Friday, November 26, 2010

Good and Bad Marriage Advice from Sonny and Cher

They say our love won't pay the rent.  I Got You Babe, 1965. Good. Clear thinking couples don’t try to use romance as legal tender.

Before it's earned, our money's all been spent.  I Got You Babe, 1965. Bad. Financial problems are near the top of challenges faced by couples. Solution? Budget, budget, budget. And sell a few million records.

So let them say your hair's too long . I Got You Babe, 1965. Good.  Boomer guys with male pattern baldness would love being mocked for having long hair.

We don't have a pot.  I Got You Babe, 1965. Bad. Two words: wedding registry.

When I'm sad, you're a clown. I Got You Babe, 1965. Good.  Humor is an under estimated feature of healthy relationships.

And if I get scared, you're always around. I Got You Babe, 1965. Bad. What does the anxious partner do when their mate goes to work, the gym, or shopping? It’s comforting to face anxiety with the help of a partner but dependence on that partner can be precarious. And smothering.

I got you to talk with me. I Got You Babe, 1965. Good.  The question is, how did they do it? Conversation-starved partners everywhere want to know.

I won't sleep at night until you say, “My honey all I ever need is you.” All I Ever Need Is You, 1971.  Bad. Voluntarily delaying sleep until your partner recites a mandatory slogan is a power play sure to create both a sleep debt and an irritated spouse.

I've been in town for 18 years. Baby Don't Go, 1965. Good. Living in one location for the first eighteen years of one’s life affords a person the opportunity to bond, make lasting friendships, and develop interesting hobbies.

I can't stay, maybe I'll be back some day. Baby Don't Go, 1965. Bad. Running from conflict at age 18 sets an unhealthy precedent. The avoidant personality forfeits opportunities to learn vital people skills. To compound matters, considering a possible return even before leaving indicates indecisiveness.

I never had no money, I bought at the second store. Baby Don't Go, 1965. Good. During the tough economic times that happen to most middle class couples, it’s important to know how to cut corners, budget wisely, and wear recycled bell bottoms.

The way this old town laughs at me I just can't take it no more. Baby Don't Go, 1965. Bad. Rather than throw in the towel, it would be wiser for this person to become curious, “Why do elderly citizens laugh at me? Am I funny and not know it? How can I increase my resilience when ridiculed by the older members of this town?”

Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain. The Beat Goes On, 1967. Good. Neurobiologists say the brain is plastic and that repetition is one way to keep the ol’ synapses supple, mindful, and alert. It’s better to have a dumb song stuck in your head than nothing at all.

Teenybopper is our newborn king, uh huh. The Beat Goes On, 1967. Bad. Do we really want prepubescent boys and girls in positions of power?

Electrically they keep a baseball score. The Beat Goes On, 1967. Good. Keeping score in baseball feeds statisticians. Keeping score in marriage—electronically or otherwise--is not advised. (I understand in Wrigley Field they still post scores by hand).

You're not real pretty but you're mine. But You're Mine, 1965. Bad. Dolts call attention to a spouse’s diminishing good looks. It’s best to accept a partner’s jowls, wattles, and wrinkles without comment.

Bang, bang, you shot me down. Bang, Bang My Baby Shot Me Down (1966). Bad. Research shows that gunfire in marriage is a major cause of hard feelings.

I wore black you wore white. Bang, Bang My Baby Shot Me Down (1966). Good.  A healthy relationship allows for differences.

You would always win the fight.  Bang, Bang My Baby Shot Me Down (1966). Bad. Accepting influence is a keynote feature of healthy relationships. Losers feel taken advantage of; winners grow weary of the mate who constantly gives in. If you must fight, take turns winning and losing.  

1 comment:

  1. Excellent example....Sonny and Cher. Who wouldn't want to take a page from their life? (not me)

    Your new reader...Susie Sears Taylor