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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday October 14 2014, @05:18PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the lies-damn-lies-and-statistics dept.

Randy Olson, a Computer Science grad student who works with data visualizations, writes about seven of the biggest factors that predict what makes for a long term stable marriage in America. Olson took the results of a study that polled thousands of recently married and divorced Americans and and asked them dozens of questions about their marriage (PDF): How long they were dating, how long they were engaged, etc. After running this data through a multivariate model, the authors were able to calculate the factors that best predicted whether a marriage would end in divorce. "What struck me about this study is that it basically laid out what makes for a stable marriage in the US," writes Olson. Here are some of the biggest factors:

How long you were dating (Couples who dated 1-2 years before their engagement were 20% less likely to end up divorced than couples who dated less than a year before getting engaged. Couples who dated 3 years or more are 39% less likely to get divorced.); How much money you make (The more money you and your partner make, the less likely you are to ultimately file for divorce. Couples who earn $125K per year are 51% less likely to divorce than couples making 0 - 25k); How often you go to church (Couples who never go to church are 2x more likely to divorce than regular churchgoers.); Your attitude toward your partner (Men are 1.5x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partner’s looks, and women are 1.6x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partner’s wealth.); How many people attended the wedding ("Crazy enough, your wedding ceremony has a huge impact on the long-term stability of your marriage. Perhaps the biggest factor is how many people attend your wedding: Couples who elope are 12.5x more likely to end up divorced than couples who get married at a wedding with 200+ people."); How much you spent on the wedding (The more you spend on your wedding, the more likely you’ll end up divorced.); Whether you had a honeymoon (Couples who had a honeymoon are 41% less likely to divorce than those who had no honeymoon).

Of course correlation is not causation. For example, expensive weddings may simply attract the kind of immature and narcissistic people who are less likely to sustain a successful marriage and such people might end up getting divorced even if they married cheaply. But "the particularly scary part here is that the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is well over $30,000," says Olson, "which doesn’t bode well for the future of American marriages."

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  • (Score: 2) by halcyon1234 on Tuesday October 14 2014, @05:37PM

    by halcyon1234 (1082) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 14 2014, @05:37PM (#106016)

    The SN fund raiser betting pool is open again! Today's wager, since this is a story about marriage, will be on Time To First Misogynist Comment.

    All bets are off if the result cannot be evaluated to at least 1 millisecond.

    --
    Original Submission [thedailywtf.com]
    • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Tuesday October 14 2014, @05:50PM

      by Sir Garlon (1264) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @05:50PM (#106018)

      TFS also mentioned church, so we can have a race between misogyny and anti-theist trolling.

      --
      [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
      • (Score: 2) by halcyon1234 on Tuesday October 14 2014, @05:52PM

        by halcyon1234 (1082) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 14 2014, @05:52PM (#106019)

        TFS also mentioned church, so we can have a race between misogyny and anti-theist trolling.

        The side-pool is now open!

        --
        Original Submission [thedailywtf.com]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14 2014, @06:06PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14 2014, @06:06PM (#106023)

          Bonus points if the two are combined!

          Super extra multiplier points if jingoism and homophobia are somehow included as well!

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14 2014, @06:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14 2014, @06:48PM (#106034)

      Well that's just the sort of women's thinking that's ruining America and if it weren't for the gays going back to the Catholic Church we wouldn't have such a divorce problem.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14 2014, @07:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 14 2014, @07:21PM (#106042)

        Well that's just the sort of women's thinking that's ruining America and if it weren't for the gays going back to the Catholic Church we wouldn't have such a divorce problem.

        Nah, you're not doing it right. Try opening with one of these instead:

        "I'm no misogynist, but..."

        "I just know I'm going to get down modded for this, but..."

        "Well, I have to get this off my chest before the SJWs come out in force...."

        No problem. And you're welcome.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday October 15 2014, @02:27PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday October 15 2014, @02:27PM (#106256)

        Also, nuke the whales.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 2) by computersareevil on Wednesday October 15 2014, @08:54PM

          by computersareevil (749) on Wednesday October 15 2014, @08:54PM (#106401)

          No, no, no, no. You're doing it wrong.

          It's Nuke the Gay Whales for Jesus!

          • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday October 15 2014, @10:46PM

            by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday October 15 2014, @10:46PM (#106448)

            We already had the gay and the RCC in the GP so I didn't want to be redundant.

            --
            "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15 2014, @08:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15 2014, @08:56PM (#106404)

      You did a great job of making the very first response a misandrist one! Hooray! Good job!

  • (Score: 3) by Sir Garlon on Tuesday October 14 2014, @06:02PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @06:02PM (#106020)

    Almost everything in the summary sounds like advice your grandmother could give you: date for more than a year before getting married, don't choose a mate based mainly on looks/wealth, get your career launched before you tie the knot. It is reassuring to see conventional wisdom borne out by data. Even "don't overspend on your wedding" sounds pretty much like common sense.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday October 14 2014, @09:15PM

      by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 14 2014, @09:15PM (#106074)

      "get your career launched before you tie the knot."

      "The more you spend on your wedding, the more likely you’ll end up divorced."

      Yeah I donno about that because the later probably corresponds very strongly with former and/or being whipped by your parents to conform.

      I went to one wedding of a chick I worked with in high school when we were about 20, not even old enough to legally drink, I think they spent about $100 because thats all they had, and it barely lasted 18 months. I had selected majors in college that lasted longer than their marriage (ChemEng! No wait, Chem! No wait, I really mean EE, Oh who am I kidding I've been a CS kid since I was 6!)

      My wife and I dropped about $10K of our own money because we both had real jobs etc so it was no bit deal, about one months gross. Still together 15 yrs later.

      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Wednesday October 15 2014, @03:20AM

        by davester666 (155) on Wednesday October 15 2014, @03:20AM (#106152)

        There's always one pair of freaks in the crowd....

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by cafebabe on Tuesday October 14 2014, @06:04PM

    by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @06:04PM (#106022) Journal

    Spending a large amount on a wedding may be a symptom of wanting a fairytale wedding, achieving this goal and then wondering why it doesn't lead to everyone living happily ever after. It is a symptom of treating marriage as an event rather than a process.

    --
    1702845791×2
  • (Score: 2) by Sir Garlon on Tuesday October 14 2014, @07:25PM

    by Sir Garlon (1264) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @07:25PM (#106043)

    I think TFA is fine and informative. There is an apparent contradiction that bears further examination, and would be a good candidate for further investigation. High attendance at the wedding is positively correlated with a lasting marriage, and high cost is negatively correlated. Yet in the US at least, the number of guests and the cost of the reception are themselves positively correlated because the guest generally do not pay to attend the wedding.

    So which is more important, a cheap ceremony or a lot of guests?

    Another factor is the couple's income. There seems to be no allowance made for the couple's income, so it's not clear what conclusions you can draw. A couple that makes $125K a year and spends $30K is arguably more thrifty than a couple that makes $50K and spends $20K.

    My point here is not to find fault with TFA but to point out some of the questions the initial analysis raises.

    --
    [Sir Garlon] is the marvellest knight that is now living, for he destroyeth many good knights, for he goeth invisible.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by cafebabe on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:15PM

      by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:15PM (#106055) Journal

      High attendance at the wedding is positively correlated with a lasting marriage, and high cost is negatively correlated.

      Tell guests to bring their own alcohol.

      A couple that makes $125K a year and spends $30K is arguably more thrifty than a couple that makes $50K and spends $20K.

      More money gives you more ways to be miserable. As an example, a friend's parents had a failing relationship when their neighbor moved away. They bought the neighboring house and joined them together. Each parent now has their own car in their own driveway, they watch their own television programs in their own living room, cook in their own kitchen, sleep in their own bed and have sex with each other when the mood arises. For similar reasons, a friend of my father had a fantastic relationship *after* he divorced his wife. I suspect it is because they enjoyed the best times together, such as holidays, with less pressure.

      --
      1702845791×2
      • (Score: 2) by paulej72 on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:52PM

        by paulej72 (58) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:52PM (#106066) Journal
        This is why God created separate beds.
        --
        Team Leader for SN Development
        • (Score: 2) by cafebabe on Tuesday October 14 2014, @10:46PM

          by cafebabe (894) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @10:46PM (#106102) Journal

          I read that women benefit from shared bed; possibly due to increased warmth and security. Whereas, men benefit from a solitary bed; possibly due to reduced sleep disturbance.

          --
          1702845791×2
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Alfred on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:23PM

      by Alfred (4006) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:23PM (#106057) Journal
      I saw the wedding size vs wedding price contradiction also.

      What I try and teach the lads younger than myself is that if she demands expensive stuff, like a big ring, then it is a red flag and they should run. I recently saw a video where the stereotypical roles were reversed. Instead of the girl asking for a big ring it was a guy asking for an expensive lunch box. Hilarious! it really show how ridiculous girls can be. Sorry I don't have a link but it should be required viewing for anyone of engagement age.

      If it is material goods (money, rings, big wedding) that make her happy then you will some day not have enough money to make her happy and she will leave with half of what you do have.
    • (Score: 2) by strattitarius on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:48PM

      by strattitarius (3191) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:48PM (#106062) Journal
      I notice there was no grouping or adjustment by age. I wonder how the responses would be if you broke it down by age. TFA says he threw out those over 60 (not many), but I bet those in the 40-60 age range had FAR fewer weddings that cost over $5000, even adjusted for inflation. It just wasn't as common to have such an extravagant wedding.

      They paid about $2000 to complete the surveys through Mechanical Turk, so they couldn't just throw out the results because of some contradictions. Here was the final conclusion of the paper:

      Overall, our findings provide little evidence to support the validity of the wedding industry’s general message that connects expensive weddings with positive marital outcomes.

      Yeah... maybe you didn't correlate marriage success with the amount spent, but you did correlate it with the number of guests. Which either means more money for the wedding, or doing it in the backyard with Vienna Sausage hors d'oeuvres. They are going to get some serious hate when clients of wedding planners start saying "I need you to accommodate 200 guests on about $5k."

      --
      Slashdot Beta Sucks. Soylent Alpha Rules. News at 11.
      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Tuesday October 14 2014, @09:22PM

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 14 2014, @09:22PM (#106076)

        surveys through Mechanical Turk

        Oh God no, not the Turk, my coworkers went thru a phase where they would drink heavily and as a game try to keep up on the turk. Definitely a cheap beer in the backyard thing not a $75 bottle of scotch thing. This is a lot more fun at a party than drinking alone although I imagine people do that too.

        I turked for fun a couple months ago (its a true grind game, especially if you start competing with someone, and yes I did lose but I made a valiant effort) and there's an inherent entitlement that sets in after the 30th questions or so, I did my part, now "F you pay me" set in, and the quality level of my responses declined dramatically by question 150 or so.

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Wednesday October 15 2014, @06:14PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday October 15 2014, @06:14PM (#106343) Journal

        In other news, taking surveys on the Mechanical Turk increases your risk of divorce considerably. ;-)

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:51PM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:51PM (#106064) Homepage
      Even though they justify it, the following makes me wonder:
      """
      The survey was[...] administered using Mechanical Turk
      (mTurk), an online labor market operated by Amazon. [...] A growing number of economists and other social scientists are
      making use of mTurk for experimental and survey research[...]. An advantage of mTurk is that it provides low-cost access to a large and
      diverse subject pool. Samples of mTurk workers have been found to be more representative of
      the US population than in-person convenience samples, standard internet samples, and typical
      college samples
      """

      It might be that other typical sampling methods are *worse*, but that doesn't make mTurk *good*.
      --
      I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday October 14 2014, @09:01PM

        by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Tuesday October 14 2014, @09:01PM (#106070) Homepage
        "Perhaps the biggest factor is how many people attend your wedding: Couples who elope are 12.5x more likely to end up divorced than couples who get married at a wedding with 200+ people."

        False.

        That should read:
        *of couples who were "recently" married*, those who elope are ...

        If you don't restrict yourself to the "recently" married, the factor's only about 2.5x.
        --
        I know I'm God, because every time I pray to him, I find I'm talking to myself.
    • (Score: 1) by Bob The Cowboy on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:51PM

      by Bob The Cowboy (2019) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:51PM (#106065)

      But there's a potential maximization here. The most guests for the lowest marginal (in the economics sense) price. At my wedding (only a little over 2ish years ago now) we had a potluck-but-we-provide-a-main-course, and got the main course prepared but not catered from a small local restaurant.

      What we found was that the cost of adding additional guests leveled off. We still had a wedding supply company to rent chairs, place settings, etc, but for the most part the food is the biggest price, and we saved a ton. Really, we were more limited by the seating capacity of the venue. We ended up with about 130 people (and we had enough food that we could have easily fed another 30 people), and the whole thing came in well under 10k.

    • (Score: 2) by tynin on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:57PM

      by tynin (2013) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:57PM (#106069) Journal

      So which is more important, a cheap ceremony or a lot of guests?

      My wife and I thought both were important. We had ~100 people show up and spent less than $6k. Granted my wife and family worked to keep costs down, with the knowledge that the more money we saved on the wedding, the more money we were going to get at the end of it. I ended up killing, cleaning, and cooking a 350 lb hog, but otherwise had guests bring an somewhat organized pot luck. We provided a couple kegs but told everyone to bring their own. Thanks to friends we also had a pro DJ and photographer. It ended up being a wonderful day. We've been married for 13 years now.

      • (Score: 2) by M. Baranczak on Wednesday October 15 2014, @03:35PM

        by M. Baranczak (1673) on Wednesday October 15 2014, @03:35PM (#106289)

        If you go the semi-organized way and skip the wedding planner and caterer, just make sure that there's someone who's actually running the gig. And that someone should not be the bride or groom - they'll be too busy getting married. A dinner party for 150 people is not something that just falls together by itself. I worked at a wedding once where they thought they could just do a big potluck... they told me that I'd just have to stock the buffet and wash the plates, this turned out to be sheer fantasy. I basically had to assemble and manage a catering crew at the last possible minute.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15 2014, @04:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15 2014, @04:54PM (#106317)

      Also somehow contradictory:

      The more money you and your partner make, the less likely you are to ultimately file for divorce. Couples who earn $125K per year are 51% less likely to divorce than couples making 0 - 25k

      and

      women are 1.6x more likely to end up divorced when they care more about their partner’s wealth

      I'd think women who care more about the partner's wealth are more likely to marry a wealthy partner, and therefore are more likely to form a high-income couple.

  • (Score: 2) by mtrycz on Tuesday October 14 2014, @07:45PM

    by mtrycz (60) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @07:45PM (#106051)

    Thank you very much mr. Olson.

    --
    In capitalist America, ads view YOU!
  • (Score: 2) by everdred on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:04PM

    by everdred (110) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday October 14 2014, @08:04PM (#106053) Homepage Journal

    > the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is well over $30,000

    What's the median cost?

  • (Score: 1) by rheaghen on Tuesday October 14 2014, @09:30PM

    by rheaghen (2470) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @09:30PM (#106079) Homepage

    Hello Randal S. Olson, of the typical-narrow-minded-christian-clan! last I checked, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. all do not use the term "Church", and I'm not even sure that generalization would even fit their theistic traditions/practices. I'd have been much clearer to have a category like Theist/Atheist/Undecided. The man-in-the-sky is a bit more diverse in the grand scheme of things, but that means you'd actually have to include these other criteria into your narrow research project. Also, I'll wager you didn't have many openly atheist couples out there, and I'm not even gonna ask about gay marriage? So please, with a cherry on top, stop publishing bad research; you're making everyone who believes in it more stupid.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday October 15 2014, @02:40PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday October 15 2014, @02:40PM (#106268)

      typical-narrow-minded-christian-clan! last I checked, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. all do not use the term "Church"

      It's easier to say "church" than it is to say "church/mosque/synagogue/temple." You know what he means.

      I'd have been much clearer to have a category like Theist/Atheist/Undecided

      "Do you go to church and if so, how often?" relates pretty directly to that distinction anyway. If you don't belong to a faith, why would you be going to communal worship? (As deference to a SO, maybe.)

      Also, I'll wager you didn't have many openly atheist couples out there

      I'd take that bet. If SN is any indication, you're bound to run into at least one couple (who are of course vocal about it). How many in the sample we're talking about...I'm not exactly sure what point you're trying to make. You ask for volunteers online then complain when the data comes back and you don't like the results? In some contexts you'd have a point but I don't see this as being one.

      Everybody has biases. I'd be interested to compare and contrast the questions you'd give with the ones the person in question did. I'm sure they'd be informative.

      Thanks so much for lodging the Butthurt Brigade's stance on this issue. Saved us the trouble of calling you up and asking for a quote (the guy who answers is always bitchy).

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
  • (Score: 2) by mendax on Tuesday October 14 2014, @09:59PM

    by mendax (2840) on Tuesday October 14 2014, @09:59PM (#106092)

    As someone who went through a disastrous marriage, I have some insights on this subject.

    First, what's love got to do with it? I loved (and still love) deeply and passionately that woman I married. Even though it was her infidelities that led me to seek a divorce, that passion has never ended. Love is great to have, perhaps even a necessary component, but in the end, what's required is TRUST, complete and absolute. I did not have that with her... ever. I knew she'd had trouble with infidelities. After all, what do you think she was doing when I first met her?

    That leads to my next point which echoes the need for complete trust. It's important to marry your best friend, someone that you know in your bones will not stab you in the back, who will support you in the best of times and the worst of times, "in sickness and in health", regardless of what happens in life. I write to prison inmates (yes, fountain pen, paper, envelope, and a stamp—how archaic!) and I'm amazed to see marriages survive such disasters as trips through the criminal justice system. These people may be dysfunctional but their marriages seem to survive it, regardless of the offense, even sexual offenses.

    Next, sex should be the least important part of the relationship. It's nice to have but what's more important is emotional intimacy. It's much more fun to sit on the couch and snuggle and talk. It took me a long time to learn this basic fact of a healthy relationship.

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15 2014, @04:49AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15 2014, @04:49AM (#106173)

      I have never married. For the very factor you stated. Trust.

      I never met anyone ( male or female ) I felt I could trust. The world seems to rank us by total net worth; those knowing how the game of tragedy of the commons is played leaves several dozen losers for each winner... or at least what the world seems to recognize as a winner. So we have not a world of artists and engineers, but lawyers, bankers, politicians, and makers of war.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15 2014, @04:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 15 2014, @04:59PM (#106319)

        I have never married.

        Indeed, that perfectly protects against divorce. The divorce rate of people who never got married is exactly 0%. ;-)

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday October 15 2014, @09:41PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday October 15 2014, @09:41PM (#106417)

      Maybe you should have explored having an open marriage with her, instead of insisting on changing her. Isn't that something that people (usually men) complain about with their partners, that the partner marries them, hoping to change them? You acknowledge that she wasn't monogamous by nature when you first met, so why would you think she would suddenly become that way after marriage?

      • (Score: 2) by mendax on Thursday October 16 2014, @07:11PM

        by mendax (2840) on Thursday October 16 2014, @07:11PM (#106767)

        I am not a fan of open marriage. I read about how people have them and wonder how anyone can make them work. In any case, I would not want one.

        --
        It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday October 17 2014, @03:37PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Friday October 17 2014, @03:37PM (#107054)

          I am not a fan of open marriage. I read about how people have them and wonder how anyone can make them work.

          You sound rather closed-minded. The key is to not be jealous, to be secure with yourself and your relationship, and to trust your partner(s). If you have to maintain control over your partner's sexuality and relationships with other people, that's not a healthy relationship, that's a relationship built on control and fear rather than love and trust.

          • (Score: 2) by mendax on Friday October 17 2014, @11:41PM

            by mendax (2840) on Friday October 17 2014, @11:41PM (#107196)

            Well, I'm not necessarily closed-minded on the subject. My dislike of open marriages has little to do with my own self-worth or my level of trust with my partner, it's more related to the purpose of sex in a committed relationship. From what I've learned in years of psychotherapy and Twelve Step programs, sex is the least important part a relationship. And to be frank, I am of the opinion that sex outside of a committed relationship is emotionally unhealthy. But if a couple can do it and it works, more power to them.

            --
            It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
            • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Tuesday October 21 2014, @07:59PM

              by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday October 21 2014, @07:59PM (#108373)

              >From what I've learned in years of psychotherapy and Twelve Step programs, sex is the least important part a relationship.

              If it's so unimportant, then why do you care so much if your spouse gets some from another person? It's just plain possessiveness and jealousy, and a sexist desire to guarantee the paternity of offspring (which is why it's OK for men to sleep around, but not for women ("studs vs. sluts")).

              • (Score: 2) by mendax on Wednesday October 22 2014, @04:04AM

                by mendax (2840) on Wednesday October 22 2014, @04:04AM (#108543)

                If it's so unimportant, then why do you care so much if your spouse gets some from another person?

                Because she said she would be monogamous, I believed her and expected her to be monogamous, I trusted her to be monogamous, and she betrayed that trust. A betrayal of trust is the greatest destroyer of marriages. It wasn't so much that she screwed some low life, it was that she lied to me. And when I confronted her on the subject she continued to lie about. It was only when I told her that I had evidence that she confessed.

                This was several years ago. I must admit that if I were married to her now and I discovered her adultery tomorrow, I would act differently, partially because of what I've learned in Twelve Step programs and psychotherapy, but only if she had gotten into recovery. Under all the layers of delusion and stinking thinking in her mind I knew that she was a good person and wanted to act that way. Furthermore, I learned that I have to take some responsibility for the fact that I knew that she had done this kind of thing before and it was utter narcissism to expect that she could not do it to me.

                --
                It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
                • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday October 23 2014, @02:09AM

                  by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday October 23 2014, @02:09AM (#108987)

                  Because she said she would be monogamous, I believed her and expected her to be monogamous, I trusted her to be monogamous, and she betrayed that trust.

                  Um, no. I'm not talking about cheating, I'm talking about open marriages here. Open marriages are where you've mutually agreed that non-monogamy is OK in some form (different couples do it differently; some have various rules about how close they're allowed to get to other people, whether they need to "get permission" first before dating or sleeping with someone, whether the spouse can "veto" partners). So, the question is, hypothetically, if your spouse asked you if you'd agree to open your marriage (but, as we can infer, has not yet actually dated with or slept with anyone else), why are you dead-set on monogamy? If sex is not such an important part of the relationship, why do care so much if your spouse fucks someone else (but not before telling you/getting permission/etc)? Incidentally, I do agree about sex not being that important; most of the time when I read about people with an open marriage breaking up, it's for some other reason entirely. Also, when you get into a relationship with someone, most likely they fucked other people before they got involved with you. So if that's not a problem, why is it such a problem when they're with you? (Again, if they're sneaking around on you, no that's not cool, I'm talking about open relationships here where your partner has not promised exclusivity to you, however even there they really should keep you apprised of their other relationships and activities.)

                  And when I confronted her on the subject she continued to lie about. It was only when I told her that I had evidence that she confessed.

                  You're talking about your personal experience, which involved cheating. That's not an open marriage. Even open marriage and polyamory proponents acknowledge that cheating is really bad, because it breaks trust, and that people in a relationship need to trust each other and have lots of communication (ESPECIALLY in open/poly marriages) to make them work.

                  Under all the layers of delusion and stinking thinking in her mind I knew that she was a good person and wanted to act that way.

                  Some people just aren't really wired for monogamy, and because society insists on it so much, for some strange reason (it's not natural at all; just ask the Bonobos), they end up acting out eventually. People like that would really be better off avoiding monogamy and sticking with open relationships. It's a lot healthier, assuming they find an agreeable partner, and can develop proper communication skills to make that relationship work. It's entirely doable, but you have to abandon all the assumptions and preconceptions that come with monogamy.

                  Furthermore, I learned that I have to take some responsibility for the fact that I knew that she had done this kind of thing before and it was utter narcissism to expect that she could not do it to me.

                  Yep, that reinforces my contention that she was simply never wired for monogamy. Monogamous society has a saying, "once a cheater always a cheater", but what this really points to is that some (many? the statistics show lots of cheating in our society) people simply aren't cut out for monogamy. And trying to force them into such relationships frequently results in cheating, and failure of the relationship. If they'd just avoid monogamy altogether, and society was more accepting of non-monogamy, this wouldn't be a problem. This doesn't mean everyone should be non-monogamous; there are certainly people who simply don't desire more than one partner, and of course there's people who demand exclusivity from their partner (though I personally think this is bad because it's just jealousy IMO), but if people want to agree to these terms, that's their prerogative. I just object to the idea that this should be considered the only or default choice for a "normal" marriage. It shouldn't be unusual to be non-monogamous.

  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 15 2014, @11:43AM

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday October 15 2014, @11:43AM (#106216)

    "How many children are you raising?"

    Being childless seems to make couples much happier with the relationship [pnas.org], probably because both partners turn a lot of their attention that used to go to each other towards the child instead.

    --
    The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday October 15 2014, @02:35PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday October 15 2014, @02:35PM (#106263) Journal

    I believe a good test for long-term compatibility is to travel together for an extended period, backpack-style. The trials and adventures and how you each react to them will tell you a lot about whether you can weather the good times and bad times together. And since the stress of being a fish out of water can bring your rawer, truer self to the surface you get a much more honest picture than the roles you might otherwise be playing for each other and which you wouldn't drop until after you had been married for a while and hit your first major crisis.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.