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Do Opposites Really Attract?

November 15, 2015


Can You Be Happy With Someone Whose Views Are Opposite Of Yours?

In our marriage interview protocol we ask each couple about their political beliefs and affiliations. And one of our major conclusions based on 33 years of interviews is that the age-old adage “opposites attract” is FALSE! Rarely have we interviewed a successfully married couple that had political, religious, and other heartfelt beliefs that were diametrically in opposition to each other. In the real world, that rarely happens.

Imagine this—a happily married couple who roots for the Cardinals and the Cubs or the Yankees and the Red Sox or the Black Hawks and the Blues. These may be very RARE exceptions, but are hardly the norm. Forget about it! Opposites rarely attract in sports or in politics. This notion is an urban myth. Opposites have fundamentally opposite values. And for the most part, rarely the twain shall meet.

Here is another example of why opposites don’t attract in a political sense. We have only very rarely met a couple whose political views were diametrically opposed on issues of abortion, the death penalty, stem cell research, man-made climate change, gun control, immigration, same-sex marriage, taxes, welfare, etc., who had a successful marriage or long-term relationship. Almost never happens!

Let’s face it, married couples and those in successful couple relationships, have enormous influence over each other. When those considering a love relationship fundamentally disagree on most issues of importance, they are HIGHLY unlikely to match up.

Over the years, we have heard some pundits refer to the “marriage gap.” The “marriage gap” suggests that there are those married couples and people in love who do not share common political beliefs and hence; their relationship usually doesn’t survive. We share this belief.

While there are, indeed, successful couples that do NOT have common political beliefs that have a marriage or relationship that survives, this is rarely the case. Make no mistake about it, your mate selection is directly related to your belief system—be it political, sports related, religious, or otherwise. Feelings about these issues are intense and are not to be dismissed casually. Who you select as your mate is intertwined with your belief system and theirs.

Dare to be different when it comes to selecting someone to love, but remember your chances of having a successful and long-term love affair with someone whose belief system is very different from yours is low, very low! As you are making that all important decision about who to marry and spend the rest of your life with, you need to consider the consequences of choosing a mate who is different from you versus someone who shares your likes, loves, views, positions, and passions.

In fact, those who are in love and stay in love for a lifetime are NOT opposites. They are, for the most part, soul mates. We would offer this advice to those who believe the urban myth that “opposites attract” in love and marriage. Don’t believe it. Don’t take the chance.

Over your lifetime, the most important influence in your life will be the one you truly love. Choose wisely! Select someone compatible with you. Being avant-garde with your choice will only come back to haunt you in the future. Making a positive life choice will mean more to you in the long run than your attempts to be politically correct (PC) or trendy. Your choice in a mate is, after all, about your happiness and theirs in the long run. Compatibility is a virtue. Don’t spoil your chance of finding true love for a lifetime by taking a position that important issue differences in a relationship do not matter. They do!

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
On the verge of having been married for 50 years, the Doctors give advice that you know you can trust.

Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy—the latest multiple award winning book by the Doctors.

You Can’t Have Life Without Someone To Share It With

October 1, 2015
Marriage Advice - find someone to love.

Don’t live alone. Find someone to love.

The best marriage advice we can offer after all these years of research and writing is this, DON’T GROW OLD BY YOURSELF! Life is too short to spend it alone.

The simple truth is this—growing old alone is a death sentence. Such a state is worse than having a dreaded disease. Trust us when we say this, being alone at the end of days is a fate worse than death. Here’s why.

Okay, we are madly in love after all these years! We have been married for over 49 years and we cannot imagine life without each other. We are each other’s constant companions and wouldn’t want it any other way!

But we must admit, we often think about “all the lonely people” who are, in their advanced age, all alone. They have no one with whom to share his or her days and nights with. Worse yet, no one to share their advancing age with.

On a recent trip to our neighborhood Starbuck’s we were struck by the number of people there who were by themselves. These weren’t old people with a dead spouse, they were people in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s who were accompanied by no one!  They sat by themselves sipping their latte, reading the newspaper or a book, or checking their email.

In all the times we have gone to this bustling coffee shop we noticed the same thing, but never did anything about it until today. We decided to follow up our experience by sharing our thoughts about seeing so many lonely and alone people in one space.

Is this the new America? Is this the way it’s going to be in the 21st Century? The answers to these questions are worth pursuing we think.

We begin by asking this simple question – why are there so many people spending their days alone? Is it our imagination or are we truly on to some profound changes going on in our society?

It is clear; the rate of those getting married in our society is declining. According to the University of Virginia study entitled The State of Our Unions 2010 marriage has been on the decline since the 1960’s.

For example, marriage today among white males and white females has dropped some 20% overall since the 60’s.

The marriage decline is even more pronounced for Black males during this same time frame where marriage is down 40% overall.

Even more dramatic is the marriage decline for Black women where marriage is down over 50% since the 1960’s.

Part of the aforementioned declines is due to people getting married at an older age than in the 1960’s. People getting married at the ages of 15, 16, 17, and 18 are much less prevalent in our society today than they were in 1960, and that fact is probably a good thing.

The significant declines in marriage among African-Americans and among the American middle class are the two most troubling declines. While getting married later in life is a good thing that has lead to higher success rates in marriage, not getting married at all is not good for people and not good for America. In Middle America and among the African-American community, marriage is in trouble!

These are the five major conclusions one can draw from the University of Virginia study:

  1. Marriage is an emerging dividing line between America’s moderately educated middle and those with college degrees.
  1. Marital quality is declining for the moderately educated middle but not for their highly educated peers.
  1. Divorce rates are up for moderately educated Americans, relative to those who are highly educated.
  1. The moderately educated middle is dramatically more likely than highly educated Americans to have children outside of marriage.
  1. The children of highly educated parents are now more likely than in the recent past to be living with their mother and father, while children with moderately educated parents are far less likely to be living with their mother and father.

Their most stunning summary statement of the report reads as follows:

“So the United States is increasingly a separate and unequal nation when it comes to the institution of marriage. Marriage is in danger of becoming a luxury good attainable only to those with the material and cultural means to grab hold of it. The marginalization of marriage in Middle America is especially worrisome, because this institution has long served the American experiment in democracy as an engine of the American Dream, a seedbed of virtue for children, and one of the few sources of social solidarity in a nation that otherwise prizes individual liberty.”

Just imagine—the most fundamental and central component of American society—the glue of our socialization process for the total of American history (and for nearly 6000 years of recorded world history) has been marriage. There has been no more important “glue” for the social structure of America than marriage. Any threat to the sanctity or importance of marriage between two people puts our society at risk.

In the end, we believe the University of Virginia should have added a 6th conclusion: There is great danger for the Republic when people in love choose to stay “single” and not make the commitment of love so prevalent in our history as a nation.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the great social traditions of America will continue without marriage. Don’t think that spending most of your life without someone is good for you or good for America. Everybody needs somebody. Of that you can be sure.

Marriage between two people who love each other has been an enduring element in the success of America from the beginning of our great country. There are many reasons to support marriage as an institution, but perhaps the most important reason is this – you will not grow old by yourself – the most compelling reason of a

ll in our estimation.

In the end, it is of utmost importance to all of us to have someone who loves us, has our best interests at heart, commits to being our life’s companion, is our advocate, stays with us through thick and thin, and is there for us during the ending stages of our life.

We are reminded again of the lyrics from Neil Diamond’s 1972 song, Morningside, “The old man died. And no one cried. They simply turned away” (Prophet Music, Inc. (ASCAP)).

By Dr. Charles and Dr. Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts

For more tips to enhance your relationship visit and get the best-selling and multiple award-winning book, Building a Love that Lasts.  Discover what happily married women know about what makes a man marriage material and learn other revealing truths in How to Marry the Right Guy.

No one wants to grow old alone. We would dare say that most everyone wants someone to be their companion when they grow old. To cry for them when they die.

Don’t grow old by yourself. Find someone to love. Life is too short to spend it alone.

Eat Your Way To A Happy Marriage

April 26, 2014


The couples we have interviewed around the world who have great marriages know the importance of being healthy in BOTH a physical AND mental sense. Research says you can eat, drink and exercise your way to a great marriage.

Unless you have been living in a hole for the past 50 years, you know that proper nutrition is essential for good PHYSICAL health. No one disputes this simple notion. Make no mistake about it – what we eat, drink, and otherwise ingest into our bodies has a significant effect on both our physical and mental health.

Why do so many believe that proper nutrition only applies to good physical health and not to good mental health? What could nutrition possibly have to do with good mental health and a great marriage? Plato said it best, “If the head and the body are to be well, you must begin by curing the soul.”

To learn what research says about how you can eat, drink and exercise your way to a great marriage

Marriage Is An Indicator Of A Successful Life

September 10, 2013

Love and Marriage Experts Talk About Marriage

From all of the available research we have reviewed about marriage and its benefits, the one benefit that stands out most is this—more and more people who get married are getting married “because marriage is a status symbol.”  As long-time love and marriage experts, we are most pleased by this research.

One of the many benefits of marriage is this—marriage has become an important indicator of a successful personal life in the United States and around the world!  Marriage is the single greatest contributor to social order on planet Earth and the most profound commitment to lasting love that exists. Those who question its importance ignore the facts.

Over the years we have seen a positive trend developing with the steadily declining divorce rate since its peak in 1981 and it is highly encouraging. The divorce rate is now at its lowest level since 1970.  The good news is more and more couples are committed to making their marriage work!  In a society that is often characterized as “a disposable society,” marriage has too many benefits to be routinely “disposed.”

After a lengthy review of the current research on the benefits of marriage, we have selected what we think are the top 10 reasons marriage is the greatest contributor to social order in the good old USA:

  1. You will live longer and be healthier.  The preponderance of evidence from research shows a relationship between longer life and being married.  The links between marriage and good physical health are overwhelming.
  2. You will experience higher levels of psychological health. Married people have lower rates of depression and schizophrenia than unmarried people.
  3. You will be happier.  Married people report being happier than unmarried people.
  4. You will be less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol.  Numerous studies indicate that married individuals are less likely than unmarried persons to engage in risky behaviors including the use of drugs or alcohol because of their feelings of responsibility.
  5. You will have a built-in support system.  Research indicates that individuals in a marriage feel supported, saying that they have someone to share their feelings and thoughts with.
  6. Your earnings will be greater and you will save more money.  Numerous studies found that married individuals have a significantly greater earnings than unmarried individuals even when all of the various possible factors are taken into consideration.  In the United States married individuals in their 50s and 60s have a net worth per person roughly twice that of other unmarried individuals.
  7. You will have sex more often and enjoy it more. Married couples also have sexual intimacy more often than unmarried couples and enjoy it more.
  8. Your children will be healthier, do better academically and have fewer emotional problems. Children living in families with married parents are more likely to have proper health care, better nutrition, less serious illnesses, better grades, better tests scores and less stress to deal with at home.
  9. More couples in the 18-34 age range will be headed to the altar over the next couple years!  Marriages have increased some 4% since 2009 and will continue to increase through at least 2015 and probably beyond.  After a downturn in marriage due to the USA economic downturn, marriage is now on the rebound, and that is good news.  The biggest increases are among women ages 25-34, college-educated, and the more affluent.  Marriages are declining or growing stagnant for those with a high school education or less and the poor and less affluent.  The good news is this – marriage thrives among those who get married at the “right time.”  Check out love and marriage articles to learn more about the “predictors of successful marriage.”
  10. Drum roll please . . . . number 12 is this – Marriage is now a status symbolIt appears from the available research that marriage is now regarded as an indicator of a successful personal life.  Marriage is now considered a “privileged position” in society.  According to “Hollingsworth v. Perry, marriage “confers a special validation of the relationship between two individuals and conveys a message to society that domestic partnerships or civil unions cannot match.”

When you consider what social science research tells us about the benefits of being married and what our research reveals about the importance of the seven characteristics of successful marriages, you have many powerful reasons to work hard Building a Love that Lasts with your spouse.

It is our profound belief, as love and marriage experts, that the value of marriage to the world will not change over the next 50 years.  Marriage is here to stay.

Trust us when we say this – the numbers tell us that the marriage rate per 1000 Americans will stay about the same or increase as the USA and world economy gets better, as it always has under similar circumstances for time immemorial.  Keep the faith!

**Today, you can see how you stack up to the best marriages around the world. Take the Marriage Quiz to assess your chances of achieving a successful marriage of your own.

By Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz
America’s #1
 Love and Marriage Experts

Is his love for me real?

July 21, 2011

Seven Tests of LoveSince time immemorial, the most important question of the day for women is this – Is his love for me real? The answer is simpler than you think. In the end, there are Seven Tests of True Love.

As our many readers know, we have been studying successful marriage and relationships for nearly three decades. And frankly, we get asked this question a lot. If you pay close attention to the following seven indicators, you will know the answer to this timeless question as well.

1. If you observe his actions rather than his words, what have you learned? Does he talk about how nice he is, yet kicks his dog? Does he tell you how much he loves you, but decides for you what you should eat, or the movie you should like on Saturday night?

Always remember this simple truism – he is what he does! Actions always speak louder than words! Ignore this notion at your peril.

2. Does he always treat you with respect or does he do so sparingly and inconsistently? People who are truly in love know this – treating the one you love with respect is a full time activity!

You cannot pick and choose the time and place to be kind, considerate, and respectful. He is either respectful full-time or he is not. It really is that simple. He is not entitled to pick and choose!

3. In your relationship, are you relegated to second-class citizenship or are you an equal partner? When someone really loves you, they treat you as an equal partner – as a person who has an equal voice in your relationship.

If he makes the significant decisions in your relationship and relegates you to following his directives, then he really does NOT love you. In the best loving relationships between a man and a woman, both share equally in the relationship.

4. When you are in love, you know this – you cannot imagine life without the one you love! So try this question on him – “Honey, do you love me more than life itself? Can you imagine life without me?” If his answer makes you wonder about the depth of his commitment to you, he doesn’t truly love you. He is not the man you should commit your life to!

5. People who truly love each other tell each so everyday of their lives together. Does he tell you he loves you? Does he do it without prodding? Does his love for you come naturally, repeatedly, and frequently?

The truth of the matter is this – when you love someone, you tell them. And don’t fall for that old line that goes like this – “I don’t need to tell her I love her because she knows.” This notion is just plain wrong! If he doesn’t tell you, then your relationship has a problem.

6. One of the underlying notions in the best relationships is this – “I trust him with my life and my sacred honor – I trust him more that life itself.” Your trust in him is unequivocal and without hesitation.

Here is the question of the day – Is the man you purport to love a man you trust without question? If the answer is no, then you need to reconsider the question, does he really love me?

7. In the end, if he really loves you, he is always there for you – through the good times and the bad. When somebody loves you, they love you through thick and thin. They love you without conditions. They love you when you are at your best and when you are at your worst.

When you are really in love, he makes you feel good. You are stronger because he is a part of your life. He makes you excited about where your relationship is going.

The measure of his love for you is always, in the end, about consistency. When you love someone, you cannot pick and choose the times you show you care, when you express love, and when you demonstrate your affection for the one you love. If his love for you is conditional, sporadic, and only comes when the times are good, you have to answer yourself this simple question – does he really and truly love me? You decide.

In the end, if he really loves you, he will meet the Seven Tests of True Love.

By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more marriage advice visit their website Simple Things Matter

Does age difference matter in marriage?

May 24, 2010

Does age difference matter in marriage?Over the years, we have been asked if the age differential between people contemplating marriage really matters. Our answer – it depends!

In our thousands of interviews on six continents of the world, we have learned this – when you are truly in love, your age and the age of the one you love really doesn’t matter for the most part. But there is a reality to this notion as well. There are circumstances when the difference in age does matter.

When you are 17, contemplating marriage to someone who is 47, marriage is probably not a good idea. The life experiences of a 17-year old are very, very different from a person who is 47!

Our experience tells us that the closer in age two people in love are, the greater their chances of Building a Love That Lasts. Whether it is one year, five years, ten, or more, true love trumps everything else. The question really is more about “How do you know your are in love” versus “How old is the one you love?” Being IN love is far more important than an age difference between two people who purport to love each other.

So, what have we learned about age differences from our three decades of research? When the difference is greater than ten years the “success rate” starts to go down. In other words, it is generally true that the smaller the difference in ages, the greater the chance of having a successful marriage.

However, there are no magic elixirs when it comes to love. Being in love is more important than age. Age is relative. Age matters far less in a relationship than love. Love is timeless, of that you can be sure.

By America’s #1 Love and Marriage Experts
Dr. Charles D. Schmitz and Dr. Elizabeth A. Schmitz
For more marriage advice visit their website Simple Things Matter


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