Friday, January 21, 2011

Watch out while sharing secrets with spouse

Being privy to every little quirk of your partner might not prove beneficial to your relationship... 

Lovelorn couples; here's a red alert! Sitting in a coffee shop, sipping on endless mugs of coffee and having a conversation to know 'absolutely everything' about each other might really get you nowhere. A recent study claims that not knowing your partner could be the key to a long-lasting relationship.

The study, conducted by two psychologists from a renowned Swiss university, found that couples married for an average of 40 years know less about one another's preferences than do partners who have been married or in committed relationships for a year or two. For many, the only explanation to the outcome of this study is that not knowing and liking is a better option than knowing and not liking. Simply put, ignorance is bliss.

Art dealer Vedhika Choudhurry completely agrees with this theory. She says, "If I come to know my husband smokes, flirts with his PA at work and is a closet misogynist, would I want to stay with him? Never. I find it better not to know what his faults are and accept him at face value rather than find out what he really is and go knocking on the doors of the family court!"

Psychologist Namitha says this study can be perceived in two ways. "One, people find denial more comforting than the hard truth," she says, "Another way to look at it is that rather than getting to know everything about a person in a short span, getting to know them over a number of years, discovering something new about them every day as you grow older, could be the secret magic ingredient. The best way to go about it is to achieve a balance in how much you disclose because as bad as it may sound, sometimes complete honesty really does kill."

This study might come as an irony of sorts in this age — a time that hails and celebrates the virtues of live-in relationships. An increasing number of young couples are opting for this marriage-without-being-married concept so they can get to know their partner inside out before saying the sealing 'I Dos'. Software engineer Kamal Krishnan says, "On one hand, it gives me jitters when I think of marrying someone I don't know entirely. On the other, there's got to be a darned good reason why couples who get married after a live-in period still split. It might have to do with raised expectations. For example, when you're courting, you find out everything about your partner, you remember that they don't like onions in their food. After marriage, if you happen to forget this little detail, all hell breaks loose. Might as well maintain some ambiguity from the word go, then."

However, happily married for 30 years, bank manager Saraswati Ramachandran rubbishes this study. "I think it's absolutely necessary to know what kind of a person your partner is. To know his likes and dislikes, his personality traits, his attitude and aptitude is a must. After all, you have to spend forever with him — he's not a roommate, he's your soul mate."

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