We have all seen those clingy, hovering helicopter moms on the playground or at school drop-off. These are the moms who seem to spend every waking moment with their little ones. And every sleeping moment too, for that matter (i.e., sharing a "family bed"). There are so many of them these days, they've even coined a phrase to describe the phenomenon: attachment parenting. Well, looks as though that philosophy doesn't just apply to kids. There are plenty of clingy, hovering, ever-present spouses too. Welcome to the world of attachment marriages.
You've certainly spotted these pairs among your friends or neighbors. It's like they can't stand to be away from each other. Some people adoringly call them "inseparable", while those of us on the other end of the spectrum (the lovers of alone time) call it "annoying and needy." Well, there are some who believe that those married folks who subscribe to this never-ending couple time are more likely to stay married.
According to a study from Purdue University, people in attachment marriages express more marital satisfaction. These pairings were labeled "secure-secure" attachment combinations. The "avoidant-avoidant" marriages were far less likely to live happily ever after because both sides' attachment needs were not being met. I am sure these guys are incredibly smart, but I am gonna call b*llsh*t on their so-called scientific findings.
That kind of relationship does not work for everyone. In fact, for some of us, that kind of bond would more likely kill a marriage. I have always relished moments of solitude, and by that I mean having time away from everything and everyone. That is not to say I don't love hanging out with my spouse -- I do. He is one of my best friends. We have a lot of fun together. I love being around him, just not all the time. So when we tied the knot, I was clear that there were times that I may want to go on a yoga retreat or a girls' weekend without him. Admittedly, this was a bit odd to him at first. He had grown up in a house where this whole attachment marriage notion was the norm.
I was astounded when I first met his parents. They couldn't stand to be away from each other. They had to sit next to one another in the car or at dinner. It would take a family emergency for one of them to travel without the other. In their union, there was no such thing as his and hers. They were one -- in every way. To me, that was bizarre. But they had the strongest and most loving marriage I had ever seen. Still, that just wouldn't work for me. I couldn't bear having someone hovering around me all the time. The fact that my husband respects my need for me time helps make our marriage work. And it goes both ways. I am not one of those wives who whines when he wants to go golfing or hang out with his friends. Besides, it's good to miss your spouse once in awhile.
Do you think attachment marriages are stronger?
Image via kevin dooley/Flickr