by Linda Franklin – The Real Cougar Woman
Then there are couplings that fall into the category of ‘semi-happy marriages’. These are the unions where couples coast along in affectionate but passionless relationships – their situation not bad enough to want out, not good enough to bring real joy.
When author Pamela Haag began feeling disenchanted with her own marriage, she decided to talk to other couples, and found that nearly all of them admitted to being disappointed with how married life had panned out for them. She then sat down and wrote a book Marriage Confidential in which she points out that marriage falls into one of five categories. Sadly, none of them are what we go into marriage dreaming about.
Here are not-so-fairytale-like forms of couple-dom that modern marriages are relegated to?
Described as “chronically ambivalent,” semi-happy marriages are more akin to business partnerships or friendships without “important elements.” Presumably things like intimacy or romance, because those are the things that usually keep business partners or besties from getting married.
If you have children with a spouse, it’s understandable that you’d want that person to be a great mom or dad. Parenting marriages become totally defined by those roles though.
Overworked Wife/Underemployed Dreamer Marriages
Beyonce may sing about how women are “smart enough to make millions, strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business,” but it turns out that doesn’t make for a happy marriage when the other person is too busy chasing dreams to make a significant contribution in any of those areas. Marriages with stay-at-home dads who play a leading role in raising children and maintaining a household aren’t included in this group.
“Yes, Dear” Marriages
Time calls this the Ed McMahon syndrome, where one spouse is so eager to maintain the predictability of a semi-happy marriage that they agree with anything their spouse says just to keep things on an even keel. Numerous examples come to mind here, but we’ll be diplomatic and let you come up with your own examples.
“It’s Cheaper to Keep Her” Marriages
Some divorced couples actually fall into this category – sharing a house for the sake of children or cost, and some married couples who’d like to divorce but can’t afford it fall into this group. Thus making for a really awkward roommate situation. Planning a romantic date? “Hang on, my wife has the bedroom for tonight, can we reschedule tomorrow for when she’s on the couch?” See, really awkward. People in these marriages are often dating or sleeping with other people while still living together or publicly appearing as married.
‘Semi-happy’ may sound like something of a half-measure, but I guess it’s how you look at it. We all make choices and maybe the true hallmark of a mature marriage is a union where expectations are managed to the benefit of both parties. What do you think?
The Real Cougar Woman is a 5-carat diamond who knows the importance of taking care of her health, beauty, relationships, finances and spirituality. Linda Franklin says,”there is no stopping a woman who has a strong belief system, passion and a dream. All things are possible”. Linda’s book, Don’t Ever Call Me Ma’am helps women of all ages tap into their power and live life to the fullest.