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Discussion #19 - Marriage

Just as the holy grail of real estate is location, the holy grail of a peaceful & happy marriage has got to be dealing with control issues. My wife hates it when I point it out, but the vast majority of the arguments (in any marriage) are normally over control of an issue, & not so much the issue itself. Being aware of this fact, is all that it takes to mitigate the effects of most marriage turmoil. Experts agree that arguing/fighting is healthy for a marriage, unless it's abusive, too extreme, or far too often. The thing is, it's not that much fun & can be very stressful (therefore unhealthy). To reduce the frequency & intensity is a really good idea. Some of the more popular/common fights include:

Money (most common)
Sex (frequency/interest)
Time (how it is spent)
Communication (too much talking/not enough talking)
Priorities (mine, hers, or both)
Children (how to raise them)
TV remote (who gets to control the viewing)
The past (all historical fight topics can come back as ammo)
Religion / Politics
Jealousy
Vacations (where to go & what to do when on them)
Working too much (or not working enough)
Me-time (need to have it)!
Toilet paper roll replacement (why didn't you do it)?
The in-laws (getting along with spouse's family)
Holiday Traditions

Where it gets a little tricky, is that everyone's appetite for control varies (a lot). Some people find this to be very lop-sided in their relationship, & everyone has to decide for themselves if this is acceptable or not. It is my opinion, that if a marriage is going to survive (& be healthy) for very long, there should be some give & take in this department. But hey, everyone is different, some may not mind being married to a dictator (him or her). Some people are just "nicer" than others, & this can be a serious problem if the contrast is huge in this area. The real definition of love is putting the other person first. If a couple can do this, & learn to mutually respect/listen to each other, the rest should fall into place.

If you are an introvert married to an extrovert, then you're likely facing some pretty big "extra" issues in your relationship. The world generally favors extroverts, but if you're genetically wired as an introvert, do not despair! You possess qualities which they generally do not. Extreme extroverts generally do far better with people they know at arm's length, but have a far more difficult time with the people closest to them (ie: family members). The expression "familiarity breeds contempt" applies much more to extroverts than to introverts.

Popularity is a card that your partner will play time & time again (especially when things get heated up), but you have cards too. Focus on your strengths & not your weaknesses, pretending you are an extrovert never quite works. Many introverts will never want to admit it (even to themselves), as there are such large social implications. Everyone has a different social appetite, some need a little, some need a lot. Neither way is right or wrong, just different (& these differences make life a lot more interesting).

Another critical personality trait difference would be what I call the "hoopla" trait. Basically this means that some of us need a great deal of external stimulation to keep the internal crank turning, and some do not. Some of us enjoy life more from within, and very little external hoopla is required. One would likely consider the other somewhat "lame", and the other would likely consider the other more towards being "high maintenance". Individuals in the latter category generally find it much harder to save money, as hoopla doesn't normally come cheap. Passions, hobbies, entertainment, vacations, events and vices all have price tags, and as awesome and important as the first five are, it's incredible how much can be spent on them. Generally, the higher the hoopla requirements, the more expensive it gets. If the level is dramatically different between partners, this can cause some serious friction over the years, especially coming up onto retirement.

Fighting over who gets to "wear the pants" in the family (have final say in big decisions), is THE single biggest reason for the insanely high divorce rates in the western world. I am PRO gender equality, but this is unfortunately a side-effect. (There is no sense in demonizing either sex over it). Resistance & standing up to your spouse are good things, as few want to be married to a human door mat. The trick is to not let it go too far and end up letting the conversations migrate into the dysfunctional zone. Mutual respect is the key. Gender equality is overall an excellent thing, but in the old days, and currently in some countries, there are/were clearly defined societal control-roles (for the larger decisions). Now what is happening is that many spouses are battling (emotionally) for this alpha position, and often in an ongoing fashion. I'm not saying that either way is better or worse, but this is what is going on.

There are some who actually seem to enjoy dysfunctional behavior (it's better than no interaction at all), but the vast majority do not. You will find that your relationship will improve 1000% if your partner experiences shorter, less frequent and less intense periods of anxiety and anger. There are some who believe that the holy grail to a great marriage is to never argue at all. Obviously, this is completely unrealistic and a little bit weird. I believe the key to successful, healthy and productive arguments is to say your peace, make it brief, be nice, and then get the hell away from each other (for awhile) if the conversation starts to get really ugly (heated). Once the key points have been said, both need time to cool down and digest each other's comments. The key is to be nice but yet not give in on everything. This may sound easy, but is by far the most difficult thing to do in a marriage, especially if one person is used to getting their way most of the time.

Just because one partner has "anger issues" or is extraordinarily grumpy does NOT give them the right to treat the other like a bag of dirt on a regular basis. They may think that this makes them the "alpha" in the relationship, but it doesn't. Some people hang onto their anger like some kind of cherished, prized possession. Personally, I see it as 100% negative, something to move past as quickly as possible. Mainly because those with anger issues will likely despise almost everything you do or say while in this enraged state, and this commonly can go on for days with some people. It makes any form of effective communication virtually impossible for this amount of time. The scenario creates a "walking on eggshells" or "dodging the landmines" environment, which is a form of oppression that no one should have to tolerate for any serious length of time. Being more assertive often helps in these marriage environments.

When it's normally one partner becoming enraged on a regular basis, this does NOT make them in the right most of the time. What it really means is that they have a serious problem dealing with their emotions (specifically anger). Do NOT let it become a popularity contest. One partner may have a million friends and the other may have none. One has nothing to do with the other. This likely means that one is more extroverted and the other far more introverted. Often the less aggressive spouse will let the other away with bloody murder (drama-wise), on a fairly regular basis, in an attempt to keep the peace.

There are some in this life who commonly & literally take weeks to calm down after a typical argument, and also many who most often take only a few minutes. Everyone else is somewhere in between. Those who find it difficult (or who don't want to) calm down quickly after an outburst of anger, will have enormous amounts of the wrong types of chemicals pouring into their bloodstream from their endocrine system, until they eventually do calm down. This hurts their own health the most, followed by everyone around them. Keep in mind, that drama is one the most popular & commonly used forms of stimulation in life. Arguments and fits of anger are the quickest ways of producing extreme drama.

There is normally a lot of "peace-robbing" that goes on in most marriages. Many arguments start or become heated when one spouse senses the other is in a peaceful place. Not quite sure why this happens (sounds a bit dark), but we all know that it does. This aspect of a relationship is greatly affected by the normal "arse factor" level of both partner's personalities. Some couples are far more competitive and emotionally aggressive with each other than others. In many cases, it is the adrenaline rush from the bursts of anger that is partially fueling this. When your partner "gives you the gears" over something, you should normally give some back, but there is a way of doing it that maintains a healthy respect level. Many people have the crazy idea that "niceness" indicates a lack of intelligence (similar to obesity). In reality, it's the complete opposite. The reason why? Mainly because a lifestyle of being nice to people generally will dramatically extend your own healthy lifespan (unlike obesity).

Also, do NOT allow your spouse (either sex) to stay on any particular war-path for any serious length of time. In my personal experience (& many others, I've noticed), this never ends well. Sometimes we just get "stuck" in a stubborn, futile gridlock situation, and someone may need to give in, or this can spell really big trouble, or even the end of a marriage. It should not, however, be the same person giving in most of the time (even though it commonly is). Just to be clear, we eventually worked it out, but far too often, this is not how it plays out.

Drama in a marriage is normal, healthy, and completely unavoidable. It also can be typically anywhere from extreme to subtle depending on the couple. The big question is are both parties OK with this normal level of drama. Some men and some women would be completely bored in a relationship where there is practically none, and others would be in heaven.

Speaking of heaven, there is another massive area of life that can cause some pretty big marital challenges and tension. It's not just the major religious differences of opinion that can cause problems, but also the minor ones. This obviously is an issue for some couples more than others, but even the religion of Atheism can cause big differences in opinion on how we should live our lives. Other ideological differences, that may or may not have anything at all to do with religion, can also be a massive source of friction. Many take their personal non-religious ideologies to religious heights. The underlying driving engine behind this is always the human ego.

Spirituality is a very big part of our existence here on earth, but very few completely agree on exactly what this looks like (or should look like). This problem can be greatly compounded when or if religious leaders have a great deal of control over our daily life, activities, and priorities. Many men and women have the natural subconscious desire to be in control (as much as possible) over their own and their families' lives. Any person or group of people who get in the way of this, and take away some of this control, can sometimes be met with some pretty strong resistance. This is especially true of the more "cultish" religions or denominations.

In most cases, maintaining a healthy respect for each other's differences of opinion (whether large or small) can greatly minimize these sorts of problems. Remember that with literally thousands of different belief systems here on earth, it is highly unlikely that we are going to completely agree with our partner on every single aspect of our own system.

Statistically, there is a huge bump in the divorce rates in the west at around the age of 50. The main reason for this is fairly simple. This is right around the time when the kids are reaching or have reached adulthood. The incredibly strong biological and psychological drive to procreate, reproduce, and raise a family is basically satisfied. Also, much of the initial romance and excitement of marriage is in the rear view mirror. Add to this the shear volume of people that each have met in those years, and it's highly likely that there have been a few even more compatible than your current spouse. Without a deliberate decision to be loyal and faithful to your spouse, it's highly unlikely you'll be with them past 50. There are, of course, situations where divorce is actually by far the wiser choice (abuse, infidelity, etc.).

Another reason for the "50 phenomenon" would be the fact that men and women generally have very different interests in life. Often female relationships with other female friends start taking a front seat to relationships with all other males. Biologically, male and female brains are wired very differently, on top of gender differences that go right down to the cellular level. These psychological forces while completely normal and natural, play havoc with the longevity of marriages, mainly in the richer countries where people are not as dependant on each other for their basic survival.

My personal situation is that I'm in my 50's and so far so good, but that could change in a heartbeat (as it could for anyone). My advice (for what it's worth) is do not let arguments spiral or escalate out of control. They have a natural tendency to do that, almost taking on a life of their own. Nip them in the butt quick, and then maybe go back and discuss the issues calmly later on. If not, most often (and within minutes), your discussion will include every last thing that has ever gone awry in your relationship since the day you first met.

Another tip is that it's not necessary (or our job) to keep our partner entertained. Far more important is to give them some space/breathing room, especially if a poor self-amuser (and especially if retired). There are some who do look to their marriage partner for much of this, but it's unrealistic to expect it constantly (at this stage of the game). Most just want companionship, and to not be stifled and/or driven nuts by their partner as they get older. In the beginning, it's a completely different situation. The initial sizzle and fireworks morph over the years into (hopefully) a deeper and more substantial kind of love. We all as individuals have different basic levels of independence, and these differences will really start to affect things in later years.

Some may stick together like glue constantly, others may take separate vacations. Neither way is right or wrong, just different. I say, whatever it takes to make each other happy (without cheating). Also, when extremely different people are married, they tend to "pull" each other in opposite directions, which is generally a really good thing. Commonly a wife may "pull" their husband to go on a few more vacations perhaps, then they normally would if married to someone more like themselves. In many cases, opposites do actually attract, although it definitely helps to have at least some common ground.

Many men & women are/have attempted to entertain a "stimulation junkie" partner (NOT referring to my wife), and it generally does not end well. The problem, is that as time and experiences roll on, it gets exponentially tougher to pull this off. It's also simply not very fair, for the non-junkie partner to have to continually rack their brain to come up with new and uncharted superficial stimulation, for their partner to stay amused. This issue is much more widespread than most realize, and is definitely adding a lot of fuel to the burgeoning divorce rates in the West.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we rich Westerners are getting used to a pretty turbo-stimulated lifestyle, so when this lets up even for a bit, people get bored very quickly. This likely makes me sound like a pretty big party-pooper, but the truth is, I actually enjoy the s### out of my life (as do many), but just don't care that much about all the superficially entertaining stuff. A bit odd, I suppose, since I actually spend much of my time entertaining others as a musician.

Two of the absolute worst ways of satisfying these "stim" cravings (next to substance abuse), are moving and divorce. These are by far the most expensive and stressful methods that many people use to satisfy these cravings, (the latter is obviously far worse). Obviously there are many legitimate reasons for both, but to shake up a dull spot in life, there are much better ways of accomplishing this. Maybe a well-deserved vacation perhaps? The same principle applies to craving a grander sense of purpose in our life. It's not our spouse's responsibility to provide these things on a silver platter, it's up to us as individuals to pull this off (if we so choose).

Often, it's far wiser to choose to micro-evolve with your current partner (especially when you've had children together), than it is to jump ship altogether and start fresh with a new partner. Most marriages are pretty rocky when we're young and immature, but like good wine, often get better (and more peaceful) with age.

That being said, the larger the overall stim cravings of any marriage partner, the more likely they will at some point become bored in any relationship, and the larger the chances they will eventually become inclined to jump ship years down the road. I call this phenomenon the "old shoe syndrome". Keeping a relationship fresh & exciting gets much tougher, the more familiar two people are with each other.

The bottom line reality is that approx. 68% of boomers are divorcing in much of the Western world. This means that for many of us, we have about a 32% chance of making our marriage work until "death do us part". Times are changing, & what the recent American election has just proven, is that sexism is a much more powerful force in our world than racism & elitism put together, & possibly this is the main reason why.

At the end of the day, what most wives really want from their husbands is to feel loved, in whatever forms that takes. If a husband can pull this off, and keep pulling it off (genuinely), then most likely they will have an extremely happy, healthy marriage, for a very very long time.
Discussion #19 - Marriage

Just as the holy grail of real estate is location, the holy grail of a peaceful & happy marriage has got to be dealing with control issues. My wife hates it when I point it out, but the vast majority of the arguments (in any marriage) are normally over control of an issue, & not so much the issue itself. Being aware of this fact, is all that it takes to mitigate the effects of most marriage turmoil. Experts agree that arguing/fighting is healthy for a marriage, unless it's abusive, too extreme, or far too often. The thing is, it's not that much fun & can be very stressful (therefore unhealthy). To reduce the frequency & intensity is a really good idea. Some of the more popular/common fights include:

Money (most common)
Sex (frequency/interest)
Time (how it is spent)
Communication (too much talking/not enough talking)
Priorities (mine, hers, or both)
Children (how to raise them)
TV remote (who gets to control the viewing)
The past (all historical fight topics can come back as ammo)
Religion / Politics
Jealousy
Vacations (where to go & what to do when on them)
Working too much (or not working enough)
Me-time (need to have it)!
Toilet paper roll replacement (why didn't you do it)?
The in-laws (getting along with spouse's family)
Holiday Traditions

Where it gets a little tricky, is that everyone's appetite for control varies (a lot). Some people find this to be very lop-sided in their relationship, & everyone has to decide for themselves if this is acceptable or not. It is my opinion, that if a marriage is going to survive (& be healthy) for very long, there should be some give & take in this department. But hey, everyone is different, some may not mind being married to a dictator (him or her). Some people are just "nicer" than others, & this can be a serious problem if the contrast is huge in this area. The real definition of love is putting the other person first. If a couple can do this, & learn to mutually respect/listen to each other, the rest should fall into place.

If you are an introvert married to an extrovert, then you're likely facing some pretty big "extra" issues in your relationship. The world generally favors extroverts, but if you're genetically wired as an introvert, do not despair! You possess qualities which they generally do not. Extreme extroverts generally do far better with people they know at arm's length, but have a far more difficult time with the people closest to them (ie: family members). The expression "familiarity breeds contempt" applies much more to extroverts than to introverts.

Popularity is a card that your partner will play time & time again (especially when things get heated up), but you have cards too. Focus on your strengths & not your weaknesses, pretending you are an extrovert never quite works. Many introverts will never want to admit it (even to themselves), as there are such large social implications. Everyone has a different social appetite, some need a little, some need a lot. Neither way is right or wrong, just different (& these differences make life a lot more interesting).

Another critical personality trait difference would be what I call the "hoopla" trait. Basically this means that some of us need a great deal of external stimulation to keep the internal crank turning, and some do not. Some of us enjoy life more from within, and very little external hoopla is required. One would likely consider the other somewhat "lame", and the other would likely consider the other more towards being "high maintenance". Individuals in the latter category generally find it much harder to save money, as hoopla doesn't normally come cheap. Passions, hobbies, entertainment, vacations, events and vices all have price tags, and as awesome and important as the first five are, it's incredible how much can be spent on them. Generally, the higher the hoopla requirements, the more expensive it gets. If the level is dramatically different between partners, this can cause some serious friction over the years, especially coming up onto retirement.

Fighting over who gets to "wear the pants" in the family (have final say in big decisions), is THE single biggest reason for the insanely high divorce rates in the western world. I am PRO gender equality, but this is unfortunately a side-effect. (There is no sense in demonizing either sex over it). Resistance & standing up to your spouse are good things, as few want to be married to a human door mat. The trick is to not let it go too far and end up letting the conversations migrate into the dysfunctional zone. Mutual respect is the key. Gender equality is overall an excellent thing, but in the old days, and currently in some countries, there are/were clearly defined societal control-roles (for the larger decisions). Now what is happening is that many spouses are battling (emotionally) for this alpha position, and often in an ongoing fashion. I'm not saying that either way is better or worse, but this is what is going on.

There are some who actually seem to enjoy dysfunctional behavior (it's better than no interaction at all), but the vast majority do not. You will find that your relationship will improve 1000% if your partner experiences shorter, less frequent and less intense periods of anxiety and anger. There are some who believe that the holy grail to a great marriage is to never argue at all. Obviously, this is completely unrealistic and a little bit weird. I believe the key to successful, healthy and productive arguments is to say your peace, make it brief, be nice, and then get the hell away from each other (for awhile) if the conversation starts to get really ugly (heated). Once the key points have been said, both need time to cool down and digest each other's comments. The key is to be nice but yet not give in on everything. This may sound easy, but is by far the most difficult thing to do in a marriage, especially if one person is used to getting their way most of the time.

Just because one partner has "anger issues" or is extraordinarily grumpy does NOT give them the right to treat the other like a bag of dirt on a regular basis. They may think that this makes them the "alpha" in the relationship, but it doesn't. Some people hang onto their anger like some kind of cherished, prized possession. Personally, I see it as 100% negative, something to move past as quickly as possible. Mainly because those with anger issues will likely despise almost everything you do or say while in this enraged state, and this commonly can go on for days with some people. It makes any form of effective communication virtually impossible for this amount of time. The scenario creates a "walking on eggshells" or "dodging the landmines" environment, which is a form of oppression that no one should have to tolerate for any serious length of time. Being more assertive often helps in these marriage environments.

When it's normally one partner becoming enraged on a regular basis, this does NOT make them in the right most of the time. What it really means is that they have a serious problem dealing with their emotions (specifically anger). Do NOT let it become a popularity contest. One partner may have a million friends and the other may have none. One has nothing to do with the other. This likely means that one is more extroverted and the other far more introverted. Often the less aggressive spouse will let the other away with bloody murder (drama-wise), on a fairly regular basis, in an attempt to keep the peace.

There are some in this life who commonly & literally take weeks to calm down after a typical argument, and also many who most often take only a few minutes. Everyone else is somewhere in between. Those who find it difficult (or who don't want to) calm down quickly after an outburst of anger, will have enormous amounts of the wrong types of chemicals pouring into their bloodstream from their endocrine system, until they eventually do calm down. This hurts their own health the most, followed by everyone around them. Keep in mind, that drama is one the most popular & commonly used forms of stimulation in life. Arguments and fits of anger are the quickest ways of producing extreme drama.

There is normally a lot of "peace-robbing" that goes on in most marriages. Many arguments start or become heated when one spouse senses the other is in a peaceful place. Not quite sure why this happens (sounds a bit dark), but we all know that it does. This aspect of a relationship is greatly affected by the normal "arse factor" level of both partner's personalities. Some couples are far more competitive and emotionally aggressive with each other than others. In many cases, it is the adrenaline rush from the bursts of anger that is partially fueling this. When your partner "gives you the gears" over something, you should normally give some back, but there is a way of doing it that maintains a healthy respect level. Many people have the crazy idea that "niceness" indicates a lack of intelligence (similar to obesity). In reality, it's the complete opposite. The reason why? Mainly because a lifestyle of being nice to people generally will dramatically extend your own healthy lifespan (unlike obesity).

Also, do NOT allow your spouse (either sex) to stay on any particular war-path for any serious length of time. In my personal experience (& many others, I've noticed), this never ends well. Sometimes we just get "stuck" in a stubborn, futile gridlock situation, and someone may need to give in, or this can spell really big trouble, or even the end of a marriage. It should not, however, be the same person giving in most of the time (even though it commonly is). Just to be clear, we eventually worked it out, but far too often, this is not how it plays out.

Drama in a marriage is normal, healthy, and completely unavoidable. It also can be typically anywhere from extreme to subtle depending on the couple. The big question is are both parties OK with this normal level of drama. Some men and some women would be completely bored in a relationship where there is practically none, and others would be in heaven.

Speaking of heaven, there is another massive area of life that can cause some pretty big marital challenges and tension. It's not just the major religious differences of opinion that can cause problems, but also the minor ones. This obviously is an issue for some couples more than others, but even the religion of Atheism can cause big differences in opinion on how we should live our lives. Other ideological differences, that may or may not have anything at all to do with religion, can also be a massive source of friction. Many take their personal non-religious ideologies to religious heights. The underlying driving engine behind this is always the human ego.

Spirituality is a very big part of our existence here on earth, but very few completely agree on exactly what this looks like (or should look like). This problem can be greatly compounded when or if religious leaders have a great deal of control over our daily life, activities, and priorities. Many men and women have the natural subconscious desire to be in control (as much as possible) over their own and their families' lives. Any person or group of people who get in the way of this, and take away some of this control, can sometimes be met with some pretty strong resistance. This is especially true of the more "cultish" religions or denominations.

In most cases, maintaining a healthy respect for each other's differences of opinion (whether large or small) can greatly minimize these sorts of problems. Remember that with literally thousands of different belief systems here on earth, it is highly unlikely that we are going to completely agree with our partner on every single aspect of our own system.

Statistically, there is a huge bump in the divorce rates in the west at around the age of 50. The main reason for this is fairly simple. This is right around the time when the kids are reaching or have reached adulthood. The incredibly strong biological and psychological drive to procreate, reproduce, and raise a family is basically satisfied. Also, much of the initial romance and excitement of marriage is in the rear view mirror. Add to this the shear volume of people that each have met in those years, and it's highly likely that there have been a few even more compatible than your current spouse. Without a deliberate decision to be loyal and faithful to your spouse, it's highly unlikely you'll be with them past 50. There are, of course, situations where divorce is actually by far the wiser choice (abuse, infidelity, etc.).

Another reason for the "50 phenomenon" would be the fact that men and women generally have very different interests in life. Often female relationships with other female friends start taking a front seat to relationships with all other males. Biologically, male and female brains are wired very differently, on top of gender differences that go right down to the cellular level. These psychological forces while completely normal and natural, play havoc with the longevity of marriages, mainly in the richer countries where people are not as dependant on each other for their basic survival.

My personal situation is that I'm in my 50's and so far so good, but that could change in a heartbeat (as it could for anyone). My advice (for what it's worth) is do not let arguments spiral or escalate out of control. They have a natural tendency to do that, almost taking on a life of their own. Nip them in the butt quick, and then maybe go back and discuss the issues calmly later on. If not, most often (and within minutes), your discussion will include every last thing that has ever gone awry in your relationship since the day you first met.

Another tip is that it's not necessary (or our job) to keep our partner entertained. Far more important is to give them some space/breathing room, especially if a poor self-amuser (and especially if retired). There are some who do look to their marriage partner for much of this, but it's unrealistic to expect it constantly (at this stage of the game). Most just want companionship, and to not be stifled and/or driven nuts by their partner as they get older. In the beginning, it's a completely different situation. The initial sizzle and fireworks morph over the years into (hopefully) a deeper and more substantial kind of love. We all as individuals have different basic levels of independence, and these differences will really start to affect things in later years.

Some may stick together like glue constantly, others may take separate vacations. Neither way is right or wrong, just different. I say, whatever it takes to make each other happy (without cheating). Also, when extremely different people are married, they tend to "pull" each other in opposite directions, which is generally a really good thing. Commonly a wife may "pull" their husband to go on a few more vacations perhaps, then they normally would if married to someone more like themselves. In many cases, opposites do actually attract, although it definitely helps to have at least some common ground.

Many men & women are/have attempted to entertain a "stimulation junkie" partner (NOT referring to my wife), and it generally does not end well. The problem, is that as time and experiences roll on, it gets exponentially tougher to pull this off. It's also simply not very fair, for the non-junkie partner to have to continually rack their brain to come up with new and uncharted superficial stimulation, for their partner to stay amused. This issue is much more widespread than most realize, and is definitely adding a lot of fuel to the burgeoning divorce rates in the West.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we rich Westerners are getting used to a pretty turbo-stimulated lifestyle, so when this lets up even for a bit, people get bored very quickly. This likely makes me sound like a pretty big party-pooper, but the truth is, I actually enjoy the s### out of my life (as do many), but just don't care that much about all the superficially entertaining stuff. A bit odd, I suppose, since I actually spend much of my time entertaining others as a musician.

Two of the absolute worst ways of satisfying these "stim" cravings (next to substance abuse), are moving and divorce. These are by far the most expensive and stressful methods that many people use to satisfy these cravings, (the latter is obviously far worse). Obviously there are many legitimate reasons for both, but to shake up a dull spot in life, there are much better ways of accomplishing this. Maybe a well-deserved vacation perhaps? The same principle applies to craving a grander sense of purpose in our life. It's not our spouse's responsibility to provide these things on a silver platter, it's up to us as individuals to pull this off (if we so choose).

Often, it's far wiser to choose to micro-evolve with your current partner (especially when you've had children together), than it is to jump ship altogether and start fresh with a new partner. Most marriages are pretty rocky when we're young and immature, but like good wine, often get better (and more peaceful) with age.

That being said, the larger the overall stim cravings of any marriage partner, the more likely they will at some point become bored in any relationship, and the larger the chances they will eventually become inclined to jump ship years down the road. I call this phenomenon the "old shoe syndrome". Keeping a relationship fresh & exciting gets much tougher, the more familiar two people are with each other.

The bottom line reality is that approx. 68% of boomers are divorcing in much of the Western world. This means that for many of us, we have about a 32% chance of making our marriage work until "death do us part". Times are changing, & what the recent American election has just proven, is that sexism is a much more powerful force in our world than racism & elitism put together, & possibly this is the main reason why.

At the end of the day, what most wives really want from their husbands is to feel loved, in whatever forms that takes. If a husband can pull this off, and keep pulling it off (genuinely), then most likely they will have an extremely happy, healthy marriage, for a very very long time.