Monthly Article Archives: October 2010

The State of Marriages: Are there Insights to Be Learned from Greeting Cards? – Part IRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

My wife Marilyn’s birthday is later this month. A few days ago I went to buy her a birthday card. I walked over to the greeting cards section of the store. I searched under “Birthday Wishes- Wife” and immediately spotted a large array of cards from which to choose. However, even before selecting any card to read I already knew that what might at first glance appear to be a large choice was in fact very limited. I was aware, based on many years experience purchasing birthday, anniversary, and Valentine’s Day cards for Marilyn, that the sentiment expressed in most of the cards did not- at least from my vantage point- reflect my relationship with my lovely wife. I am not referring to the words in those cards that convey expressions of love and the meaningfulness of the marital relationship. I feel very fortunate that these emotions and thoughts are integral features of our marriage (of course, one should probably interview Marilyn to validate this view). What I am referring to are those cards permeated with words of apology, words that appear in many birthday, anniversary, and Valentine’s Day cards designed to be given from a husband to a wife.

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