Women: We interpret courtship behaviors as promises from our future partners. These become silent contracts we make with each other before marriage.
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and Silent Contracts
By Pat McChristie
Women: Although a man and woman often have a period of courting that is a time of great deception, courtship behaviors become silent contracts we make with each other before marriage.
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We interpret courtship behaviors as promises from our future partners. These become silent contracts we make with each other before marriage.
We then expect those contracts to remain the same after marriage. We believe even daily behaviors should change only when necessary and agreed upon in advance.
Yet our period of courting has been a time of great deception.
We exaggerated our virtues and strong points.
We understated or sometimes even concealed many of our faults and weak points.
We took an interest in activities and subjects that had never been interesting before just to please our partners.
Men do it and women do it.
We were convincing someone to share our lives. We wanted their respect, trust, love, and affection. In short, we were selling ourselves. And our partner was doing the same.
During this time we made complex and unconscious contracts with our soon-to-be mates. These "contracts" were rarely discussed and many will eventually be "broken."
Because partners feel angry when these unconscious agreements are broken, courtship assumptions should be laid on the table and discussed.
Some psychologists suggest we make a list of values and behaviors. The engaged couple should (separately and without discussion) write his or her opinion of how the couple has agreed to handle each issue.
Gut up and tackle these issues:
When the two lists are compared, the differences can be discussed and resolved before unconscious contracts sabotage the future of your marriage.
And before you have to repeat the lament of many generations before you, "I will never understand this man I married!"
Not married yet?
There are some more good questions for you to answer. Click here for a premarriage check.
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