Caring less gives you power, but not happiness.

May 6, 2010

in Good Marriage, Marriage Killer

I’ve not see the movie, but I’ve seen the following quote on the Internet several times:

Someone once told me that the power in all relationships lies with whoever cares less, and he was right.” ~ Connor Mead Ghost of Girlfriends’ Past

I agree; the person who cares less, who is less invested, who feels s/he has less to lose, has power over their spouse. In the vast majority of marriages, the wife cares more (at least for a time, she may eventually give up and stop caring all together). Yes, there are exceptions, but woman, being more relational, tend to care more.

Then of course, there is sex; in the majority of marriages, the man cares more about sex – meaning she has the power there. I wonder how many women are unconsciously using that power to try to level the playing field? Or, maybe not so unconsciously? If it’s the only power you have, and you feel at a disadvantage…

But wait! The quote above is what tends to show up, but it’s not the whole quote:

Someone once told me that the power in all relationships lies with whoever cares less, and he was right. But power isn’t happiness, and I think that maybe happiness comes from caring more about people rather than less.” ~ Connor Mead Ghost of Girlfriends’ Past

That second part is both true and important. Having power over someone may make us feel safe, but it won’t make us feel happy. Power and control don’t make us feel good, or loved; power and control keep others are arms reach, and that destroys relationships and leaves us feeling empty inside.

On the other hand, caring more can make us feel good. In fact, caring more can make us feel good even when that caring is used against us. What’s more, caring more makes your spouse feel loved, and your lack of power to control, hurt, or manipulate makes your spouse feel safer. If you care more, and keep caring more no matter what, the odds are very good that you will start a caring revolution in your marriage.

2 comments
Mark Stooksbury
Mark Stooksbury

I'm glad you finished the quote. I thought maybe you had only been given the first half and knew that the second half was the most important part. It's definately a coming to age movie and that line sums it up. I don't recommend watching it though. Way too much garbage to get to the one partially redeeming part of the movie.

Ryan
Ryan

That is a great quote and thought. That movie is terrible by the way, but for the reasons you could imagine. The quote above is Connor's enlightened conclusion to the whole mess. Great article!

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