Men with smarter wives have better marriages

April 14, 2010

in Encouragement, Good Marriage

In The 27 Percent Solution, Christopher Orlet talks about Swiss researchers who say that the secret to a happy marriage is for the woman to be 27% smarter than the man.

It’s one of those bits of research that’s difficult to take seriously, but I have a theory why there might be some truth to this. Many guys treat their bride like she’s less than intelligent. Frankly some treat their bride as if she’s an idiot. Similarly, many women seem to feel bad about their intelligence, especially compared to their guy. However, if she is without a doubt smarter, then there will be no putting down of her brainpower by either of them, and that should make for a better marriage.

The lesson here, I think, is that we need to build our brides up, and make sure they know we appreciate their minds as much as we appreciate their bodies. The next time she says or does something smart, make a bit more of a big deal out of it that you have in the past. I’d also look at the way you treat her – saying she is smart is worthless if you treat her as if she’s stupid.

11 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@everyday - I certainly understand your situation, having step in it (and sunk to my heck) a number of times. My feeling is that if you can't defend what you think, it's not worth much, and I unintentionally beat my wife up (verbally) more than once because of this. I know it's not PC, but I think there is an inherent difference in men and women on this. Men tend to be much more okay with debate, even impassioned debate, than most women. Maybe that is just a function of culture, but I think to some degree it's a valid gender difference. However, what you describe is desired, and really needed, in business. So those who can't do that, be they male or female, won't last and advance in a place where that is expected. Those who stick with it generally get better at doing it and not feeling wronged or wounded. Could your bride learn to do what your colleagues do? Maybe she could, but at what cost to your marriage? Can you learn to do it differently with her? Is there a middle ground that can be reached? How can you convince her that you have heard her, and that you value her input, and still press her gently for more? Maybe the "What am I missing" approach is a good one - you are asking her to oppose your thoughts, so you are not the bad guy. Can you ask her to argue against your point because it helps you to think through things? Ask her to come up with any argument she can think of, not just what she thinks, but any possible argument. Then it's not just her point that is in the mix.

everyday
everyday

My wife is very smart and I tell her so, but at times she thinks that I think she's stupid. Here's what happens. I ask her opinion and when she gives it to me, I argue with her. She's offended. I do the same thing with my work colleages, but they don't get offended. We all argue the merits of the various opinions and ideas until we agree on the best course of action based on the evidence and logic presented. We say, "What am I missing?" and "I see your point, but have you considered...?" It's very respectful and everyone feels ownership of the final conclusion reached as a team. I thought my inability to have the same kind of discussion with my wife was some quirk unique to our relationship, but then a friend mentioned that he had the same problem of not being able to discuss the merits of his wife's opinions the same way he did with his work colleages without her getting offended. Is this a gender difference? If so, it's not universal; my work colleagues include women. Insecurity perhaps? Any suggestions for dealing with this?

Tyler
Tyler

Thank You, Paul. Your advise is very helpful. Please, do not give up helping people w blogs like this. Again,Much appreciated! Tyler

michael
michael

I didn't catch the spelling error until it was comented on. My blog allows me to send posts in by email. I have Outlook set to check spelling before sending and it does check the subject line. I'm not going to point you to my blog because I'm embasassed about how long it's been since my last post. You really make me look bad, or maybe it's not you ;)

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@ Dianne Desch - I've done that twice in three days now. It's a finger thing, I get the a ahead of the i about 90% of the time. I also do yuo in stead of you a lot. I need to learn to check the subject lines, as the spell check does not run there.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Tyler - The mind is an interesting thing, and it can enhance or interfere with sex. Women need the mind to be all but "shut down" to reach climax (according to brain scans of women during sex). That means a woman with a busy mind has a very difficult time with sex. OTOH, women who become totally focused on things - the kind who could have the house burn down around them while they were reading - tend to have fantastic sex because they put that single minded focus on sex and away they go. As to your bride, learn to do things that make the situation more conducive to sex. Learn to bring up things that will cause stress or make her mind busy earlier in the day. If there are tasks that cause her stress, try to do them for her, or gently move when they are done to earlier in the day. Figure out what relaxes her, and encourage her to spend time doing those things in the evening. If she is open to it, give her a gentle massage each night. BTW, all of these are loving and good for her as well as possibly resulting in a bit more sex. All of the above should result in her getting better sleep, which is always good.

Joe
Joe

I want to thank you for this post. I think if we really open our eyes to our brides, we'll see that they actually are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. They are teachers and managers in the most important crew that could be had. God says that we should be humble and consider others better than ourselves. That we should have the mind of Christ in that he was far greater than any ordinary man, yet he became a servent. I love my wife and I'm very blessed by your blog. I just found it a week ago.

Dianne Desch
Dianne Desch

Yes, We compliment each other... He fixes stuff and..I do all the spelling! I hope your wife can spell "marriage"...hahaha. Dave & I both appreciate your blog!

Tyler
Tyler

Yes, marriage is great!. I have very beautiful and very smart wife. But I have very little sexual life. Sometimes I feel like no sex at all She is always distracted w her thoughts. She feels like she deserves to be pleased (all the time). That high "deserve level" prevents her from giving sex to spouse. She is more prone to stress. Her ability to relax and have orgasm depends on her intellect, which is in the way, most of the way. I am not complaining, and working on our sexual part of our marriage... just expressing what I feel and my observations

t00tle$
t00tle$

Amen!!!! From a wife... Especially this part " I'd also look at the way you treat her - saying she is smart is worthless if you treat her as if she's stupid. "

Carla
Carla

@ everyday- Switch it around... Instead of asking for her opinion and then arguing it down with your point of view, give her your opinion and encourage her to argue it down with her point of view.

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