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The All-or-Nothing Marriage

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Zusatztext 72117160 Informationen zum Autor ELI J. FINKEL is a professor of psychology and of management and organizations (Kellog... Lire la suite
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Zusatztext 72117160 Informationen zum Autor ELI J. FINKEL is a professor of psychology and of management and organizations (Kellogg School of Management) at Northwestern University and the director of the Relationships and Motivation Lab. He has published over 100 scholarly papers and has won the most prestigious early career awards in both social psychology and relationship science. He is among the youngest scholars ever to serve as an associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , the top journal in his field, where he is also a widely published author. Klappentext "After years of debate and inquiry, the key to a great marriage remained shrouded in mystery. Until now..."--Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Eli J. Finkel's insightful and ground-breaking investigation of marriage clearly shows that the best marriages today are better than the best marriages of earlier eras. Indeed, they are the best marriages the world has ever known. He presents his findings here for the first time in this lucid, inspiring guide to modern marital bliss. The All-or-Nothing Marriage reverse engineers fulfilling marriages--from the "traditional" to the utterly nontraditional--and shows how any marriage can be better. The primary function of marriage from 1620 to 1850 was food, shelter, and protection from violence; from 1850 to 1965, the purpose revolved around love and companionship. But today, a new kind of marriage has emerged, one oriented toward self-discover, self-esteem, and personal growth. Finkel combines cutting-edge scientific research with practical advice; he considers paths to better communication and responsiveness; he offers guidance on when to recalibrate our expectations; and he even introduces a set of must-try "lovehacks." This is a book for the newlywed to the empty nester, for those thinking about getting married or remarried, and for anyone looking for illuminating advice that will make a real difference to getting the most out of marriage today.1. Temperamental but Thrilling I wanted to explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India, and, in Indonesia, the art of balancing the two. It was only later, after admitting this dream, that I noticed the happy coincidence that all these countries begin with the letter I. A fairly auspicious sign, it seemed, on a voyage of self-discovery. -Elizabeth Gilbert Eat Pray Love, the blockbuster memoir from Elizabeth Gilbert, reports on the year she spent traveling in her midthirties as a means of "spiritual and personal exploration" following her divorce and a heartbreaking rebound relationship. The voyage is a success: By the end, she finds herself thinking "about the woman I have become lately, about the life that I am now living, and about how much I always wanted to be this person and live this life, liberated from the farce of pretending to be anyone other than myself." Not incidentally, she falls deeply in love with a Brazilian-Australian man in Indonesia, eventually achieving marital harmony with him (at least for a while). In Wild, Cheryl Strayed offers a higher-stakes, working-class variation of the themes Gilbert explores in Eat Pray Love. Strayed's memoir, subtitled From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, is another voyage of self-discovery that begins with the failure of one marriage and concludes with the promise of another (one that, as of this writing, has stuck). In their searing narratives of self-discovery, personal growth, and redemptive love, Eat Pray Love and Wild are archetypes of a distinct literary form. These stories tap into our cultural zeitgeist-the contemporary American hunger for a life that is true to the self rather...

Auteur
ELI J. FINKEL is a professor of psychology and of management and organizations (Kellogg School of Management) at Northwestern University and the director of the Relationships and Motivation Lab. He has published over 100 scholarly papers and has won the most prestigious early career awards in both social psychology and relationship science. He is among the youngest scholars ever to serve as an associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the top journal in his field, where he is also a widely published author.

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"After years of debate and inquiry, the key to a great marriage remained shrouded in mystery. Until now..."--Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Eli J. Finkel's insightful and ground-breaking investigation of marriage clearly shows that the best marriages today are better than the best marriages of earlier eras. Indeed, they are the best marriages the world has ever known. He presents his findings here for the first time in this lucid, inspiring guide to modern marital bliss.

The All-or-Nothing Marriage reverse engineers fulfilling marriages--from the "traditional" to the utterly nontraditional--and shows how any marriage can be better.

The primary function of marriage from 1620 to 1850 was food, shelter, and protection from violence; from 1850 to 1965, the purpose revolved around love and companionship. But today, a new kind of marriage has emerged, one oriented toward self-discover, self-esteem, and personal growth. Finkel combines cutting-edge scientific research with practical advice; he considers paths to better communication and responsiveness; he offers guidance on when to recalibrate our expectations; and he even introduces a set of must-try "lovehacks."

This is a book for the newlywed to the empty nester, for those thinking about getting married or remarried, and for anyone looking for illuminating advice that will make a real difference to getting the most out of marriage today.



Échantillon de lecture
1.

Temperamental but Thrilling

I wanted to explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India, and, in Indonesia, the art of balancing the two. It was only later, after admitting this dream, that I noticed the happy coincidence that all these countries begin with the letter I. A fairly auspicious sign, it seemed, on a voyage of self-discovery.

-Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love, the blockbuster memoir from Elizabeth Gilbert, reports on the year she spent traveling in her midthirties as a means of "spiritual and personal exploration" following her divorce and a heartbreaking rebound relationship. The voyage is a success: By the end, she finds herself thinking "about the woman I have become lately, about the life that I am now living, and about how much I always wanted to be this person and live this life, liberated from the farce of pretending to be anyone other than myself." Not incidentally, she falls deeply in love with a Brazilian-Australian man in Indonesia, eventually achieving marital harmony with him (at least for a while).

In Wild, Cheryl Strayed offers a higher-stakes, working-class variation of the themes Gilbert explores in Eat Pray Love. Strayed's memoir, subtitled From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, is another voyage of self-discovery that begins with the failure of one marriage and concludes with the promise of another (one that, as of this writing, has stuck).

In their searing narratives of self-discovery, personal growth, and redemptive love, Eat Pray Love and Wild are archetypes of a distinct literary form. These stories tap into our cultural zeitgeist-the contemporary American hunger for a life that is true to the self rather than beholden to rules and restrictions. Gilbert and Strayed are, at the beginning of the memoirs, married to loving, decent men, and they know it. But they also crave a sort of personal growth that the marriage isn't providing, and settling for love and decency doesn't feel like an option for them. After their divorces and their voyages, they have found themselves, setting the stage for second marriages, ones that afford the authentic expression of their newly discovered selves.

As mainstream as such narratives are today, they certainly aren't standard literary fare. The Western canon is waterlogged with the tears of women enduring failures in love and marriage-Emma Bovary's suicide by arsenic, Anna Karenina's suicide by locomotive, Hester Prynne's disgrace by scarlet letter-but these women tend not to achieve salvation on voyages of self-discovery. It is hard to imagine Karenina responding to the estrangement from her son with a spiritual pilgrimage to India, or Prynne responding to her ignominy by initiating a thousand-mile trek. Such women generally lacked the resources and the freedom to embark on solitary adventures, even if they'd wanted to.

Our cultural zeitgeist is not limited to women. Men, too, are seeking an authentic life and looking for a relationship that elicits their authentic self. Neil Strauss, the infamous author of The Game, a 2005 memoir of becoming a pickup artist, provides a hypermasculinized example-his voyage revolves less around solitude than around sexual conquest. In The Truth, published a decade later, Strauss now has a serious girlfriend, whom he loves. Even so, he's unwilling to commit to her. After they break up, he searches for a (nonmonogamous) relationship arrangement that allows him to live "my authentic life." As Strauss explores various relationship structures, he reflects: "I feel like these experiences are bringing me closer to something true and honest." Eventually, and to his own amazement, the buried treasure at the end of his quest turns out to be a monogamous marriage to his girlfriend from the beginning of the book. "Life is a test and you pass if you can be true to yourself," he observes. "To get the first question correct, all you have to know is who you are."

Gilbert, Strayed, and Strauss embark from different ports and travel to different destinations. But their shared emphasis on self-discovery and authenticity, especially as these qualities relate to love and marriage, distills a dominant theme in American culture today.

Is this theme leading us to better or to worse marriages?

Yes-both. The pursuit of self-expression through marriage simultaneously makes achieving marital success harder and the value of doing so greater. Consequently, the average marriage has been getting worse over time, even as the best marriages have been getting better.

Culture and History

We all have a sense of what a "traditional marriage" looks like-a matte image, of folks like June and Ward Cleaver, that provides a benchmark against which we can contrast marriage today. The anthropologist George Peter Murdock declared in 1949 that marriage is a cultural universal: a union between a man and a woman characterized by residential cohabitation, economic cooperation, and sexual activity. And, at least until the recent surge in approval of same-sex marriage, few Americans would have quarreled with this definition.

But the reality is that marriage varies drastically across cultural and historical context. In some societies, husbands and wives live apart. In others, they don't share economic resources. Approximately 85 percent of the 1,231 cultures documented in the Ethnographic Atlas Codebook practice polygyny (multiple wives for a given husband), which also has deep roots in mainstream Western culture. The Old Testament-the Jewish Torah-which provides foundational religious beliefs for most Americans today, depicts polygyny as a normative marital arrangement, one practiced by respected leaders like Abraham, Moses, and King David.

Perhaps the most significant change in marriage over time has been its conquest by love. "Until the late eighteenth century," observes the historian Stephanie Coontz, "most societies around the world saw marriage as far too vital an economic and political institution to be left entirely to the free choice of the two individuals involved, especially if they were going to base their decision on something as unreasoning and transitory as love." People valued love and preferred to love their spouse, of course, but this emotion was not an important reason to marry, nor was its cultivation or maintenance a primary function of marriage.

Consider the courtly love of medieval Europe, which was almost exclusively adulterous. Its idealization and passion were believed to be incompatible with the marital relationship, which was determined by the sorts of political and pragmatic considerations that formed the foundation of marriage for thousands of years. Such considerations included the prospect of bringing more workers into the household and forging alliances between extended family units. In the preindustrial world, the individual household was the unit of economic production-the place where spouses produced the basic necessities of life, including food, clothing, and health care. The primary functions of the marital relationship revolved around this sort of production.

In short, the institution of marriage did not come prepackaged with a set of universal principles or instructions. Rather, it has existed in countless variations across space and time. That said, all societies construe marriage as a means to the fulfillment of certain goals, and despite some variation from person to person, each society develops a loose consensus about which goals are most important to meet through marriage (economic production or emotional fulfillment, for example).

America's Two Great Marital Transitions

America has witnessed three major eras of marriage: pragmatic, love-based, and self-expressive. The first, which extended from the colonial period until around 1850, had a pragmatic emphasis in which marriage was primarily oriented toward helping spouses meet their basic economic and survival needs. The industrialized economy began to emerge during this era, but, for most Americans, the small farm remained the primary economic unit. Wives, husbands, and their children-and, frequently, extended family members-worked in and around the farmhouse to produce enough food to keep everybody fed and to create sufficient shelter and clothing to keep everybody warm.

In the pragmatic era, having a marriage that functioned effectively could be, during summer droughts or winter freezes, a matter of life and death. In an era when wage labor was scarce, governmental welfare programs meager, and civic institutions like police forces weak or nonexistent, people looked to marriage, and the broader familial alliances linked to it, to help them achieve physical and psychological security.

The Sentimentality Transition

During the latter half of the 1800s, industrialization brought massive increases in efficiency and productivity, greatly reducing the prices of consumer goods. Improvements in transportation infrastructure, including steamships and railroads, bolstered the quality and quantity of trade and mitigated the devastation of local crop failures. In 1876, the Transcontinental Express arrived in San Francisco three and a half days after leaving New York, a voyage that, ten years earlier, would have taken months. Such developments dovetailed with improvements in industrial production, including the assembly line and the mass production of steel, to make available a broad range of new products, among them household objects like sewing machines and typewriters.

Meanwhile, agricultural advances, including the invention of high-quality fertilizers and heavy machinery, made food more plentiful and less expensive. Health-related advances, including pasteurization and sanitation enhancements, substantially reduced early mortality rates. In general, the astounding pace of economic development during the second Industrial Revolution eased the everyday struggle to meet basic survival needs, which reduced people's dependence on marriage to achieve basic subsistence.

A sudden surfeit of jobs in industrial cities attracted people from rural areas and other countries. For the first time in history, young people were both geographically and economically independent of their parents. This new freedom ushered in a second era, one in which people sought to achieve personal fulfillment through marriage. During this second era, from around 1850 until around 1965, marriages had a love-based emphasis that placed a premium on helping spouses meet their love and intimacy needs.

Husbands increasingly worked as wage laborers. Wives increasingly worked as homemakers and as providers of a secondary source of income, taking on boarders or doing piecework like assembling hats and shoes. These changes yielded a new social structure in which men spent much of their time in the predominantly male world of paid employment and women spent much of their time in the predominantly female world of domestic family life. In conjunction with the elevated standard of living afforded by industrialization, the development of these sex-segregated spheres reinforced the emerging emphasis on sentimental reasons for marriage. As it became easier to meet their most basic economic and safety needs as a single person, Americans increasingly looked to marriage for love and romantic passion. For many, love became a precondition for marriage, a requirement that remains strong today.

The Authenticity Transition

The breadwinner-homemaker ideal from the love-based era had been teetering for decades, especially as more and more women entered the workforce, but it had a major last gasp in the 1950s and early 1960s. Because television shows, including Leave It to Beaver and The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, first rose to prominence during this era, the 1950s marriage has been enshrined in popular consciousness as the "traditional marriage," even though it was, by historical standards, bizarre.

In the 1960s, a series of cultural events set the stage for the countercultural revolution during the second half of the decade. The birth control pill became widely available in 1961, helping to launch the sexual revolution. The journalist Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique in 1963, triggering the second-wave feminist movement. Leveraging the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.'s influence, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Great Society legislation into law in 1964 and 1965, further bolstering the emphasis on individual rights. The erstwhile Harvard psychology professor Timothy Leary released the spoken-word album Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out in 1967, exhorting Americans to discover themselves and explore "the meaning of inner life."

Meanwhile, in a growing number of marriages, both spouses were gainfully employed outside the home, and, for broad swaths of the populace, the standard of living was rising rapidly. Over time, the American economy became increasingly postindustrialized, with jobs in the services, information, and research sectors supplanting those in manufacturing. Seeking to develop the intellectual skills that are especially prized in postindustrial economies, more Americans went to college. Entrepreneurship and the generation of novel ideas fueled economic growth.

The trend toward increasingly cerebral lives, especially among the college educated, dovetailed with the countercultural revolution to launch Americans-including Elizabeth Gilbert, Cheryl Strayed, and Neil Strauss-on voyages of self-discovery and personal growth. Consequently, the nature of social connection changed. During the third era, from around 1965 to today, marriage has a self-expressive emphasis that places a premium on spouses helping each other meet their authenticity and personal-growth needs. According to the sociologist Robert Bellah, a self-expressive relationship "is created by full sharing of authentic feelings," and love "becomes the mutual exploration of infinitely rich, complex, and exciting selves."

The divorce rate-the number of divorces per year per one thousand married women-had been slowly rising for over a century (with a brief dip during the Great Depression and a brief spike following World War II). But, as illustrated in the chart on the following page, it skyrocketed between 1965 and 1980, largely due to the rise of the self-expressive marriage. As we'll see in chapter 4, however, Americans eventually adjusted to the self-expressive era; divorce rates leveled off and even fell slightly, largely because people stopped marrying so young.

Echoes of Abraham Maslow

The historical changes in American marriage-from the pragmatic to the love-based to the self-expressive eras-exhibit striking parallels to the psychologist Abraham Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs. As illustrated on the following page, this hierarchy is typically represented as a triangle that encompasses, from bottom to top, physiological needs (for air, water, food, etc.), safety needs (for physical protection, psychological safety, economic security, etc.), belonging and love needs (for friendship, intimacy, romantic love, etc.), esteem needs (for self-esteem, self-respect, esteem from others, etc.), and self-actualization needs (to discover one's unique character strengths, to live in accord with those strengths, to live in the moment, etc.). The primary functions of marriage revolved around the fulfilment of lower needs during the pragmatic era, middle needs during the love-based era, and higher needs during the self-expressive era.

When my students and I wrote the Psychological Inquiry Target Article, we struggled to find a compelling metaphor for the temporal changes in American marriage. The breakthrough came when we reconceptualized Maslow's hierarchy not in the form of a triangle, but in the form of a major mountain, which we dubbed "Mount Maslow."

As with any large mountain, the air gets thinner, and the oxygen sparser, at higher altitudes. As marriage in America has become increasingly oriented toward higher rather than lower altitudes on Mount Maslow, it has required greater oxygenation-greater nurturance regarding each other's emotional and psychological needs. If spouses expect their marriage to help them fulfill such needs but are unwilling or unable to invest the time and psychological energy (the "oxygen") required at that altitude, the marriage is at risk for suffocation-for lethargy, conflict, and perhaps divorce.

Informations sur le produit

Titre: The All-or-Nothing Marriage
Sous-titre: How the Best Marriages Work
Auteur:
Code EAN: 9781101984345
ISBN: 978-1-101-98434-5
Format: Couverture cartonnée
Editeur: Random House N.Y.
Genre: Guides pratiques
nombre de pages: 352
Poids: 271g
Taille: H213mm x B144mm x T20mm
Année: 2019