Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 26th 2015 Contents B9
Thursday, November 26, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
REVIEW BY KEVIN BALDEOSINGH
This book deals with marriage as practiced
in the United States, but the many of the
findings can be applied to middle-class cou-
ples here in T&T. The book will also clear
up many misconceptions people have about
marriage, which in itself can be useful for
preserving your relationship.
For example, many people believe that in
America one in every two marriages end in
divorce. But Parker-Pope crunches the sta-
tistics to show that the real number of more
like one in four and, moreover, that has been
declining since the 1970s. Similarly, people in
T&T, probably taking their cue from the US
stats, assume that the divorce rate here is also
high: in fact, only one in seven marriages in
T&T end in divorce.
The difference, however, is that fewer people
here get married---just about half the adult
population, whereas most Americans get mar-
ried at some point. It is this lower marriage
rate in T&T which partly explain the low
divorce rate: people who take that step are
more likely to be committed.
But what about the famous horn? Parker-
Pope makes an interesting point in this regard:
"Monogamy and fidelity are two different
things. Monogamy means forming a long-
term pair bond. Fidelity means sexual exclu-
sivity. In both animals and people, you can
have the first without the second."
Of course, this also impacts on the quality
of your marriage. Staying in an unhappy mar-
riage is no achievement, and Parker-Pope
notes that such marriages actually harm peo-
ple s health. She identifies the main sources
of conflict as: condescension, jealousy and
dependency, neglect, being inconsiderate, and
She also breaks it down by sex: women are
most bothered by men who impose sexual
demands, hide emotions, drink and smoke,
and are thoughtless. Men are bothered by women who
refuse to have sex, are moody, and are self-absorbed.
In this regard, here s a little technique men can use to
get more sex: do more housework. Parker-Pope cites
a study showing that women who were satisfied with
the division of household chores were more responsive
sexually. This might not work in T&T, but it s worth
a shot right?
And her key point is that it is not fighting which
defines a good marriage but how a couple fights. "Good
marriages aren t about being compatible all the time.
People in a good marriage know how to manage their
differences," she writes. "If you get the first three minutes
of a fight right, you re a long way towards improving
the entire relationship."
And how do you get it right? Well, if you display
contempt belligerence, disgust, domineering, anger,
sadness and stonewalling, there s a 97 per cent chance
you re most likely headed for divorce.
However, if you show interest, validation, affection,
humour and joy, you will very likely stay together and
get great satisfaction from your life-long commitment.
"Couples who expect a lot from their marriage and
those who expect very little tend to get exactly what
they ask for," Pope-Parker notes.
Formula for good marriage?
The Science of a Good Marriage
ISBN 978-0-525-95138-4; 356 pages.
Alta tutors who
have completed their
first year teaching
are sharing their
encourage others to
come volunteer their
time to teaching
adults to read. Here
is one of our tutor
I had waited with
baited breath for September. After weeks of preparation,
the day had arrived and I was finally about to become
a tutor of the Adult Literacy Tutors Association (Alta)
on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Registration of students was quite interesting as lots
of students registered but for some, their attendance
I was assigned to a Level 1 class with another first
time tutor like myself. We both were lucky to be working
with a remarkable and very experienced tutor.
Initially, our class consisted of 17 students. Most of
them arrived early and did not want to leave at the
end of the class. The students were enthusiastic making
each session thought-provoking as they shared their
experiences. As time elapsed the students were able
to identify sounds and their reading gradually improved.
Dialogue was spontaneous and quite stimulating, but
writing was their biggest challenge. However, this too
got better and better.
On three occasions, top writers visited and read from
their work. This is part of a partnership between Bocas
Lit Fest and Alta which aims to make reading and
writing accessible to literacy students, and allow them
to discover the joys of reading for entertainment.
Joan Carter-Bobb, Arima Boys RC
• Volunteer, Donate, Sponsor-a-student. Call 624-
2582 or email email@example.com for more info.
Like us on Facebook or check out to our YouTube
Channel: Adult Literacy Tutors Association
My first year
at Alta Arima
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