Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Evolution of Marriage

Wowzers. It has been a long time since I have posted. I miss writing for this blog because it genuinely helped me a great deal. Every time I would sit down and write a post and "preach" principles for how to be a more selfless and loving wife, I was first and foremost reminding myself of these things and the attention and care in crafting a new topic made me acutely aware of my own marital behavior and naturally encouraged self improvement. Introspection is so beautiful. I need excuses to do it more often!

Tonight I saw this video  

In it, the speaker Stephanie Coontz explains the historical context of marriage and it's function as an institution. It is an interesting recap. Some aspects are fascinating to consider. I was particularly perplexed on just how big the disparity is from today's romantic love idea of marriage from the marriages of the past which were largely economic, dynastic, and political.

While my blog's largest focus is on encouraging wives to be more selfless in the bedroom, I've also try to play on the idea of "showing up with food" being congruent with a wife serving or doting on her husband just like the vintage graphics you see represented suggest. While I do not in the least desire for us to back to the dark ages, the exploration of marriages anciently cause us to consider how we think about marriage and what predictors are tied to lasting and fulfilling marriages today.

She explains that as marriage has evolved, the ultimate paradox has emerged... in that as marriages have become more intimate and romantically driven for more rewarding experiences the institution of marriage has become less stable. Under this new intention when marriages chosen by "love" work today, they are more fulfilling and happy than any marriages of the past. However, when it doesn't work... marriages today seem intolerable, while in the past many would have had greater satisfaction in the same situation and marriages were more likely to thrive on a grander scale.

Coontz also points to research that kind of challenges some initial assumptions about what we would think would make a good marriage... like passionate romantic emotional extremes etc. In the end of her presentation she explains that the number most important factors for a woman's happiness in marriage were emotional connection to her husband and the amount of house work and child care he contributes to. She articulates that research indicates that a man's most important factors for happiness in marriage are the amount of criticism he receives from his wife and how much sex he gets.

Coontz presents a very easy answer for happy marriages... she says it turns out that the very best predictor for how little criticism a woman feels toward her husband and how sexually attracted she is to her husband is based on how much house work and child care that husband does. Now the audience bursts out with laughter and rightfully so. I would just like to close by suggesting that you can flip this equation around, and true to Show Up Naked With Foods intention... it is apparent that the reverse would be true: how much help you will get around the house ladies... will be tied to how nice you are to your Mr. and how much sex you are giving. ;)