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On Marrying the Wrong Person

Happiness and Marriage

Our delusion of happiness (as in 'happily ever after') is a big culprit in our wrong decisions and misery.

Marriage doesn't mean that the romance, the happiness or the beautiful time will last past a few months or years. Happiness is fleeting, and understanding its impermanence can work wonders on our expectations.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

On Marrying the Wrong Person

On Marrying the Wrong Person

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/how-we-end-up-marrying-the-wrong-people/

theschooloflife.com

7

Key Ideas

We Don't Understand Ourselves

We don't realize that we are a bundle of contradictions and are trying to look for someone who can understand us, while we haven't been able to understand ourselves yet.

We think we are a great person to be with, which may not be true.

We Don't Understand Others

Like us, other people are stuck in the same low-level self-realization: we try to gauge the other person by their looks or family or social status, which is a futile exercise in most cases.

We Don't Know Happiness

We aren't accustomed to being happy or have a misguided idea of what happiness is.

We find the ones who would be right for us, to be wrong for us, because of our lack of experience in what good is, and the fact that we don't associate love with being happy and fulfilled.

We Hate Being Single

The situation of being single turns into a 'negative' motivation for us, and in our race to be engaged in a relationship again, we cling to the wrong person.

Our reason to find a mate: avoiding loneliness, is inherently flawed and cannot lead to a good outcome.

Two Kinds of Decision Making

If we 'marry' the two kinds of decision making, the process of rational analysis, where we objectively understand the other person, with the feeling of love, then we can ask ourselves the right questions, and go towards something that can last.

Happiness and Marriage

Our delusion of happiness (as in 'happily ever after') is a big culprit in our wrong decisions and misery.

Marriage doesn't mean that the romance, the happiness or the beautiful time will last past a few months or years. Happiness is fleeting, and understanding its impermanence can work wonders on our expectations.

Marriage is a Process

We mistakenly think marriage is just an event.

We have to understand that marriage is a process, filled with love, ups and downs, effort and struggle. It is not that we get married, throw a few parties and start to reap the 'rewards' of marriage, going about on our other interests.

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The faulty logic

We usually consider moving into marriage in an attempt to preserve and prolong the happy romantic feelings that characterize the early stages of almost all relationships.
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Unrealistic expectations

The gap between expectation and reality is the cause for many of life’s disappointments.
We like to create detailed fantasies of how our lives are going to be. But when we expect our reality to match a fantasy but life turns out nothing like it, we feel disappointed.

Asking the right questions

"Are you the right person for me?" is the wrong question to ask, because nothing outside of ourselves can fix us or bring us happiness.
A more constructive question to ask would be "Can I accommodate your imperfections with humor and grace?"

Self-understanding

To make a marriage work, you have to be the right person.

Rather than looking for the right partner, become aware of your blind spots, growing edges and vulnerabilities. Take r...

You can’t avoid marital conflict

Blaming, oversimplifying, and seeing oneself as a victim are all common traits of unhappy couples and failed marriages.

Conflicts should be approached by looking together at the problem.

A good marriage takes skill

Most of us don’t have adequate communication skills going into marriage. It is important to build this skill.

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Marriage - a shift in meaning

For many people, a wedding is no longer the first step into adulthood, but often the last step.

It is a celebration of what two people have already accomplished, unlike the traditional...

Marriage statistics
  • In 1997, the median age for a first marriage was 27.4 for women and 29.5 for men.
  • The college-educated are more likely to marry eventually. Nine out of ten wait until after they marry to have children.
  • A large portion of those without college educations have a child before they marry.
  • In Norway, the median age at first marriage is 39 for men and 38 for women, and weddings often take place long after a couple starts to have children.
Replacing marriage

In 2012, 57 percent of Americans believed it is alright for a couple to live together without intending to get married.

The dominance of marriage may be due to a cultural lag, where attitudes and values change more slowly than the primary material conditions.

Free And Lonely

Most Americans of this generation are now more free than the earlier generations. They are free and spoilt for choice to date, marry, divorce or have casual sexual encounters.

The price of...

Modern Dating Scene

Mark Regnerus provides some insights into the modern dating scene:

  • A casual relationship is now preferred to a committed one.
  • Sex is now a field for marketers to provide products and services.
  • It takes considerably less time, effort and risk for one to get sexual gratification through online dating or porn.
Marriage is now an Option

Youngsters are now wary of a life-long relationship and consider it as an option.

  • One-third of people who are in their twenties may never marry.
  • The increase of freedom to romance has changed the definition of romance.

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'Single' Positivity

A new breed of 'single-positive' personalities reject the notion that you need a partner to be happy and have a fulfilling life.

These 'self-partnering' individuals are seeing that bei...

You Are Enough

Many single women are starting to realize that they are not losing much by being single, but are gaining a lot of freedom and time to do self-care and pursue things that matter to them.

Do Stuff, Alone

The stigma of being spotted doing something alone by others is now diminishing. 

People are traveling, eating, catching a movie, visiting the local pub, all alone and positively enjoying it.

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The Negativity Bias
The Negativity Bias
... or the Negativity Effect is a tendency most of us have to respond more strongly to negative events and emotions than to positive ones.
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Magnified Faults

The Negativity Effect magnifies and distorts your partner's faults, whether real or imaginary.

The partner starts to wonder why isn't there any appreciation for all the good that is being done, and why the focus is only on the one bad thing.

Going Downhill

Relationships, especially long-term ones, don't get better with time but are kept intact by avoiding decline.

Married couples find contentment in other sources and remain satisfied with each other, and if not so, then the marriage breaks down.

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The two sides of a relationship
The two sides of a relationship

Sometimes our closest and most important relationships are also the most difficult. Our relationships are both cooperative and competitive. We work together with the ones we love but also h...

Spill Some Coffee

Doing everything to make your life seems perfect may make you a target for resentment.

People who inspire the most trust are those who show warmth and competence. While we may be competent, warmth may be lacking. To ensure you don't inspire envy, screw up a little. It will make you seem more approachable. Embarrassing yourself makes you a lot more human.

The Little Things

Just asking people, "Is this a good time to talk?" increases compliance with requests.

Show that you care by doing little things, even if they're ridiculous.

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Cherish your life
Cherish your life

Everybody is aware, in a certain measure, of the different truths life provides us with. One of them, which is also the scariest, is related to the fact that eventually, we all die. 

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Work hard, live longer

One of the biggest truths you will ever come to realize is that hard work, ambition and targets give actual meaning to your life. 

Furthermore, once you have given a purpose to your work, you will most certainly see that motivation goes a long way into making someone's life more interesting to live.

There is a limit to happiness

Whoever believes that happiness knows no bound is in for a big surprise: happiness, like everything in this world, knows limits and very often we perceive this fact maybe just a bit too harsh. 

In order to enjoy life and to get to feel happy, as much as it is possible, one should first be able to deal with difficult situations. Therefore, maturity tends to be seen as the key to ensuring a satisfactory life.

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Christians marriage ceremonies in the Middle Age
Christians marriage ceremonies in the Middle Age

In the Middle Age, Christians did not need to marry inside of the church: whenever they came to the consent over the union, they could get married anywhere.

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Getting married as a minor of age

In the Middle Age, one only needed to have reached the age for puberty in order to be able to get married.

Furthermore, the parents' approval was not even necessary. However, rules like asking for your landlord's consent or marrying only persons from the same class were given a lot of importance.

Consent to get married

Back in the Middle Age, the consent to get married could be either verbal or physical. Sexual intercourse counted as physical consent.

On the other hand, giving your word to marry somebody or offering a gift to that person, even without having a sexual relationship, would also lead to marriage.

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Plato on love

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato argued that the highest form of love was brotherly love or platonic love.

The industrial age changed romance

For most of human history, there was no time for romance. Marriages were arranged by families and were a purely economic arrangement designed to promote the survival and prosperity of both extended families.

It wasn’t until the industrial age that things began to change. They didn't have to rely so heavily on family connections any more. Consequently, the economic and political components of marriage ceased to make sense.

"Happily ever after" ideal

The economic realities of the 19th century mixed with the idea from the Enlightenment about the pursuit of happiness. The result was the Age of Romanticism.

People became economically independent and love (or emotions) became valued in society. These ideals of love have been heavily promoted and marketed during the 20th century.

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