Or marriage struck?
After my last post on temporary divorce I worried that some of my readers might question my committment to married life, or at least those who do not get my
pathetic attempt at droll wit.
So worried was I, in fact, that I scoured back to the sad beginnings of my blog for an old post, one of my earliest, in order to
camouflage my blogger's block shore up any doubts. Because the fact of the matter is, I'm about as emotionally dependent on committed to my husband as I am to inhaling the air around me.
And so here is my repeat post, which, for the record, enjoyed zero comments two years ago. Needless to say, I am hoping for a better comment showing the second time around.
For the past several years at Edge, John Brockman has asked scientists and philosophers a provocative question and then posts their answers.
The 2008 question was "What have you changed your mind about?"
One psychology professor's reply reflected on his research. Daniel Gilbert suggested that the decisions which leave us with the ability to change our minds are less satisfying than decisions which are irrevocable.
Not long after he reached this conclusion he went home to propose to his girlfriend. After several years of marriage, he believes he loves her more as his wife than he loved her as his girlfriend.
For me, a longtime married person, its refreshing to learn there are theories out there that support the notion that love can grow precisely because of options lost.
Or make that, the choice to love only one.
Because my own personal case study in marriage, my n=1, no double-blind-placebo experiment, has led me to the same conclusion. I felt
stark panic considerable uncertainty about the decision to get married. I love him but is he the right man for me? Will it last? Do I really want to make Texas my home?
But once he put the golden band around my finger all doubts fell away. Uncertainty was replaced by a more complete depth of knowing than I ever thought possible.
The divorce rate tells me this isn't everyone's experience. But I do wonder about the satisfaction levels of other irrevocable decisions.
Having a child comes to mind. We all know how powerfully satisfying parenthood can be. I know in my case, I am always awed into silence when an indecisive childfree person asks me whether she should have children or not. My first instinct as a Mom, though not as a psychologist, is to say "You will not regret it. Not even for a half of a trillionenth of a nanosecond. It is the single most life changing and rewarding experience you will ever know."
How about you, reader. Once you put a sealed decision behind you, did your satisfaction grow?