Couples coming out of marriage license bureaus confirmed these findings. A number of them told us that before they met their intended, they had had a serious relationship in which religious differences caused one party to break it off. Your chances of marrying him are much greater than your chances of marrying the other man. The importance of belief systems cannot be underestimated, and this is also demonstrated in political areas.
Republicans generally marry Republicans, Democrats marry Democrats, conservatives marry conservatives, and liberals marry liberals. Of course, there are exceptions. One of the most public party-crossing couples is conservative pundit Mary Matalin and Democratic campaign manager James Carville, who worked for opposite sides when Democrat Bill Clinton challenged GOP incumbent George H. Bush for the presidency.
In the focus group we put together to investigate political alignments in marriage, we discovered that many married couples were politically divided. We know more women vote Democratic than men, and more men vote Republican than women. Differences of opinions on core values such as abortion, capital punishment, or even disciplining children can divide a couple. People with similar beliefs and values tend to have similar outlooks on life and are usually more compatible.
Living at home Men who live at home with their parents are less likely to marry than men who have their own places. This is more significant in some communities than in others. Nevertheless, a man who lives alone is more likely to marry than one who lives with his parents. We also discovered that men who have never lived away from home are less likely to marry than men who have.
Following the pack Another important question a woman should ask a man before getting serious is whether any of his male friends have married in the last year or so. More than 60 percent of the men we questioned coming out of marriage license bureaus told us they had a friend who had married within the last year. After we asked men in singles bars if any of their friends had recently married, and if they themselves were considering getting married, we saw a reason for this correlation.
Seeing their friends marrying had clearly caused a change in their thinking. Those who said none of their male friends was married were two to three times as likely to tell our researchers they were not ready to marry. Stop this nonsense and get married already. It's not too far off from what Lori Gottlieb told us years ago in Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough—when she warned us we'd regret the day we let that nice guy with the receding hairline get snapped up by the woman willing to overlook male pattern baldness.
The risk being, of course, that if you find something wrong with everyone, you'll end up past your prime with fewer prospects and fewer men to choose from. I'm not a fan of this argument, due to its scarcity-minded approach, but there is some truth to it, especially as the biological window closes. Regardless, she made her point, and perhaps humbled more than a few women into solid marriages they might have missed.
Did Gottlieb herself ever settle? Word on the street, says Melanie Notkin in her book Otherhood, is that she hasn't. Marriage Requires Compromise Fact is, anyone who wants a specific thing must make some compromises to get it—be it a Manhattan apartment or a spouse. If you want marriage, and to be married, you can have that, provided you're willing to do away with the impossible standards and pages-long dealbreaker list for Mr. In other words, if what you want above all is marriage, you must be willing to commit first and love second.
After all, it's only fairly recently that we demanded the whole package: As Stephanie Coontz taught us in Marriage: A History, for most of recorded history, love was considered a pretty fickle reason to get married, and not enough reason to stay—which may be why today, with so many marrying for love alone, so many leave in droves. DIY Arranged Marriage You know where this is going, right?
About 55 percent of the world's marriages are arranged—90 percent of which happen in India. The divorce rate, as you know, is roughly 50 percent in this country. Guess how many divorces result from arranged marriages? That's not because people are happier elsewhere, or don't suffer the same emotions or experiences that all couples go through. They do go in, however, with different expectations. They go in knowing they will make the best of it, and in many cases over the course of history, the bond forms overtime, and love happens—not in all cases, certainly, but a lot more than you realize.
Do the countries where arranged marriages happen have a history of being oppressive towards women? Do I like the idea of women not being able to choose? But you can choose. You're Not Willing to Work For It You, like all of us, fell under this spell from a young age that you should just be able to have some magical, everlasting love.
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