A theory on marriage

26 Nov

I used to work with someone who had a very interesting theory about marriage. He believed that in every marriage, one person marries “up” and the other marries “down”. He used to say that his wife definitely married down – that she is beautiful, wildly successful, and an all-around great person (which I can attest that she is all of those things) – and that he didn’t deserve her. But he is a great guy, too – smart, successful, a great dad, and an all-around nice guy. So to me, it always seemed like theirs was a pretty equal match. He believed that as long as the one who married “down” recognized it and was grateful for their spouse that the marriage could survive anything.

I think that most of the couples I know are pretty “equal” in their marriage. And obviously, everyone differs from their spouse, but in most couples I know, their differences seem to compliment each other and none of them make one partner better or worse than the other. In my own marriage, I feel like we are equal in the many things – our goals, values, level of success, looks, etc. And I think mine and Hubs’ differences enrich our lives.

On the other hand, we’ve all seen couples and thought “What is he/she doing with her/him?” You know the ones – the overweight guy with the hot chick or the smart girl with the dumb as a box o’ rocks guy. It’s easy to make assumptions, but of course you never know the story behind someone’s marriage.  We can never understand love or someone’s reasons for deciding to spend their life with someone else – and it’s certainly none of our business.

If it’s true, I think it’s probably more obvious to people who are looking in from the outside. I could never determine if me or Hubs was the one that married down – because after all, no one would want to admit they married down. But my ex-coworker definitely didn’t feel like his (perceived) inferiority to his wife was a negative thing. He felt blessed that she chose him. She didn’t agree with his theory (or maybe she did and didn’t want to admit it, haha) and thought he was crazy.

In any event, it’s an interesting theory. What do you think?


2 Responses to “A theory on marriage”

  1. beckyday6 November 27, 2011 at 5:25 am #

    I think in most cases that it true, after all, it’s unlikely that your going to marry someone who also just happens to be the same as you socially, economically and morally. And I think a marrige probably works better if you are different. After all, opposites attract right? 🙂

  2. Life of a Doctor's Wife November 28, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Hmm. This is really interesting to think about… I admit, I’ve worried in the past that my husband “married down” – that I’m not as smart as he is, or as kind, or as pretty. 🙂 But I comfort myself by thinking about all the skills and abilities we don’t share, and how there’s a nice balance when one of us has a deficiency.

    What I HOPE is true is that we both “married up.” Whether that’s true or not, I think it’s better for the relationship if you feel you’re on even ground with your spouse OR if you feel that s/he is better than you in some aspects. Feeling like you “married down” seems like it could lead to resentment or disdain. So MAN, I hope my husband feels like he married an equal!

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