Marriage

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5 Traits Men Look For In a Wife

The main focus of this article is what traits men look for in a wife and, to a lesser extent, what women look for in a husband. But we’re going to discuss a few other things as well, including the extraneous factors that influence marriage success and failure.

Are there common traits that men look for in a wife? Well, if you look at the male species from a scientific, evolutionary viewpoint, there have always been “roles” that both men and women “play.” Both sexes depend – to varying degrees – on one another. So, from a pure genetics point of view, there must be shared characteristics that males seek in a mate.

All things considered, we humans are complicated creatures. Nowhere is this inherent complexity more evident than in relationships, particularly long-term relationships like marriage or partnership.

The writer argues that individual traits aren’t the only reason for this complexity. We must also consider both environment and the exaggerated propagation of gender-based differences. We’ll discuss both of these factors here.

First, let’s get the skinny on marriage and divorce trends – including how traits, genetics, and individual quirks don’t tell the whole story.

The State of Marriage (and Divorce): It’s Complicated

Infidelity. Lack of communication. Financial difficulty. Increasingly infrequent intimacy. Unrealistic expectations. Weight gain. Lack of equality. Non-commitment.

If the research is any indication, divorce is a situation that occurs – to varying degrees – all over the world. Research shows that divorce rates vary widely across countries – from 7 percent in Vietnam to 71 percent (!) in Portugal (the latter having a predominantly Catholic population). The worldwide average stands at around 32 percent; in the United States, it’s approximately 43 percent.

A closer look at the available data shows that the marriage rate is also a widely fluctuating statistic. Islamic nations such as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Libya, and Tajikistan tend to marry at a considerably higher rate than others. For example, Tajikistan’s “crude marriage rate,” which indicates the number of marriages per 1,000 citizens, is 13.5.

Compare this number with Columbia, a country where just over two citizens (2.3) per thousand get hitched! Marriage is extremely rare in certain parts of Europe, as well. Just over three Italians (3.2) out of 1,000 tie the knot.

Why go through the trouble of mentioning these marriage and divorce statistics?

Because there is absolutely no denying the influence of one’s environment in the decision to pursue and sustain an intimate relationship or marriage. We see disproportionate marriage and divorce numbers all over the map, including in democratic countries, and in places where one’s “personality” does not rank high in importance.

In short, personality traits may matter less than we think! (Or is it that well over 90 percent of Italian women have such reprehensible character?)

What’s another thing that could drastically influence how we view marriage? The rarely-mentioned similarities (that’s right) between men and women. Read on, friend!

“Men are From Mars and Women are From…Mars?”

“… research consistently demonstrates that men and women are more alike than different …” – Jill P. Weber, Ph.D. (source)

Do you remember the bestselling book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are from Venus”? The 1992 title, which has sold over 15 million copies, claims that most relationship difficulties result from men and women having fundamentally different psychological makeup.

However, more recent research, including a meta-analysis of 42 studies conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) titled “Men and Women: No Big Difference,” finds that men and women are “basically more alike than different on most psychological variables” including cognitive ability, leadership qualities, and personality traits.

Exceptions: men are more physically aggressive, naturally stronger, masturbate more, and tend to view intercourse while in uncommitted relationships more favorably.

Findings such as those cited by the APA could have significant ramifications on the dynamics of all relationship types, especially marriage.

Janet Shibley-Hyde, Ph.D., psychologist at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, states that the misgiven sentiments between the genders particularly hurts communication; often to the point where “…men and women stop talking prematurely because they have been led to believe that they can’t change supposedly ‘innate’ sex-based traits.”

Sadly, given both the perpetuation and widespread acceptance of non-scientific gender-based differences permeates society, it could be sometime before we begin seeing the opposite sex in a different light.

The Five Traits Men Look For

Of the above factors notwithstanding, the traits or characteristics of a person is a significant part of the relationship equation, especially when the relationship evolves into something long-term like a marriage. As you perhaps already know from your dating ventures, compatibility – not necessarily similarity – is a must for any successful relationship.

We’ve discussed at length two under-looked variables in determining marriage happiness and success (or lack thereof): environment and misinformation. With that solid base of background information firmly in place, here are five traits that men look for in a wife:

  1. Mutual Attraction

“No way, really?!” asked no one. Joking aside, we are genetically programmed to procreate – and attraction is a key determinant.

Mutual physical attraction also plays a role in marriage satisfaction for both sexes. Males do tend to place a bit more emphasis on physical attraction in marriage than their wives. In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, psychologists found that mutual attraction correlates highly with relationship satisfaction.

The authors do note the degree of separation between man and wife, stating this: “The significant effect of wives’ attractiveness on (relationship) satisfaction (was higher) than the … effect of husbands’ attractiveness on wive’s satisfaction.”

  1. Intelligence

Smarts are highly desirable in a spouse. While the evidence does not find any link between intelligence and happiness, people looking for a long-term romantic relationship may just prefer internal qualities, like intelligence, to anything external (e.g. looks or wealth).

In a fascinating 2018 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, researchers from Aalto University in Finland and Temple University found a strong link between intelligence levels and marriage success. One specific type of intelligence – verbal – had the strongest corollary.

  1. Honesty

At the risk of sounding cliché, all successful relationships – and particularly marriage – hinge on both persons’ willingness to be truthful. Honesty encourages the growth of each person in a relationship while adding a depth an intimacy not replicable by another personality trait.

In a 561-person male-majority study published in the Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality, 87 percent of participants cite honesty and trustworthiness as an important trait in a long-term partner; it fact, it stood as the highest of any attribute. How important were external traits like wealth and material possessions? Not very. They ranked next to last and last, respectively.

  1. Kindness and generosity

Most men are kind, and they expect the same out of a wife. Warmness and kindness, the two attributes measured in the study, stand among the most sought after traits. These two attributes get surpassed only by honesty and truthfulness.

Not only is kindness highly coveted, but it also serves as a sort of “glue” that keeps people together. Studies show that kindness of one’s spouse gives the most accurate predictor of marital satisfaction and stability. This, along with emotional stability. A component of kindness also crucial to relationship success and satisfaction is generosity, with both their spouse and others.

  1. Similarity

While there may be something to the adage “Opposites attract,” it’s superseded by a trait that can be called “similarity.” In a 291-couple study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa, scientists found that the couples that “were similarly matched in terms of attitudes and beliefs” are happier in their marriages than those with disparate personalities.

The researchers focused on traits such as attachment, introversion and extroversion, and conscientiousness.

why men leave

Final Thoughts: Happiness Is The One Measure

So, we have covered marriage and divorce rates, personality and character, and extraneous factors that influence the decision to marry. You might have noticed this writer has neglected to mention perhaps the most important thing: individual happiness. To leave such a regrettable impression would be unfortunate.

Something more unfortunate would be to think someone knows what they want when, in fact, most people don’t. This is a big reason why people choose the wrong college major (guilty!), get divorced (guilty again!), and seem to always be swimming against the currents (darn!).

Perhaps the appropriate sentiment with which to end the article is this: no one can make you happy but you. If you’re a man and you’ve somehow managed to meet some angel with all five of the above qualities, it means precisely squat if you aren’t at least content with your own life.

So, these are five traits men look for in a wife. The research says it’s accurate. Psychology says it’s legit.

Is it? Perhaps not. After all, we’re complicated folks.

The post 5 Traits Men Look For In a Wife appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.

It’s Not “Failing” to Leave a Toxic, Abusive Marriage

“Forgive yourself for not knowing better at the time. Forgive yourself for giving away your power. Forgive yourself for past behaviors. Forgive yourself for the survival patterns and traits you picked up while enduring trauma. Forgive yourself for being who you needed to be.” ~Audrey Kitching

I have always been an extremely glass-half-full kind of person. I always see the best in everyone, and not only the best, but also the unlimited beauty and potential. And my god, it is glorious!!

I met and fell in love with a charming man. I was on a trip to Alaska to visit a lifelong friend, and met Mr. Wonderful at a gathering. He was attentive, charismatic, and made me feel like a queen. I was hooked. We were married four months later, and five months after that I had my second daughter.

I didn’t see the red flags. Looking back, I ask myself how I could have been so naïve, so trusting, so blind. Slowly but surely, though, my world changed.

First, it was little things, like coming out to check on me at night when I was breast pumping milk, to see what “I was up to,” then there was the name calling and shaming if I wanted to dress up and go out with friends to a dinner. I wondered if other wives got called sluts too because they would wear a pretty shirt.

There came a day when it became difficult to see the beauty in myself, and in him. Everything changed that day. And it never was able to return back to how it was before. The person that had vowed to love me, to cherish me, to protect me, and be there for me, cut me to the core with words that will never be undone.

“Nobody else will ever want you,” he sneered, his eyes filled with scorn and disgust. “A mother with kids from two different dads,” he chuckled to himself. “You are a slut, a whore, a sperm depository.”

I curled up on the floor, in the fetal position, feeling as though he had stabbed me with a knife in the gut. I was sobbing, but I don’t remember hearing the sound.

“Why are you saying this?” I gasped.

“I read your journal,” he yelled, referring to an entry about my past lovers, as if that justified his cruelty.

Stress does strange things to a person. I had recently broken out in painful boils on the left side of my torso, and under my arms. They were excruciating. It hurt to lower my arm all the way down.

“You are a fat, lazy, boil-infested bitch.”

I remember at that moment shutting down. Going inward. A part of me disconnected in order to stay alive.

Days turned into weeks. I felt myself dying inside a little more every day. I became withdrawn, and as time went out it took more and more energy to smile and pretend life was normal.

Many friends didn’t understand. I remember them having shocked looks. “But I thought you were happily married?” one said, seemingly unable to comprehend the nightmare that had become my life.

I gave up trying talk about it, to explain. I felt it was my fault. Somehow I had attracted this, and perhaps somehow I could make him happy if I just did the right things and earned enough “Brownie points”—if, for example, I stayed home from social events and remained “on duty” with our baby almost 24/7. Eventually I learned there were never Brownie points. Nothing seemed to make him pleased.

One evening, he became angry with my older daughter, who was born blind in one eye, and called her a Cyclops. I remember wrapping one arm around my sobbing daughter while trying to bounce a baby on my hip. I was so exhausted from sleep deprivation and postpartum depression, it was all I could do to stay standing.

I had never felt so alone; so isolated, so hopeless.

I got the children settled to sleep and I made a choice that night that I was finished.

The next few days were a blur of his hateful and cruel remarks, as he knew I would not take him back; it was truly over. I knew I had to take a stand for myself, and if not me, for my children. They deserved better. I knew I did too, but I could not see it at that time.

It has been five years since we separated. I am resilient, and for that I am grateful.

I am still an optimist, and I still see the beauty in everyone. I take pause now, though, and I evaluate situations more carefully. My trust takes much more time to be earned now than it did eight years ago when I fell in love too fast, without knowing the real person behind the charming facade.

Many people, including my parents, were disappointed in my failed marriage. Many sent prayers that it would be healed. For a long while, I felt like a failure.

I have come to realize there is no shame in ‘failing’ in a marriage, especially if that marriage is toxic and harmful to your soul. I appreciate those thoughts and well-intended prayers, but at the end of the day, an abusive person who is not willing to self-reflect is not likely to change. The best thing to do at that point is to extricate yourself while you have the strength to do so.

Recovering from trauma takes time. It has taken a lot of courage to look at my vulnerabilities and why I attracted such a relationship in the first place. This doesn’t mean I blamed myself. I just recognized that I had a strong need to feel loved and accepted, even if I was in an unhealthy situation, because I never felt loved and accepted as a child.

It’s taken half a lifetime, but I’ve finally leaned that everything I need is inside myself. I am complete on my own.

Still, I have to work almost daily at forgiving, acting with grace, and ensuring that I am not compromising my needs or my right to be treated with dignity and respect in order to make him happy. I am still learning to stand my ground and expect respectful treatment, when it comes to co-parenting.

I will forever be grateful to the supportive network of family, friends, and a counselor who saw me through that incredibly rough time. A broken heart, shattered self-esteem, and deep postpartum depression did not disappear overnight.

With the bravery it takes to self-reflect and learn from what appears to be a very unfortunate circumstance, comes unparalleled growth. The self-forgiveness opens up opportunities for deeper self-love and self-compassion, and a much deeper understanding of my own humanness and how my past shaped me.

But with time, self-love, self-forgiveness, and self-acceptance, I am a stronger and more empowered person today in spite of that experience. I am a phoenix, transformed by the fire. I will continue to see the beauty and unlimited potential in people, and I still choose to see the glass as half full. I do daily forgiveness work for myself and choose to move forward with love and grace, honoring my journey and my experience for what I have learned.

About Angela Savage

Angela is a registered nurse, colon hydrotherapist, health coach, Level 2 certified iridologist, and cellular detoxification and regeneration specialist. She is passionate about helping people heal themselves by tapping into their innate ability to do so by supporting the body with nutritious foods and effective cleansing methods. You can find her on Facebook here and Instagram here.

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The post It’s Not “Failing” to Leave a Toxic, Abusive Marriage appeared first on Tiny Buddha.