyword: me), and it holds so much sentimental value.
It’s always interesting to me when people feel that it’s okay to make negative comments about the size, worth, or quality of a woman’s engagement ring. Recently, I came across a Facebook status in which a woman shut down naysayers who encouraged her to “upgrade” her “small” engagement ring. The fact that anyone would tell someone that their ring needs to be upgraded is mindblowing, but the comments that this woman received from relatives and associates were enough to upset even the most easygoing person. They’re downright rude. Her status reads:
Yes, I know that my wedding ring is small.
Friends and family often ask me when I’m going to have it “upgraded”…. After all, it doesn’t represent the level of success we are achieving.
I’ve even had one person say “you could wear a bigger ring for important events, so people don’t think you’re not successful.”
Wait a minute…. Since when did the size of someone’s ring become an indication of success?!
For me, the ring is SO much more.
My ring symbolizes a whirlwind, storybook, “make you sick” love story…. It reminds me of how my husband and I met and fell at in love in one night at a Perkin’s diner.
He worked as a window washer, and I was a single mother.
One short week later, and we professed our love to one another, him leading the conversation.
We couldn’t stop dreaming of our future, so excited to have a baby, buy a house, and fall asleep together every night.
We couldn’t wait for the future. So we didn’t.
13 days after meeting, we eloped. I didn’t even THINK about a ring until my husband surprised me before the ceremony. He drained his savings to gift me with a small token of his love.
I say small, only because it pales in comparison with how big his love is, even now, after years of marriage.
That, my friends, is success to me.
Rude comments aside, I thought Rachel’s post raised some interesting questions, and I wanted to hear from some you. Is the size/quality of one’s engagement indicative of their success? Do you believe that an engagement ring loses it’s sentimental value once it’s traded in for an upgrade? Would you ever trade your ring in for an upgrade? Speak on it in the comments below?
Marriage certainly has its perks.
According to CBS News, a recent study suggests that married cancer patients have a better chance of beating the deadly disease. Researchers found that single men suffering from cancer had a 27 percent higher death rate than married men stricken by the illness. Single women experienced a 19 percent higher death rate than married women diagnosed with cancer.
“The effects that we find were actually quite notable,” said the study’s author Scarlett Lin Gomez, who is a research scientist with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California. “They are comparable to some of the more clinical factors we often see that are associated with cancer prognosis, like stage of disease or certain types of treatment.”
Interestingly, it’s not even the financial advantages of marriage that appear to be helping husbands and wives beat the disease. Instead, researchers say that the marriage advantage seems to rely solely on the emotional bonds that are present in a union. Love and support apparently play a key role in a patient’s recovery.
“These patterns were very minimally explained by the married patients having greater economic resources,” Gomez said. “Specifically, we looked at health insurance, and we looked at living in a higher socioeconomic status neighborhood. Even though these played a small role, they really didn’t explain the greater survival among the married.”
Love and support apparently play a key role in a patient’s recovery.
“Treatments can drag on for months and months,” Gomez said. “It can be very difficult if you’re single, and you don’t have any other means to get to the doctor.”
“You have somebody who’s there to listen to you, to counsel you through the stress of cancer treatment,” she continued. “Cancer is a very scary thing, and it’s good to have someone by your side.”
Although scientists did find a link between marriage and cancer prognosis, they did not find a cause-and-effect connection between marital status and cancer survival rates.
Have you ever wondered what the number one predictor of divorce is? Hint: it’s not screaming matches, money-related disagreements, mismatched parenting styles or in-law disputes. The number one predictor of divorce is good ole contempt.
According to Marie Claire, after four decades of studying couples at the Gottman Institute, Dr. John Gottman found that harboring feelings of contempt or disgust towards a partner causes marriages to come apart at the seams. Of course, it’s natural for feel frustrated or even annoyed with your mate from time to time, but once feelings of disdain develop, you’re in unhealthy territory.
“All relationships involve ongoing, perpetual problems that will resurface,” explains Gottman researcher Mike McNulty, Ph.D. “Partners who do not handle discussions of these problems well are at the most risk of divorce.”
Wondering if contempt might be eating away at your union? Think about the reoccurring issues that continue to surface in your relationship, such as disciplinary differences or debates about spending. How do you or your partner behave when discussing these matters?
“Partners who are headed towards divorce have the following tendencies: They become angry and use what we call the ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse or negative patterns of communication, which are criticism, contempt, stonewalling, and defensiveness,” said Dr. McNulty. “This leads to something we call ‘diffuse physiological arousal’ or ‘flooding’ [which involves] one or both partners’ bodies releasing hormones as heart rates accelerate, muscles become tense, the skin becomes hot or sweaty, and the stomach feels nervous.”
Not to worry, though. If you and your partner are still engaging in heated arguments, it means that you may still be in a position to save your marriage.
“Relationships die by ice rather than fire,” said McNulty. “Some couples eventually stop trying to dialogue. They find working on key conflicts to be too difficult or painful. They give up. They grow more distant, and live more like roommates than spouses.”
This means that if you and your partner are still fighting, you still have a fighting chance.
“If you’re both still arguing you haven’t yet reached the point of surrender,” said McNulty.
For advice on how to nip contempt in the bud, click here.