Now that my wife and I have been married for 30 years, family and friends have suggested that, for putting up with me for so long, Sue deserves to be the first living person canonized by the Catholic Church. I, they add, deserve to be shot from a cannon.
What is the secret of our long and happy marriage? The answer, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, is that we get on each other's nerves.
In a recent study, the researchers found that, as a couple ages, a lifetime of closeness rubs up a rash of irritations. Participants in the study, which was presented at the Gerontological Society of America, were asked who in their lives – spouse, children or friends – "gets on my nerves" or "makes too many demands on me." The older the couple, the more likely the answer was "spouse."
Strangely enough, rubbing each other the wrong way might be the right way to conduct a marriage. One of the reasons couples quarrel is that they are closer and more comfortable with each other. As we age, the researchers concluded, "It could be that we're more able to express ourselves to each other."Read the rest