Tuesday 25 January 2011

The Me Marriage

The New York Times published December 31, 2010 an article supposedly about "sustainable love" entitled The Happy Marriage is the "Me" Marriage by Tara Parker-Hope. The author starts with this idea:

A lasting marriage does not always signal a happy marriage. Plenty of miserable couples have stayed together for children, religion or other practical reasons.

But for many couples, it’s just not enough to stay together. They want a relationship that is meaningful and satisfying. In short, they want a sustainable marriage.

She goes on to point out that putting the relationship first does not necessarily define the good marriage. Previously, marriage was considered an economic and social union and the needs of the individual came second. In modern times, partners are looking for more; they want partners who make life more interesting.

Citing a couple of experts, the author arrives at the term "self-expansion", a process whereby an individual accumulates knowledge and experiences. A relationship which best contributes to a person's self-expansion is the relationship to which that person is more committed and in which they are the most satisfied.

While this sounds self-serving, it stands to reason that we would be attracted to someone who gives us something new, something interesting and something interesting and worthwhile. After all, are we going to be attracted to a lump of coal? We want someone who is going to add something to our lives, hopefully some zest!

A quiz developed by Dr. Gary Lewandowski, associate psychology professor at Monmouth University in New Jersey aims to measure just how "expansive" your relationship is. This is presented online by the NY Times and involves answering 10 questions scoring each from 1 to 7 then adding up your total and comparing it to a comparison chart. Now you'll be able to see how your relationship ranks. How much does your partner contribute to your "self-expansion"?

Ms. Parker-Hope concludes by quoting Dr. Lewandowski,

“People have a fundamental motivation to improve the self and add to who they are as a person. If your partner is helping you become a better person, you become happier and more satisfied in the relationship.”


The Happy Marriage Is the ‘Me’ Marriage
By Tara Parker-Hope - December 31, 2010

The Sustainable Marriage Quiz

blog: Natasha the Newlywed
Ms. Williams, a blogger, writes about reading the article and taking the quiz. She scored a 67!

blog: Postcards from a Peaceful Divorce
Ms. Monet, divorced in 2007 after thirteen years of marriage talks about the quiz and how it relates to her ex in the beginning then in the end and to her parents who continue to be married after 49 years.


Site Map: William Quincy Belle

1 comment:

BigLittleWolf said...

Interesting premise and quiz. As with anything that attempts to boil something so complex (as marriage) down to key indicators, this is useful in a restrictive sort of way. It would be one "quiz" among many that might shed light on aspects of relationship, not the relationship as a whole.

Among other things, it's very activity and/or knowledge oriented (the principle of self-expansion, I suppose). But activities (as an example) aren't much of an indicator if you have injuries or a health condition that may be restrictive, or financial restrictions, or simply by virtue of aging, your preference is to be less outwardly exploratory.

I do agree we shouldn't measure the "success" of marriage by its period of duration, but by its quality.

As for the quiz, it does get one thinking. (Always a positive.)