Why do couples stay together (or break up)?

  • (This is a continuation of the prior post.)
    Why do couples stay together (or break up)? It is simple enough.When two people perceive a powerful future advantage to being together (like remarkably attractive rewards plus unusually low risk), then they stay together quite consistently. Otherwise, the percentage of “break-ups” goes up as the perceived attraction of other options rises and/or perceived costs of staying together rise.

    It is the same kind of “formula” that is used in regard to moving to a new home or staying where one is. There is a natural tendency, in many cases, to “stay put.” That is due to the inertia of the inconvenience of making a change.

    “Staying put” is not the same as a fulfilling relationship. There can be tremendous grief and anxiety with “staying put.”

    Yes, one can “simply refuse to carry on sexually,” (which another authoer recently mentioned)- that may be true in some cases. However the “no problem” reference has no stated context. Is it “always” no problem for someone if their wife decides to go in to prostitution or porn? Extreme examples may be rare, but give context to the full spectrum of reality.

    In a recent post on Facebook, Hope (Johnson) said something about “a person who is a cheater,” if I recall correctly. (Or addressing the assertion that “all men are cheaters.”) What is evident is that many adults choose to interact sexually with multiple partners within their lifetime.
  • In certain cultures, even “serial monogamy” would be considered a capital crime (a valid reason to perform a ritual of human sacrifice on the accused). Further, anything but heterosexual interaction between married partners (who have been given the blessing of the warlord or priest) would also be cause for punishments as extreme as execution.

    It can be important to be attentive to the way that we use language. Are we atttempting to vilify someone to hide shame or guilt at the dissolving of an attraction? Are we calling them a “cheater” to persecute them and incite violence toward them? Are we enraged that they have insulted us by saying things like “I am open to having a more fulfilling realtionship than what I have been experiencing lately, whether that is with you or someone else?”

    To focus on the obvious, rage is a sign of interest. People do not rage over matters (or over people) that are deemed irrelevant.
  • As socialist and communist governments provide more “universal” support for people, naturally the importance of personal bonds declines. “I do not really need you because I have the support of the Empire to sustain me. You could die. The Empire is more reliable than you! I need to maintain my relationship with The Empire in preference to you because that is what is best for me/ the children.”

    So, I do not know the exact background of how “cheaters” came up. The more basic issue is two people coupling, then perhaps staying together, and perhaps eventually withdrawing from each other (for whatever reason).

    Those who are anxious that their current partner might leave have two basic options: take action to potentially increase your partner’s commitment (whether by increasing their attraction to you or increasing their cost of leaving) and take action to increase one’s own independence (so the sustaining of the relationship is less of a point of anxiety). All of that can be done simultaneously.



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