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Matt M
Matt M
7 months ago

 In the strongest relationships, positive behaviours towards the other person (humour, affection, empathy) outweigh negative behaviours (criticism, defensiveness, contempt) by at least five to one. 

This is certainly a key to life-long marriage. Yoram Hazony makes the point that this way of acting towards your spouse – in-jokes, not criticising them in front of other people, sticking up for them when they are criticised by others (whether justly or unjustly), not letting kids play one off against the other etc – is learned behaviour. You learn it from your parents marriage and apply it to your own. This rings true for me (25 years next year, my parents are coming up on 55 years).
It makes me worry that kids whose parents divorce never learn these lessons and so are doomed to see their own marriages fall apart and so continue the cycle.

Last edited 7 months ago by Matt M
Suzanne C.
Suzanne C.
7 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

My husband and I both come from dysfunctional homes with divorce, alcoholism, and adultery. We met at college at 17 and were married at 21, our sole life goal was to create the big happy family that we never had. We’ve been married 40 years with five children and six grandchildren, all of whom live nearby and visit frequently.it hasn’t always been easy and adult children trying to live in todays world with yesterday’s values make for far more stress than when they were little and life was blissful.
It takes strong will and intelligence informed by imagination and literature but you are not doomed to repeat your parents’ mistakes.

Matt M
Matt M
7 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

Good for you and your husband Suzanne. You are right: nothing is written!

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
7 months ago
Reply to  Suzanne C.

I have had the same experience of being from a dysfunctional family – alcoholism & suicide – and similarly I have endeavored to overcome those early years. Now, happily married for 40 years, I have urged my own daughters to love and care for each other because that’s all they have. Our first grandchild is 6 months and we are over-the-moon and hoping for more someday. To overcome the odds, first you really have to want to make it work which of course requires lots of introspection and constant talking to each other about life’s challenges. It can be done. Life is good.

Last edited 7 months ago by Cathy Carron
William Hickey
William Hickey
7 months ago

This article raises the question, Whatever happened to Valerie Kaprisky?

Richard Irons
Richard Irons
7 months ago

Yes, but do opposites attract?