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I completely agree with the title of your thread and the title of Eli Finkel's book, The All-or-Nothing Marriage.

I think today's relationships are just insane, which is one reason I'm content to be on my own.

The idea of a man in my life is nice. The idea of feeling wanted is nice. But the reality of it all is a mess.
 

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For most of human history marriages were a business arrangement. Romantic love is a relatively recent idea and is far more complicated.

It used to be that if a guy provided that was enough. But it also used to be the case women were expected to provide sexual access only. The idea that she had to be an enthusiastic participant who wanted it just as much as him and upped her game to compete with porn is also a new phenomena.

Once emotions are involved it becomes complicated because it's so subjective and volatile. When the expected contribution involves actions, such as providing and running the home, its easier to see if one is holding up their end.

"I'm not happy" or "you're not enthusiastic enough" is harder to address.
 

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From the article: "people are increasingly seeking self-actualization within their marriages, expecting their partner to be all things to them"

I agree with the premise that we expect too much. On the other hand, some of us have found partners who help us grow and achieve self-actualization, beyond what most people can reasonably hope or expect. We want to do this for each other, and actually have the capacity to do so; it's not expected or required. That doesn't prevent people from having unrealistic expectations, and marriages that don't fulfill all their wishes. It used to be that friends and family provided much of the support that is now expected of a marriage partner.

As fortunate we both are to have each other and fulfill more than the average needs, we still need our friends to provide the things we can't. We know when we can say no or we reach our limits, and we respect that.
 

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I saw the article the other day and was going to post it, but here it was.

From what if have seen in doing genealogical research on my family. for most of history people were subsistence farmer and then more recently some became subsistence workers from paycheck to paycheck.

In my family, a wife skilled in "home making" could be the difference between life and death. Preserving foods for the winter, nursing sick family members back to health, knowing home remedies for various injuries and illnesses and knowing how to "over-cook" foods so they would not kill you or make you sick. It was not that many years ago that "home economics" was still taught in high schools and colleges. (This 70-year old remembers going by both so he could get food samples and meet young women.)

I think that the article is correct that now we expect our spouse to be both our soul mate and to be a source of self actualization and happiness.

I personally like the idea of my spouse being both a "partner" (financial, chore, business, child-rearing, travel companion, lover, complement to my weaknesses) and an inspiration.
 

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I think that many people do go into marriage thinking that it's going to heal them from childhood pain, or fill a void that has existed long before the spouse came along. I don't expect my husband to ''make'' me happy, nor does he expect it from me. We are partners, with things in common, and differences of opinions. We open each other's eyes to many things, and support one another. We are many things to each other, but I don't place all of my hope and happiness in life on his shoulders. I think that is why many marriages fail, they expect a spouse to be a rescuer, and it's setting the marriage up for failure.
 

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TBH, after reading this article, he seemed like he made a better argument for being roommates and having a therapist on retainer versus getting married. A couple of points:

1) your spouse won’t be able to fix your past, in fact, they will probably inadvertently trigger you sooner or later

2) when dating... you’re ‘in sales’ and the product is you. Part of the divorce problem is some marriages are like buying a house without the seller filling out the property disclosure sheet truthfully. The fact is people will hide their baggage in order to close the deal and expect no consequences in the future. Examples: He hid his gambling addiction while she oversold her libido. Am I wrong to expect my fiancé to disclose something that would determine whether I would go through with the wedding?

3) Honestly, I expect my spouse and I to keep growing into a better people daily. When one spouse decides they’re good where they’re at they don’t get a vote on being left behind. The spouse often has a better perspective on their partner’s potential especially when they are blinded by insecurities, fear, etc. My spouse helps me learn things and vice versa. We get better doing that.

4) My MC said that when it comes to needs, 80% should come from somewhere other than your spouse but that 20% is very special and very critical. The 80% often hides deficiencies in the 20%. In our case, my 80% had dropped to like 40% and highlighted the fact the 20% was more like 2%.


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