How to maintain a successful marriage.

Essay by vietlife45College, UndergraduateA, April 2003

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Each day numerous single men and women are searching for a perfect companion to share that special feeling of being in love. Unfortunately, these bonds of those loving couples slowly decease because of conflicting and losing that special feelings of love. For those who are able to maintain in love long enough to get married, less than 48 percent of them stay married. Out of those who stay together, less than 48 percent are fulfilled. They stay together out of loyalty and duty and the fear starting over. Very few people are able to grow in love. When men and women are able to respect and accept their differences then love has a chance to blossom.

Falling in love is always magical. I feels great inside as if love will last forever. We honestly believe that somehow we are exempt from the problems our parents had that love will never die and that we are destined to live happily ever after.

But as the magic begins and daily life takes over, it becomes that women continue to expect men to feel and behave like women, and men expect women to think and react like men. Without a clear awareness of our differences, we do not take the time to understand and respect each other. We become more tough, angry, disapproving, and narrow-minded. Despite the best and loving couple loves continues to die. Somehow problems creep in and resentments build. Communication breaks down and mistrust increases. Rejection and cruelty become a result. The magic of love is lost forever and love isn't there anymore.

The most complaint women have about men is that they don't listen. Either a man completely ignores a women when she speaks to him or he listens for a while and tried to put on his Mr. Fix-it cap and offer her a solution that make her feel better. He gets confused when she doesn't appreciate his gesture for love. No matter how many times she tells him that he's not listening, he doesn't get it and keeps doing the same thing. She wants understanding, but he thinks that she wants a solution. The most complaint men have about women is that women are always trying to change them. When a woman loves a man, she feels responsible to assist him in growing and tries to help him improve the way he does things. This is where a woman can become extremely annoying, when she makes the man her primary focus. No matter how much he resists her help, she persists, waiting for any opportunity to help him or tell him what to do. She thinks she is nurturing him, while he feels he's being controlled. Instead, he wants her acceptance.

Men value power, skill, effectiveness, and achievement. They are always doing things to prove themselves and develop their power and skills. They defined themselves though their ability to achieve results. They experience fulfillment primarily through success or accomplishment. Even how they dress is designed to reflect their skills and competence. Police men, soldiers, businessmen, scientists, cab drivers, technicians, and chefs all wear uniforms or at least hats to reflect their competence and power.

Men don't read magazines like Psychology Today, Self or People. They are more concerned with outdoor activities, like hunting, fishing, and racing cars. They are interested in the news, weather and sports and couldn't care less about romance novels and self help books. They are more interested in objects and things rather than people and feeling. While women fantasize about romance, men fantasize about powerful cars, faster computers, gadgets, and new more powerful technology. Men are occupied with the things that help then express power and achieving goals. Achieving goals is very important to a man because it is a way for him to prove this competence and feel good about himself. And for him to feel good about himself he must achieve these goals by himself. Someone can't achieve it from him. Men have pride in themselves when they achieve it by themselves.

Understanding this characteristic can help women understand why men resist so much being corrected or being told what to do. To offer a man advice is to understand that he doesn't know what to do or that he can't do it on his own. Men are very tough about this because the issue of competence is very important to them. It is important because he is handling his problems on his own, a man rarely talks about his problems unless he needs expert advice. Men believe that why do we must involve others when he could do it. Asking for help is a sign of weakness to them. If he needs help, then he'll find help. In this case, he will find a friend that he respects and then talk about his problems. Talking about a problem to another man is an invitation for advice. The other men would feel honored that he ask for help and automatically he put on his Mr. Fix-it hat on, listens for a while, and then offer him some advice.

This is why when a woman shares upset feeling or explores out loud the problem of her day, a man assumes she is looking for some expert advice. He puts on his Mr. Fix-it hat and begins advice; this is his way of showing love and of trying to help. He wants to help her feel better by solving her problems. He wants to be useful to her. He feels he can be valued and worthy of her love when his abilities are used to solve her problems. Once he offer her a solution, however she continues to be upset and it becomes difficult for him to listen because his solution is being rejected and he feels useless. He does not know that when a woman talks about a problem it is not an invitation for advice. He has no idea that by just listening with understanding and interest he can be supportive.

Women have different values than men. They value love, communication, beauty, and relationships. They spend a lot of time supporting, helping, and nurturing. They defined themselves through their feeling and quality toward relationships. They experience fulfillment through sharing and relating. Relationship is more important than work and technology. They do not wear uniform like men to reveal their competence. They wear a different outfit every day to show how they are feeling. Personal expression is very important to women. Communication is a primary importance. Talking and relating to one another is a source of tremendous fulfillment. This is hard for a man to comprehend. He can come close to understanding a woman's experience of sharing and relating by comparing it when he wins a race, achieves a goal, or solves a problem. Women are more concerned with expressing their goodness, love and caring. When two men go to lunch to discuss a project or business goal, they have a problem to solve. In addition, men view going to a restaurant as a way to eat food. Men do not like shopping, cooking, and don't like to do the dishes. And when women goes to a restaurant they talk about intimate thing such as dialogue on personal things.

Competence is not important to woman. offering help is not offensive and needing help is not a weakness. A man however, may feel offended because when a woman offers advice he doesn't feel she trusts his ability to do it himself. A woman has no ability for a male sensitivity because a men seem to need help she offer it and that will make her feel loved and cherished. But offering help to a men can make him feel weak, incompetent, and unloved. For a women it is a sign of caring to give advice and suggestions. Women nature is to improve and care about someone.

Men are very different. If something is working, then don't change it. Their instinct is to leave it alone if it is working. Woman tries to improve a man, he feels she is trying to fix him. He receives the message that he is broken. She doesn't realize her caring attempts to help him may humiliate him.

Men and women are simply different, for many reasons from biological differences, parental influence, education, and birth order by the society, media, and history. Men and women differ in all areas. Not only do men and women communicate differently, but they think, feel, react, respond, love, need, differently. They need different nourishment from each other. Understanding their difference can help them resolve much of the frustrations and misunderstanding. When your partner is different from you tried to cooperate with the differences instead of resisting them. For a successful marriage men need to deny some of their masculine attributes and become more loving and nurturing, and for women they to deny some of their feminine attribute and become more living in a work place that rewards masculine attributes.