We expect too much from our partners.

Haag shared: ‘One of the mad things making you disillutioned is the thought that your partner can do everything you need, like an industrious backstage worker that is always ready to serve thousands of people in the cinema. It is such thought that kindle stress for married life.’ Wynne, the above story’s author, also admitted that her husband could not satisfy all needs in her life, and in fact, she also did not want him to fill up her private life, since: ‘I need my own private life in which I have my close girl friends to chat with, I enjoy talking with other wives about daily life, I like that job and it really brings me happiness.’

We always give preference to our children rather than partners.

The author Haag uses the terms ‘mandarin son, young lady’, or ‘new type of partner’ to imply children that are overindulged, and unintentionally they interfere their parents’ relationship. Try thinking, we prefer to sleep with our cherish daughters in stead of our husbands, or give time to play with our son and forget time for our wives. We over-focus on bringing up children, then have no health or time to look after our marriages, and after that, it imputes to parents’ responsibility.

Perfectionism and taking care of children will not really affect marriage’s insipidity if we know how to choose. Hagg also said that: ‘One of the reasons for marriage is having child, but if having more children, it is the risk that reduces attachment and satisfaction of family’s members. This matter is a paradox of many families, when parents’ responsibility is both marriage’s inspiration and burden for both husband and wife.’

We cannot anticipate the challenges of faithfulness in marriage.

Specialist in sexology - Jessica O’Reilly – presented a problem: ‘Is it real if one just has sex with an only partner? – I am not sure how the answer is, but I think it is unlikely.’ O’Reilly used to study of a middle-aged married couple always tolerating their partner’s affairs or even allow them, and determine not to divorce. Another middle-aged wife also shared that: ‘There is no way that the one discussing about the house with you is your eternal love.’

Haag wrote: ‘Outside new love-makings contribute to making current marriage permenant – however, this is marriage barrier according to opinion of ‘monogamy’. She also supposes that couples should not take the barrier into account, and she believes that this will make married couples more honest with each other. Haag also pointed out that your husband’s affairs did not mean he loved you less. It is a challenge to live in ‘monogamy’ all life, but it is not easy to live freely and self-indulgently.’ Married coupled wholehearted for faithfulness should understand that ‘there are dozens of ways for a wife or husband to eat on the sly, so you have to really understand your partner’s needs, and gradually add new spice into your current married life.’

What should we do to change the situation?

Different to old advice about how to save the sickly marriage in handbook (such as ‘let’s date’, or ‘have sex in new space’), Haag want to told millions of people – those who are stuck in conflictive marriages – that we are not lonely. To prove it, Haag surveyed more than 2,000 people, studied marriage and new’s definition of marriage – it is a ‘half happy marriage’ in which couples still live happily together.

Haag recognizes the fact that many marriages are not similar to the way society looks at and comments on. She pointed out that about two to four millions of people at the US have ‘half happy marriage’ lives. They almost do not tie each other, and there are common rules of individual’s freedom, even including allowing affairs. (For example, some married couples agree to accept their partner’s sexual activities with the third person if either the wife or husband is away. The other will tolerate and not consider it as betrayal.)

It does not stop there. Currently, such above marriages have developed into new level in which married couples find that they can get familiar and build up hearted relationship with their husband / wife’s partners. Hagg also estimates that there are about ten percent of married couples at the US who have such open marriages. He calls them pioneers for ‘pancake’ marriage – which means when seen from outside, they are still orthodox married couple, but inside, they also have other unorthodox affairs.

Couples with ‘half happy marriages’ are not different about sexual needs, they also live together in very different ways. For example, some couples have ‘leaves’, which means they will live far from each other for a moment of time to pursue individual’s hobbies. Haag admitted that there were not few separated couples that ‘close and love each other from outward, but in fact each one is separated.’

This case is right for Aspasia Dassios, forty-nine-year-old teacher at Toronto, living separatedly with her husband. Dassios is a firm and indepentdent woman, and used to work in Europe for more than 15 years, travel through thirty countries, and have a few deepfelt relationships before her marriage three and a half years ago with a widowed man with two children. They lived together for two years until deciding to separate as a way to save their current marriage. ‘When we lived with each other, both were almost talking about petty things in the house, about mortgage, or about our children. Boring life made me lose inspiration with sex, and gradually lost my humor.’ That couple meet each other quite frequently and sometimes live together for a few days. However, they do not intend to live with each other again. ‘Each of us lives quite independently and we like this way of living. He is as if a single dad, and I am as if a part-time wife.’ And if someone is surprised with the way they live, Dassios will answer mischievously that: ‘There are dozens of women jealous with our way of living. They said that if at first they had applied this way of living, they would not be separated now.’

Kind of marriage like Dassios can be a prediction for the tendency of modern marriage. Trying thinking, sixty years ago, did anyone trust in homosexual marriage, marriage with different races, or associations of house-husbands and mainstay-wives? And how about now? So, Haag concluded that ‘it can be said that types of marriage also change to be suitable for each time, or they even change our opinions of love. For me, this can be a chance in the next generations’ future. Perhaps the best way to maintain married life is to adjust with time rather than against tendency of change.’

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