June 12, 2014
June 12, 2014


There has been little attention paid to the fact that different life styles in America create havoc in many marriages.

As long as both spouses agree on all major and minor life styles, there is no problem. However, when one does not agree with the other, that is where the contentions begin.

How affectionate one is used to can affect whether the spouses are satisfied with the amount of attention they are receiving.

Cleanliness and neatness formed during childhood often continues into the marital perceptions. Disagreement on these items may be so intense as to cause a divorce.

Manners can be an issue. A well bred person who has correct table manners may be turned off by a spouse who chews with the mouth open. Another disconcerting behavior might be to not know the correct way to act amongst people. At least correct from the view point of the one who feels annoyed.

On TV recently programs about: the Amish, the Mormons, Trading Spouses, and Gypsies; identify the extreme set of different standards which become a major bone of contention in the event that one marries outside the accepted behavioural norm.

At least in these circumstances the outsider knows that there needs to be a huge adjustment in order to maintain the relationship should one accept the challenge.

However, in America the mix and match cultures are so interwoven that often only upon spending intimate time with one another does the dissimilarities surface.

Family background may allow tolerance or intolerance of the use of, or the amount of alcohol, drugs and smoking participated in by the non- habituated spouse.

Communication learned from childhood such as: being loquacious, or being laconic, or the inability to debate without fighting, or fowl language, which can also exacerbate a relationship. In addition to that list a loud or extremely soft voice may irritate the partner.

And then there is the minutia. Some people expect a partner to wait on oneself. Other people are appalled when a spouse helps oneself. As minute as taking laundry out of the dryer can be appalling. One person person will throw everything in a pile to be sorted at another time. Another individual will fold and sort each piece as they exit.

Some spouses want help with everything they do. Another will be offended that the partner has overstepped the perceived defined role.

The gender roles of the past traditional style marriages have become blurred. There are as many options as there are people. Of course the problem is that there are no rules. Instead, the guidelines have to be invented by each partner to the satisfaction of both as they go along. Volumes can be written on all the possibilities of probable disagreements. Not all apply to everyone and that is the precisely the focus of this theme.

The only solace that can be offered to a couple is to be open-minded and learn how to communicate properly, prioritise what creates the most discord and seek counseling if you are unable to handle the disharmony on your own.