“If you live with your mate long enough, eventually you will look like each other, think like each other, and become so similar your friends will have trouble telling you apart, right?Not really, according to new research that challenges the long-held belief that many years of cohabitation causes spouses to grow more alike as the years roll by. The research, by psychologists at Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota, is based on a relatively huge data base of 1,296 couples who have been married for an average of 19.8 years. It was published in the current issue of the journal Personality and Individual Differences. What they found is that couples who had been married for a long time — up to 39 years — were no more alike in fundamental personality traits than newlyweds, leading the researchers to conclude that personalities do not grow more similar as the years pass. More likely, the couples were looking for specific traits during the courtship and they ended up with someone who was very much like themselves.”
Now, when I began thinking about how to frame this morning’s post, I had all these great ideas. But then I really got to thinking, which we all know can be dangerous and a public health hazard….
Suddenly, I had a flash of brilliance after having an exchange with one of my online buddies (hey DK!!). Since the researchers found out what we already seem to know intuitively, duh, why did they have to study nearly 1,300 couples? That was a complete waste of time!
We have the Simpsons (cue the theme music…the…Simp….sonnnnnsssss)! That’s right. 20 or 21 seasons of gut-splitting, hilarious episodes of America’s first animated family. According to Wikipedia,
The series is a satirical parody of a working-class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional city of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, television and many aspects of the human condition.
What better example of married life do we have other than Homer and Marge Simpson? Think about it. They’ve been married since 1989. That’s like, what, 20 years? That fits the inclusion criteria….
No one ever got Homer confused with Marge…and vice versa. Homer is your typical man’s man…and all the good and bad that goes along with that, while Marge is your typical housewife who keeps Homer in line. I shudder to think how their household were run if Marge was like Homer, and frankly, the show wouldn’t be as funny if Homer was more like Marge.
Next time someone wants to do a fancy study on married couples, let me make a suggestion that may save them a lot of time and money. Get the Simpsons DVD boxed set…pop some popcorn, and watch all 635 episodes. I hear there’s a movie or two, as well.
And if they don’t like Homer and Marge, there’s always Peter and Lois Griffin. *wink wink*