Successful Marriages Essay, Research Paper
For any marriage to be successful there are certain changes a man and woman have to make. They have to be flexible and open and ready for new experiences and ways of living. Marriages can be successful or unsuccessful based on many different aspects of it. Four important concepts that are definitely part of the whole marriage life are: children, conflict resolution, outside influences, and communication.
Children may be the biggest change to a married couple. From going from just the two people, doing whatever they want, whenever they want, to staying home and taking on the responsibilities of taking care of children is a big step. Gone is the freedom of leaving at the spur of the moment to catch that new movie that just came out, eating what they want, when they want, buying whatever they want, and sleeping in until noon.
The average number of children for parents completing my survey was two. Everyone knows that raising children is very stressful, but because of the different ages of the parents, and the children, I could not get facts on which years were the toughest. Most parents whose kids are well into their 20?s or so, say that the most stressful years for them were the teenage years. Children that are toddlers are said to be less stressful then when they were infants. It varies for everyone, and from my surveys I got no facts, just opinions. Children are a big responsibility and cause a lot of stress for parents. Out of 30 people, 96% say that their children have been a cause for an argument at least one time throughout their marriage. This could occur for many reasons; one being that it is very expensive to raise children and parents would have to agree on what is necessary for their children to have or things that are just nice to have. They must agree to what their priorities are and each partner would have to adjust. Also parents might feel differently about ways of disciplining their children, which usually causes them to argue.
Every couple has their own ways of resolving their problems throughout their marriage. Constant conflict can destroy a marriage. Learning how to deal with the conflict to achieve a win/win situation for both partners is very important. When couples disagree, the 30 people that I surveyed said that the woman gives in 65% of the time. A reason for this could be that women were taught to be passive and let things go a lot easier than men. They do not want provoke their partner and then start another argument. They think it is easiest to just give in even if they know they are right. Sometimes the only reason the women gives in is that she is just too tired from working, taking care of the children and the house and feels it would be easier to give in and let it go. This is only a short-term solution.
Men on the other hand have to keep their stand and be the king. They cannot give in; it would ruin their status. They have to prove they can not be stood up to. When a married couple are in an argument, 78% say they talk it out after calming down. It usually does not solve anything when couples fight because each person does not listen to the other person?s perspective. They are yelling at each other so they each think they are right and become stubborn. By talking it out, you can hear both sides of the story and come up with a compromise. Couples fight for many different reasons, but from my surveys I found the main reason for fighting was children. 60% say they argue about their children. 46% say they argue about chores. 43% say they argue about money. And lastly, 23% say they argue about work. These problems may interconnect with each other. For example, most people are very stressed at work, especially during these times when most companies are decreasing their staff and those that remain are taking on additional responsibilities. After a hard day at work they come home and half to start all over by picking the kid up if required, getting supper ready, cleaning up the mess that was left in the morning and on and on. If the parents don?t have a plan worked out as who is responsible for certain chores, tempers will flare and before you know it there is a major argument. The child happens to ask for money for a special event and that opens the door for another argument amount not having enough money etc. More stress is put on the parents causing them to be very uptight and irratable. Although every couple has their bad day, the people I interviewed seem to get along well with their partner. On a scale of 1-10, 83% say their rate of disagreement is 4 and under. For a marriage to be successful you can not be fighting more then you are getting along. You have to learn how to solve problems and get over them with out ruining your marriage.
It is not just the environment the couple are living in itself that causes problems toward their marriage. Outside influences have an effect on some people. 53% of the people I surveyed always get along with their partner?s parents. 30% say they often get along with their partner?s parents. This is because either the parent or the partner really does get along with each other, or one of them is pretending to, for the family?s sake. 3% say they sometimes get along with their partner?s parents and 3% say they rarely do. (11% did not complete) 53% say their partner always gets along with their parents. 26% say they often do. 3% say their partner rarely gets along with their parents. (18% did not complete) Not getting along with your partner?s parents or them not getting along with yours can disturb your marriage and you individually. You may be always wondering why his parents don?t like you and could hold that against him. He may talk bad about your mom and make fun of your dad. The arguments can become personal and soon you two would be in a fight not in relative to your mom or his dad. He could try to gain their approval by not being himself, so you are living with a totally different guy you know nothing about for a few days. Or you and his parents could get along just fine; making family barbecues a lot less tense and tons more fun. Other outside influences can be how much your partner goes out a week, and just whom it is they are going with. Women tend to stay home more during the week, tending to the children and the cleaning. Men like to go out with the guys for a couple beers, a couple nights a week. 13% of the women I interviewed say their husband partner has a friend whom they think is a bad influence on them. 86% says their partner does not have a friend whom they think is a bad influence. A lot of people had friends that were bad influences on them but over the years realized they were bad influences, and kind of drew apart from them. The 13% that still have those bad friends, do not see the problems they are causing or the influence they have on them. These friends can cause a lot of problems in a marriage, especially if the person starts lying about going out with them. They know their partner does not want them out with them so they lie and say they were with someone else, which causes even bigger problems in the marriage.
A big aspect in keeping a marriage successful is how much communication occurs between the two. For a healthy relationship there is a need for quite a bit of communication. On a scale of 1-10, 60% say their communication level is 8 or higher. 40% say their communication level is under 8. Communication is one of the key elements to a successful marriage. There has to be some open discussions and trust in the relationship to make it anywhere. If you can not talk to your partner you will not be able to solve problems in a healthy manner. You have to be able to tell your partner things to help you learn and mature with them. You have to learn how to compromise and help each other out. 40% of the 30 people say they can always talk openly to their partner about anything. 40% say they can often talk to their partner openly about anything. 16.5% say they can sometimes talk openly to their partner openly about anything. 3.5% say they can rarely talk openly to their partner, and 0 say they can never talk openly to their partner. Communication has to be part of your relationship in some way. You cannot go through your life not talking to your partner about important issues that you should be able to talk to them about. Of course there are some things that may seem easier to talk to with someone else for example: men may feel more comfortable talking to the ?guys? about his problems, and women may feel more comfortable talking to her mother, or doctor. It all depends on what the problem is and whom it involves. If it involves the partner in any way, they should be aware of what is going on. 3.5% of the 30 people say they always feel uncomfortable talking to their partner about certain things. 0% say they often feel uncomfortable, while 20% say they sometimes feel uncomfortable. 43% say they rarely feel uncomfortable talking to their partner about certain things and 33% say they never feel uncomfortable talking to their partner about certain things. Couples should be able to tell each other what they like and don?t like so they can compromise. By not saying anything may resolve the problem temporarily but not permanently. By saying something, letting the other person know what you think can result in them trying to change, and if they can?t, you can try and accept it. Holding things inside can cause you to become very resentful and very unhappy with your marirage.. 76.6% say they can tell their partner when they are doing something that they don?t like. 23% say they try and ignore it.
All of these concepts from the beginning can either establish a healthy successful marriage or an unsuccessful marriage, depending on the way they are dealt with. On a scale of 1-10, 76.6% rate the success of their marriage 8 or higher. 23.4% rate the success of their marriage 7 or lower. Most of the people I surveyed were high on the successful side. Many communicated well, talked out their problems, had hardly any negative outside influences, and tried hard to take in suggestions of their partner and compromise as best they can. Over the years married couples learn what sets their partner off and what not to say to them at what time. They know what kind of mood that they are in by looking at them and listening to them. They learn everything about them, and although there are things that they are not going to like about them at first, they will grow to love about them.