What makes a marriage work? • Realistic expectations • Commitment to making it work • Acceptance • Flexibility • Thoughtfulness
U – shaped Satisfaction Curve • Describes how marriage may start out at a high level, drop as time progresses and then rise again • The stage of the family can affect marital satisfaction • Beginning, Childrearing, Childbearing, Launching, Empty Nest, Retirement
The 1st years of marriage seem to have a high level of satisfaction • Typically, marital satisfaction begins to decline with the birth of the 1st child • The lowest point is usually when the children are school – age • Marital satisfaction begins to rise when children leave home • It continues to rise to equal or surpass satisfaction felt as newlyweds.
Skills for marriage • Communicate • Resolve conflicts • Share decisions • Manage resources • Share intimacy • Emotional, sexual, social, intellectual, recreational, aesthetic, religious
Built to Last A well built marriage is like a well – built home. The marriage offers warmth, security, protection and promotes stability in society. It is founded on a firm commitment that doesn’t shift over time. Practicing the skills that built a couple’s relationship will keep it standing for a lifetime.
Ancient Greeks All marriages were arranged by parents and approved by the gods in ancient Greece. Women in their early teens were married to men in their mid – thirties. A husband then had to buy his new wife from her father. Many couples did not see each other until after the ceremony, when the bridal veil was removed. On the night before the wedding, the girl’s hair was cut off and she was bathed in holy water from a sacred fountain. Greek wives were “owned” by their husbands who could lend or sell them to others.
Ancient Spartans Believed a person’s athletic ability matched their fitness for marriage. Before marrying, a couple was required to wrestle in public to show their compatibility. Spartan women married in their 20s. The groom’s father chose a bride for his son. 12 months after selection, the couple married. Marriage festivities took lasted 7 days. If a woman was wealthy, she might have a husband for each house she maintained.
Romans Roman brides wore white tunics with orange veils and orange slippers. Following the ceremony, the groom carried the bride over the threshold of their new home to symbolize his ownership of her.
Medieval Christians Christian church marriages were thought to be made in heaven and therefore could never be broken. The father of the bride gave a dowry of land or money to the groom. If the marriage was unsuccessful, the wife and dowry were returned to the father’s home, but neither partner was allowed to remarry.
Ancient Japanese Until the 1400s, married couples did not live together in Japan. They stayed in separate homes, meeting only at night. The old Japanese word for marriage meant “slip into the house by night.”
Amish When an Amish couple wants to marry, the man asks a churchman to ask the woman’s parents for their approval. If consent is given, the marriage is announced two weeks before the wedding. The wedding takes place on a Tuesday or Wednesday in November, after the harvest. There are no rings, photographs or flowers at the wedding. There is no honeymoon and the couple does not live together until the springtime, after a series of weekend visits with family and friends.
Arabs Arranged between two families. They agree on the amount of money to be paid the bride’s family for her trousseau (a wardrobe the bride acquires before marriage). An Arab bride celebrates her wedding in an ancient ceremony that excludes men. The bride’s hair is covered with henna, a deep red dye, and her body is elaborately painted by her friends. Afterward the women all dance together.
French One couple may have three marriage ceremonies. The first is the civil ceremony, which is performed in the town hall with the mayor officiating. The second ceremony is religious, usually Roman Catholic, performed by a priest. The third takes place if the couple lives in the countryside. In this ceremony, the people of the village host a 10-course banquet for the bride and groom in which there is singing, storytelling, games and toasting. The villagers bang pots and pans to remind the couple of the possible difficulties of marriage.
Germans In a wedding ceremony in Germany, the bride and groom hold candles decorated with ribbons and flowers.
Greeks A guest of honor crowns the wedding couple and joins them in a symbolic gesture of circling the altar three times.
Indians Child marriages are still common in parts of rural India, where it is not unusual for 7 – year – olds to marry. On the day of the ceremony, the young groom rides into town on a horse followed by hundreds of friends and relatives. A local wise man chants wedding mantras. The bride and groom walk around a ceremonial fire seven times. The brides goes to live in her husband’s house for 3 days. She then returns to her own home to await puberty, when she will be reunited with her husband.
Italians After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds are showered with confetti made of sugar – coated almonds. This symbolizes the bitterness and sweetness of married life.
Japanese Japanese couples are traditionally introduced by a go – between, who is usually a friend or relative. The engagement is celebrated with a toast of sake and an exchange of presents such as seaweed, fish, fans or thread. The most common ceremony in Japan is the Shinto ceremony. The bride and groom sit at the altar of a shrine with their parents and the go – between. After being purified by a Shinto priest, the bride and groom each drink from 3 cups of sake 3 times. The bride wears a white kimono symbolizing the death of her ties to her own family. She also wears a special hat known as a horn cover to cover her horns of jealousy. The marriage is legal when the couple registers at a local government office.
Mbutis These nomadic people live in Central Africa. A Mbuti man must prove his worth to a woman’s parents by catching an antelope single – handedly and offering it to them. He also gives small gifts of roots, nuts or birds, or orchids from the tops of the tallest trees in the forest. When the couple is ready to be married they build a house and live together. They are finally married 3 days after the bride gives birth to her first child.
Did You Know…? • In China, couples prefer to marry on the half hour – when the clock is on up the swing, symbolizing ascending fortune. • The shower started as an alternative to the dowry. In the 1890s, friends and family put small gifts in parasols that were opened over the bride’s head. • During the middle ages, the whiteness of the cake was a sign not of the bride’s purity, but of the sugar’s. The whiter the icing, the more expensive the cake.
Did You Know…? • Filipino tradition includes winding strands of flowers, coins, or even diamonds in figure eights around the necks of the bride and groom, to represent their conjugal bond. • Don’t despair over a bad turn of weather – an old Roman proverb states, “Rain falls in the lap of the happy bride.” • It is considered good luck in England for a bride to be kissed by a chimney sweep on the way to her wedding. Sweeps are associated with hearth and home and thus domestic bliss.
Did You Know…? • A multi – layered fruit cake topped by a small cedar tree is a wedding tradition in Bermuda. The tree is planted after the ceremony and is expected to grow with the love of the couple.
The Legend of the Shower Years ago, as the story goes, there lived a young Dutch girl who loved a young Dutch miller. The miller was so generous to the poor that he could never save a fortune for himself. Because the young man was not rich, the maiden’s father disapproved of the match and refused to give her a dowry. But the village folks and the young people had desired their marriage. To make up the girl’s dowry, each villager brought some treasured possession of his own until a chest had been filled with all household goods that a bride should bring to her new home. With these contributions, they “showered” the maiden until even her father was won over. From that day to this, it has been the custom for the bride’s friends and family to present her with gifts for her new life.
The Good Wife’s Guide 2011 The man should take part in the housework. It’s our house. Women work too Do nice things for your husband. Buy snacks he likes. Be thoughtful. Show him you care. Be intimate occasionally. The woman should be the moneymaker. Make your husband clean and take out the trash. Be independent and make at least $38 per hour. Keep yourself up – to – date (Stay flyy) When he arrives, begin nagging about what he didn’t do before he left. After that, ask him to fix supper When speaking to him, speak in a loud stern voice. Swear often so he’ll get your point. Occassionally raise your fist so you’ll bring fear upon him. Make him laugh. Make sure you tell him to put his dirty clothes in the hamper. After a long day, ask him about his day and pretend to care. Tell him you love him often. Keep things romantic
Your ideal husband • Cut out a word that describes your ideal husband • Avoid adjectives like kind, loving, respectful • Focus on: • Age • Social class • Occupation • Number of kids desired • Religion • Education • Urban/rural background