Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Marriage: sometimes merry and sometimes not

by HPR Contributor | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Live and Learn | May 23rd, 2018

Marriage - photograph by Hisu Lee

By Melissa Martin

And they lived “happily ever after.” Many people in the U.S. believe in love and matrimony, but marriage takes consistent effort and time to weather the ups and downs.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, 88 percent of Americans cited love as the main reason to marry with making a lifelong commitment and companionship, respectively.

What are top issues that may cause conflict in marriages?

Communication. Marriage doesn’t come with a manual. Communication is about how you talk about the problem and how the problem is solved. And that means discussing issues without screaming, name-calling, blaming/shaming, walking off in a huff without returning to solve the problem, bringing up past hurts, refusing to compromise, and attacking each other’s character.

Expectations. We have an idea on what we think marriage should look like, and when it’s different than what we expected—fireworks! Or we try to change how our partner thinks, feels, and acts.

Money. Individuals are either savers, spenders, or somewhere in-between. And opposite viewpoints can spark conflict. Debt can be detrimental on a marriage. What happens when one partner is a credit card junkie or gambler? What happens when one partner is tighter than bark on a tree or fanatically frugal? Major fireworks!

Discipline of children. People come into marriage with different methods of how to discipline children; usually it’s how we were raised. What if one parent wants to spank and the other is adamantly against spanking? Add a blended family and tension may ensue over boundaries and rules.

Sex. Who wants more? Who wants less? And how do couples solve this issue? Females usually want more nonsexual affection (i.e., conversation, romance, holding hands, hugging, cuddling) and males usually want more sex. A 2015 survey from the Pew Research Center cited 61 percent of married people reported a satisfying sexual relationship is important.

Household chores. Who does what? Who doesn’t help with dishes, laundry and cleaning? More than half of married U.S. adults say sharing household chores is important for a successful marriage, according to the 2015 study.

Problem with in-laws. Is mother-in-law nosy? Is father-in-law overbearing? Families are a mixture of relationships. Add rude relatives on both sides and hurt feelings can cause ruptures. “I can talk bad about my family, but you cannot talk bad about my family.”

“Underneath all the distress, partners are asking each other: Can I count on you? Are you there for me? Will you respond to me when I need, when I call? Do I matter to you? Am I valued and accepted by you? Do you need me, rely on me?” Dr. Sue Johnson is the founder of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy.

The following are two of my favorite books for couples:

"Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married" (2010) by Gary Chapman, bestselling author and marriage counselor.

"The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts" by Gary Chapman (2015 Reprint).

Marriage counseling, also known as couples counseling, relationship counseling, or couples therapy, is an option for marriages without merry. Counseling includes: helping partners learn how to communicate and listen to each other; understand and manage human emotions; repair ruptures and initiate forgiveness; implement problem-solving skills and decision-making methods. And how to address issues that cause conflict.

What is one way to keep the merry in marriage?

“I think one reason for a successful marriage is laughter. I think laughter gets you through the rough moments in a marriage.” –Bob Newhart

[Editor’s note: Melissa Martin, Ph.D, is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist.]

Recently in:

By Lonna Whitinglonnawhiting@gmail.comI’m eating lunch at my desk transcribing an interview from a doctor about the benefits of colonoscopies before age 50. It’s going to be used in a blog piece I’m ghostwriting for the Blue…


​Healing Arts Revolution

by HPR Contributor

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comGraduating from Sister Rosalind Gefre Massage and Wellness Center, Amy Wasvick has spent 10 years practicing Healing Arts. Her areas of expertise include Essential Oil, Cupping, Swedish,…

Thursday, November 14, 6-7 p.m.The Plains Art Museum, 704 1st Ave.N, FargoAn evening of conversation with multimedia artist Brad Kahlhamer and sculptor Aaron Spangler. Kahlhamer works with a range of media from sculpture and…


Have a little respect

by HPR Contributor

By Waylon Hedegaardretiringwithcats@gmail.comDoes everyone find Facebook disturbing nowadays? Oh, I don’t mean the creepy way when after you search for a product, ads for that product are suddenly everywhere like bed bugs. Nor do…

President Donald J. Trump: ‘A Picasso of Pettiness, A Shakespeare of Shit’I am a fan of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, an immigrant from India. He is one of the many reasons I don’t bother going to “Christian” churches on Sunday…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

All About Food

​Out to lunch

by HPR Contributor

By Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comSchool lunch has been in the news lately. There have been stories from around the country about the mounting debt and how school’s have been dealing with it. Michaela Schell and Chris…

The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra’s 2019-2020 season is already underway. The first concert of the season, which showcased Gustav Holst’s well-known and loved “The Planets” premiered to a sold-out audience. The first…

Fans of Robert Eggers’ brilliant feature debut “The Witch” have been waiting impatiently for “The Lighthouse,” and while the filmmaker decidedly avoids any kind of sophomore slide, the new movie will probably not attract…


​31 drawings in 31 days

by Sabrina Hornung

Each October a number of drawing challenges appear across social media. Think 31 drawings in 31 days. The original Inktober challenge was started in 2009 by artist Jake Parker to boost his drawing and inking skills. Since then…


​Razor Sharp Theatre

by HPR Contributor

By Scott Eckernotharrisonford@gmail.comTheatre is something that takes a lot of work from a lot of people. This is something that is easy to forget while watching a good play. Great theatre is immersive. The script, acting and…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

The famous 20th century Southern writer William Faulkner quipped, “Civilization begins with distillation.” Technically one brews beer instead of distilling it, but the sentiment still holds true. Fargo is no stranger to the…


Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

By William Southworthwsouthwo@cord.eduThe United Kingdom has a new boss. Considered to by some to be a British counterpart to Trump, Boris Johnson is riding a wave of political discontent with a can-do attitude and bubbly stage…