27 – SUMMARY – 1:59

#27 SUMMARY - 01:59

What will it take for people to finally get along? Are most people in relationships really getting along, or are many couples just grinning and bearing many of the typical relationship challenges and issues? It is really hard to know for sure, because the public persona of most relationships is almost always different than what goes on behind closed doors. I can recall in a relationship many years ago, where friends and relatives thought we were living in wedded bliss, when behind the scenes was a constant battleground.

In Elizabeth Rubin’s book written over 30 years ago called Intimate Strangers, she shared the premise that boy meets girl, and then that’s where the trouble starts. Let me explain. Her premise was that boys and girls were conditioned and raised differently. Boys were raised to be competitive, tough and to win, and to never show emotions or weaknesses. On the other hand, little girls were raised to be sweet, supportive, nurturing, emotional, and loving. Elizabeth goes on to say, imagine growing up for 20 years or more with these different orientations and then putting this mature boy and girl together both at age 25 in a relationship and expecting them to get along.


Since the divorce rate still hovers around the 50% mark, we can only assume that many couples have not yet figured out how to manage and merge these differences in upbringing, behavior, and expectations. Eric Butterworth, one of my favorite authors says it a little differently. He states that the common premise for people to marry or get involved in a serious relationship is the fact that they have so much in common. He says that if this is true, that differences between the two would mean that the relationship has no chance of survival. He goes on to say that if two people have everything in common and agree on almost everything, I’ll show you a boring and stale relationship. Eric contends that differences do not disqualify people for successful relationships. His premise that the ability to successfully manage the differences is what contributes to positive and lasting relationships.