May 192015 3 Responses

A Healthy Marriage Makes You Smarter

When my grandmother died, my mom had to remind my grandfather about our family’s birthdays. It wasn’t that the grief was so overwhelming that he forgot them. It’s that he never knew them to begin with. He might have remembered the season or the month, but he didn’t know the exact date for his son, daughter, or grandchildren.

Why should he? With my grandmother around there was no need for him to store those dates in his head because anytime he wanted the information he could simply retrieve it from my grandmother’s brain. After she was gone, he lost half his brain.

A healthy marriage dramatically increases the knowledge of an individual. It’s not that the it makes the individual so much smarter, but it doubles the storage capacity they have because they can access their spouse’s brain at any moment. (See: Partnership–When Dad Works and Mom Stays Home)

Without a conscious thought, my brain will automatically recognize pieces of information as something my wife will remember. If she is going to remember it, there is not much need for me to. And the reverse is the same with Jenny knowing there are many things I will remember that she can easily forget.

On occasion this process goes wrong. I’ll assume she will know something and she assumes I know it. It brings to surface the undiscussed process which is happening. Only when it goes wrong do we realize what is happening.

In a healthy marriage, this process is one of the added benefits of a good relationship. My wife is like an external hard drive. Whenever information is not stored in the hard drive of my brain, it is often stored in her head. Marriage doubles your storage capacity. It is one of the great perks of a good relationship.

Healthy couples value this ability. It makes them feel connected and useful when one spouse remembers a piece of information the other spouse needs. It reminds them that the sum of their relationship is stronger than either part.

Interestingly, unhealthy couples often have the same ability. One spouse will remember something which the other does not. However, instead of making the couple feel closer, it drives them further apart. It causes one spouse to assume the other doesn’t care or isn’t as smart or is simply lazy.

Obviously these assumptions can be accurate. There are times in which one spouse remembering and the other not knowing is a sign of a broken relationship. If it is always one-sided, this process is damaging for the couple. When one spouse is expected to remember everything—birthdays, the bank account number, when to feed the fish, paying the bills, etc—it is a sign the other spouse is not carrying their weight. (See: Marry a Partner, Not a Child)

An unhealthy marriage can make you feel stupid. The mental strain can be too much because not only are you expected to remember everything a normal individual has to remember but you also have to take on the storage space of another person. The result can be information overload. It can make a person feel as though they are losing their mind.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. When both spouses are fully carrying their weight as equal partners, neither spouse will feel the pressure to know or do everything. Work loads will be divided (often without even need for discussion) and information will naturally flow into the appropriate storage space.

When your partner remembers something you did not, thank them for playing their part. Recognize the benefit which marriage brings to your life. (See: The Math of a Good Marriage–1+1=3)

When you remember something which your spouse forgot, don’t automatically assume it is a sign of laziness or apathy. If they carry their weight in other areas, their forgetting is actually a sign of trust and commitment. They trusted you enough to know you would remember the information so they wouldn’t have to.

How do you and your spouse split information storage? Is it equal? Do you feel each person is doing their part? Is there something you would like for your spouse to remember which they regularly forget?

3 Responses to A Healthy Marriage Makes You Smarter
  1. […] A Healthy Marriage Makes You Smarter […]...
  2. […] Laut des Schriftstellers, Redners und Pastors Kevin A. Thompson kann sich die Ehe auch positiv auf d...
  3. […] A healthy marriage has a variety of benefits. (See: A Healthy Marriage Makes You Smarter) […]...

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