Skip to comments.A Simple Formula That Predicts The Success Of Marriages
Posted on 12/28/2012 8:05:58 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Many have spent long hours wondering if a marriage is going to last, considering things like love, children, taxes, and the opinion of friends and professionals.
But the best and easiest answer may be this formula:
frequency of lovemaking minus frequency of quarrels
A positive difference predicts marital happiness, a negative one unhappiness.
The formula was derived from a series of studies in the 1970s.
One study of married students at University of Missouri-Kansas City found that 28 out of 30 self-described happy couples had sex more than they argued, while all 12 self-described unhappy couples argued more. These results were corroborated by a 1974 study by John Howard and Robyn Dawes, in which all 23 happy couples had a positive score and all 3 unhappy couples had a negative score.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...
Thank you, Captain Obvious. LOL!
So, if you do have an argument, never, ever, skip the make-up sex.
Does this mean Boehner and Barry are married?
There’s still an open cause/effect question. Does lovemaking make for more happiness or does happiness make for more lovemaking?
I keep extra locksets in stock. ;)
I tried to show this study to my wife and she argued with me.
My preferred method for "battle" is to withdraw and not engage in our normal play. My Wife and I laugh and smile at each other all the time.
This turns to resentment and anger far beyond the initial issue making intimacy very unlikely which further degrades the situation.
I married my Wife for many reasons, my desire for her is top of that list and without that connection... Simple enough but I know so many men that speak poorly of their wives and you can hear the distance in their voices.
Since I’m pretty anonymous:
My first marriage lasted 20 years. Although in the beginning I wanted sex every day, she was fine with twice a week. And it trailed off from there. It produced three beautiful daughters, but back to the subject...
The last year we were married we went 14 months with nothing. And to be clear, she was a BIG arguer and I’m a Mr. Spock when it comes to arguing.
Being a Christian couple, I figured divorce was not an option and I continued to work on it. That is, until, completely out of the blue, she exercises her “no fault divorce” rights.
Not two months later, and completely done with women, I go to my 25th High School reunion and meet a female class mate who had just been through the same thing at the same time (though it was a second husband as her first, and the father of her three children, died of leukemia). She was so done with men that she told her sister to shoot her if she even thought about it.
So, we were both smitten and got married a month after my divorce was final. Frequency? Roughly 13 times a week. Sometimes more. Eventually it slacked off to 7. It’s only about four now. But then, it’s been 15 years and we’re just shy of 60.
And the only thing we ever fought about was sometimes me over-appeasing my ex when dealing with events involving the kids. I honestly can not remember the last time we fought. Our respect for each other is so high (and we both know it) that it is beyond my ability to imagine fighting.
Frankly, I did not know, in my wildest imagination, that it could be this good. It really is like a fairy tale, exept it really does happen.
I also confess that as I look around at young family men I can see it in the men’s eyes and demeanor. I feel bad for them. What I went through is a VERY common tale.
This sums it up:
So, if you do have an argument, never, ever, skip the make-up sex.
Actually, in “Learning to live, learning to love”, makeup sex is considered part of the cycle of abuse. It is, therefore, interpretted as abuse. As is “I’m sorry” roses.
I actually experienced that attitude.
Theres still an open cause/effect question. Does lovemaking make for more happiness or does happiness make for more lovemaking?
Both. On a related note, my wife says that foreplay is what happens all day long.
What if you argue about sex?
another pseudo-scientific “clinical” assessment based on
How about the more interesting and prevalent “demographic”
of couples that have been married, 25,30,40 years and more
who find that they’ve
“lost interest” in physical sex as they are physicaly “less able to do it well”(especially in these nose-to-
the-grindstone, extra-stressful times)or dialed down their
biological instincts and found more important priorities?
Traditional sex , practiced twice a week, twice a month, twice a year,does nothing, with or without “arguments” to leaven or counterbalance it, to establish the real stuff, which is openness, honest intimacy, and mutual respect and responsibility for shared goals, which is the only thing that means anything in the real world.
worse, what if you argue during sex? try keeping it up while that’s going on.
Abuse? Makeup sex is one of those things that makes life worth living. I pity those who would make themselves miserable by denying it to themselves.
Just argue about sex during sex, and you should be fine.
I have long believed that a woman should not notice the beginning of foreplay. It should start with smiles, words, gestures long before anyone is in bed.
This is not a “formula that predicts success,” but a snapshot statistic that correlates with self-described happiness. I expect they’d find unmarried students would also characterize their relationships as “happy” if they featured sex more often than quarrels.
If they talked to non-students ... like, those people with jobs and bills? ... even in the same age range, I wonder what they would find.
In a related study on personal happiness they found that they could accurately predict happiness by measuring the frequency of smiling minus frequency of frowning.
The story does not say that the sex had to be with your spouse. Maybe that is a reason for increased arguments!
THAT is the key. Not lovemaking, and not arguments.
It is respect.
Without mutual respect, I don't believe you can have a happy marriage, no matter how many times you have intercourse or how many times you argue.
Some temperaments are naturally antagonistic to each other and some are naturally compatible. Two cholerics paired together will result in a situation where both are both going to try to boss the other around.
My wife and I are getting close to our fiftieth. I’ve got all bases covered. We respect each other, still get it on regularly, and rarely argue.
Exactly! Was wondering what the overall age of these “married students” were.
I have a co-worker who says when he and his wife fight they have “hall sex”.
As they pass each other in the hall he looks at her and says “F-— You!” She looks back at him and says “F-— You, Too!”
Thanks for the comment and link. :o)
Hahaha...great setting for an old joke!
A marriage can handle a lot of things, but disrespect is not one of them. I could not live with someone I disrespected.
Glad to hear you guys are hitting on all cylinders, no pun intended!
I think in the article, ‘having sex’ is a mutual, reciprocal thing. In former, less crude times it would have been described as ‘making love’.
Between Barkey and Boner, it is more of a pitcher-catcher thing. Like jail.
Celibate here and quarrel all the time. Still married and will be until death.
Beautiful! Congratulations to you both!
I once saw a tiny little article in a newspaper about a couple married 75 years. They were asked their secret of success.
The man said, "Always listen to your wife."
The woman said, "Neither of us tried to be the boss."
So sweet. And apparently, it worked.
That being the case, you might truly benefit by some classes in how to communicate more effectively. They helped me enormously to communicate with my spouse, my customers and my offspring. I learned ways to solve problems instead of laying blame, listen without commenting hurtfully, avoid unnecessary nitpicking, stay limited and focused on the current problem instead of throwing in the kitchen sink, and so much more.
Cannot stress enough how much they helped.
I read the link at the end of the your post and it may be true in a lot of cases, not all.
RE: Celibate here and quarrel all the time.
Why bother marrying in the first place?
My only marriage is like your second marriage. We started about 10-14 times a week, and now after 30 years and three kids, it's currently down to 5-7, I'm close to your age.
I've had friends whose marriages were like your first marriage, will similar final outcomes.
Guys, here's a clue: A woman who is deeply in love with you will also desire you. Second clue: if she's not willing to have a high enough frequency to keep you satisfied, if she's not willing to make an effort to make you happy, then she doesn't love you. If she's lost interest in sex with you, then divorce will follow, so you might as well talk to your lawyer now and make your plans.
Both. Oxytocin is a brain hormone which promotes feelings of bonding. Physical acts of affection increase oxytocin levels. Besides actual lovemaking, hugs, kisses, eye contact, and other affectionate acts help increase the hormone level.
No, we’re fine.
Maybe your comment will benefit someone else (quite possible).
I have Schizoid Personality Disorder and it is not considered amenable to change, even in intense psychotherapy, nor in the employ of psychopharmacology, nor do we (schizoids) desire change or feel discontent with the situation. This is called “schizoid unconcern”.
Have a Happy New Year!
P.S. Wife is not unhappy and we love each other. Neither of us would choose anyone else or split up. We have six grandkids (hers) over here now.
Maybe. Do bear in mind that physical problems may prevent a woman from desiring a husband whom she truly does love. After childbirth and/or after menopause, sex can become quite painful, and the medication used to improve this situation has side effects like heart attack, stroke, and cancer. It's hard to force yourself to have sex when it hurts like mad and even causes damage to delicate tissues. It's harder still to choose to inflect potential death on yourself for the sake of having sex. I have seen many, many medical records and have heard from many patients that they are frustrated, they're unhappy, they know their husbands may leave them, but a prior history of cardiac problems or cancer precludes using hormones to fix the sexual pain. This is far more common than you'd think.
Why, in more civilized times, men over 40 usually had a second, younger wife if he could afford it.
In more civilized times, the natural abilities of men began to wane as they got older, and they did not have the ability to alter that with various pills, injections, balloons, creams, and other interventions.
Face it, life after 40 without sex is boring. For the life of me I don’t understand the female race....
There's more than one way to keep a guy sexually happy.
I agree, something starts to go out of life, and one becomes less energetic, less vibrant and alive, without a happy sex life. But for the women I was talking about, sex = serious pain. You can understand that, surely.
Carry on ... and Happy New Year to you, too!
There was a statement on FR some years ago regarding marital bliss that has stuck with me.
For a long marriage, a husband needs to listen, really listen, to his wife for 15 minutes a day, and a wife needs to have sex with her husband at least once a week.
I think the first would tend to keep the number of arguments down to a level where the second would keep things well positive under the math in this article.
Problem is, there are men like that, too. Either their libido is the problem or they just got married to please their nagging mother or so as not to look gay to their boss, but don't really love their wife, or they are cheating and won't throw their wife a bone once in awhile.
And it's just not as easy for a woman with children to just get a divorce, change partners and dance. Especially with children, and especially if he is the larger breadwinner. Most men can get loose women and/or another wife at virtually any age; but most men do not want to marry a divorced woman over 35 with children; and most mothers do not want a mere shackup in front of the children.
People need to prepare for marriage much more carefully if they intend to have children. Every time I hear that old b.s., "children are flexible" with regard to joint custody and two sets of parents, I spit. That's because they don't know anything yet and they should be seeing a good moral example when they are forming their own value system. Kids shouldn't have to swallow their pain to accommodate their juvenile parents' demands for self-fulfillment, liberation, more bang for their buck or whatever.
By the way, PapaBear, this rant is not directed at you personally. Just sayin'.
My wife and I celebrated 45 years of marriage this year. We made a commitment. We genuinely liked each other and enjoyed each others company before we got married. She has been disabled for the last 17 years and we still like each other and enjoy each others company.