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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This article depresses me. First, does this mean we can only have one or the other? Two, what do men think of this? Does it work the same way for men. Do you all have passion with the wild girls, but have security with safe girls? Why can't we have passion and security? What do you all think? Also, what kind of girl do you guys like? And what kind of guy do the girls here like. And please be honest. If you like bad boys admit it. I always said I was gonna marry someone really safe and secure. But I think I can have passion with that kind of person. Am I naive?

The Two Kinds of Husbands

Is he steady and calm, sweet and loving? Or simply the sexiest guy you've ever met? Here's what you need to know for the future?whichever husband you chose.

Which husband did you marry?

Most of us were brought up to believe there was a single entity called a Good Husband. Yet there are actually two very different kinds of good husbands: the Boyfriend and the Husband. The former is everything you've wanted since you were 15: sexy, spontaneous, irresistible. He makes you laugh, makes you shiver, makes you mad as hell. The thing is, he never quite pictured himself as a husband and father, and deep down he still doesn't. When you're trying to explain the concept of equal parenting or picking up his wet towels from the floor, you wonder: Did I make the biggest mistake of my life?

The Husband is your best buddy, a man you can count on to walk the baby at 3 am, research Consumer Reports for the safest car and even buy you tampons on the way home. Yes, sex is more tender than thrilling, but isn't that to be expected with time? Still, sometimes you wonder if this cozy security is all it's cracked up to be. Shouldn't marriage have more pizzazz, electricity, mystery?

Well, yes. And Boyfriend husbands should stay home more often, too. But just as there is no one good marriage, there is no one good husband: Even the best have a B side. But how do you live with your doubts and still love and nourish the good marriage you've got? Read on to find your kind of guy, and the road to happiness with him.

He's such a bad boy!

From the outside looking in, we all envy the Boyfriend Marriage?and from the inside out, it does feel as good as it looks. Romantic. Spontaneous. Magical. Right. "At its best, it feels the way you were always told marriage should feel," says psychologist Judith Sills, Ph.D. No matter what else is going on?kids, work, family?the marriage itself is always front and center.

"Our relationship is intense and has been from the very first minute," says Jane. "Kenny is a guy's guy. I love that he loves fast cars, that he finds the female psyche a complete mystery, that he hates to wear a tie. At the same time, I feel he knows me in a completely visceral way. I couldn't have married a 'best friend' kind of man. I wanted to be swept away, and I was."

Eight years and two kids later, the intensity is still there?in and out of bed. Theirs is a rollickingly connected kind of marriage, like a radio that never gets turned off. They're on each other's frequency all the time. And that's wonderful when the magic is working. "But these days, to be honest? I'd rather be sleeping than making love," says Jane.

Kenny doesn't understand this, which can sometimes lead to arguments. "Of course he doesn't understand," says Jane. "We both work long hours, but I'm the one who's on kid duty. So when he's raring to go, I'm in meltdown mode." Sometimes, though, the situation is reversed: Jane will want his attention at a time when he's too busy and he'll be dismissive, which can also lead to fights. "When you start out that passionate, there's an expectation level that gets established. You're both accustomed to getting a certain amount of attention, and when you don't get it or can't give it, feelings get hurt."

Indeed, if the highs are higher in this marriage, the lows are also lower. "I adore my marriage 80 percent of the time, but a lot of the time it's exhausting. We each register every little disturbance," says Jane. "Sometimes I'd like to forget about my relationship with Kenny for a while, to be a little less in love."

Passion?the glue of the Boyfriend Marriage?has a downside, and it resides in its very origin: The flame that fuels it is either unfamiliarity or uncertainty. And much as we love our husbands, they do not remain an endless series of brand-new revelations. Which leaves us uncertainty: Maybe you've got a mortgage and a station wagon now, but the dynamics haven't changed much since your dating days. The same questions still rivet you, just beneath the surface of your everyday lives: How does he feel? How do you feel? Is he still attracted to you? Do you still love him?

Most of the time, you don't feel the uncertainty, just the pleasant fizz it gives off, the way your heart jumps when you first catch sight of him, the way you feel walking into a room together, the rightness. Then something happens, and the balance tips‑and you're back in the land of does-he-or-doesn't-he? "To feel rejected by the most important person on a pretty consistent basis can wear away one's spirit and sense of self," says Dr. Sills. "When uncertainty is what is sustaining the passion, that can feel like an ordeal."

He's as comfy as a teddy bear

There's no question: Being married to a Husband is easier on the psyche than being married to a Boyfriend. "Every one of my affairs before marriage began passionately and ultimately self-destructed," says Victoria. "I don't blame passion for those earlier experiences, but I came to understand that what ignited those feelings for me was a certain kind of man: emotionally elusive and withholding to one degree or another."

Her husband is none of the above. "Our romance began at a different tempo entirely. Ellis wasn't familiar to me on that primitive, we-met-in-another-life level. I wasn't wearing myself out by having to chase him down emotionally all the time. He was very much present and available to me from the get-go. It felt real good, but I had to decide to pursue it. I wasn't swept away." Their sexual connection evolved out of steadily growing regard, an intellectual rapport, a similar sense of humor and a profound romantic attachment. They didn't so much fall in love as walk into it, hand in hand.

Experts tell us that the best predictor of marital success isn't sexual passion at all, but a couple's ability to negotiate conflict and resolve differences. Nor does sex top the charts when most of us name our most important quality in a mate. "One of the things we seek in marriage is a haven. We want the feeling that home is a safe place to go. Friendship seems to provide a more stable base for that than sexual passion and uncertainty," says Dr. Sills. By definition there is a certain amount of tension lacking, which is freeing. As one woman puts it: "Because I know my husband is there for me, I can grow as an individual."

The downside of the Husband Marriage? The yearning to be swept away by a tidal wave of lust. "When people say that sexual passion declines after three years, the Friendship Marriage is what you have left," says Dr. Sills. "And although that might be a good tradeoff, it doesn't mean there isn't a sigh, a pang and sometimes more for what you lost or had to let go of." And it can feel a lot worse when you're going through a period of doubts ... or when an actual person comes along who reminds you of the passion you once knew. "Last year I heard from an old boyfriend," says Victoria. "We met for lunch and I felt that attraction again?I had to talk to myself the way I talk to my cocker spaniel: 'No!' And on the way home in the car, all I could think was, thank God it's Ellis I married. So no, I can't say I don't miss it. Of course, I also miss being 17. But I wouldn't go back there for anything."

How to love the one you're with

No matter what the style, good marriages are based on chemistry, commitment and communication. And optimism: It helps to look at your marriage as half full rather than half empty. "Loving your husband and yourself at the same time depends upon seeing him as clearly as possible, trying to forgive him for what you see that you wish you didn't, and trying to live with him in spite of it," says Dr. Sills. Ironically, the very qualities about him that bug you may be what you secretly wish for yourself. "Developing that other side in yourself can change the balance in your marriage for the better," says Dr. Carter.

Given how different the Husband Marriage is from the Boyfriend Marriage, you'd think they'd require vastly different strategies for long-lasting happiness. Not so. "There are two ways to change your relationship: Talk to yourself differently and talk to your partner more effectively," says psychologist Steve Brody, Ph.D. "Don't compare him to your best friend's husband. Stop catastrophizing every small disappointment. Above all, don't expect your marriage to satisfy all of your emotional needs. Realize that a good marriage has intimacy and independence."

It pays to cultivate a network of friendships and interests outside the marriage. In the Husband Marriage, you need to find something that stirs you?painting, travel?and allow your enthusiasm to invigorate your marriage. In the Boyfriend Marriage, you need that independence to nourish your self-esteem and to see you through rocky times.

Whichever kind of husband you married, if you want change, say the experts, take the initiative. Don't wait for him to read your mind. If you want more time for yourself, say so. If you want a hotter sex life, make the first move.

There's one other important way to cherish?and protect?the marriage you've got: Stay away from temptation. "If you want to love the one you're with, keep yourself away from the head-spinning moment of someone reaching for your hand across a table," says Dr. Sills. "If you think you're too weak, don't go to that dinner. Build safeguards into your marriage."

Which brings us to the tricky part. If the task of the Passion Marriage is to maintain a friendship in which the fiery connection can be sheltered without burning down the house, the work of the Friendship Marriage is to generate enough sexual heat to keep the marriage hot. How? By letting go of that early, narrow definition of passion?the one fueled by novelty, distance or uncertainty?and replacing it with sexual satisfaction based on a heightened appreciation of your husband and your changing sexuality as a couple.

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Please don't let that get to you. You can not box anyone in like that. Each guy that you date will have unique qualities to offer you. When the chemistry is right with someone, things can and will be amazing. There is not just two types of guys out there... they are ALL different. Think of it this way... all girls have SOME things in common... but we also all so very different from one another. I found the whole thing extremely sterotypical and ridiculous. :roll: Just don't even give it another thought. You can be with someone and have all the passion and still have security in your relationship.

As for what I tend to go for in guys and reltionships... Just to prove my point... I usually end up with someone who is a little bit of both... most all my relationships are always very intense and passionate... but I never stay interested in someone long if I can not count on them.... I like to feel very cared for.... soooo.... yes I want the best of both worlds and there is no reason why I (and everyone else) can not have that.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I tend to agree with you rainboteers. Articles like that are why I never read magazines like Cosmopolitan and Glamour. And I also think it's possible to have both. I've had both before too. I don't know. It kind of got to me yesterday reading that. My best friend is in a situation where she has her boyfriend who's always gonna be there and is her best friend, and this other guy who she can't have but has amazing sex with and all the passion, and is convinced he's her soulmate etc. And I guess hearing her go on about the two men constantly got me thinking. But you're right. The guy who was the best sex I've ever had was also probably the most secure guy I ever had. So it's possible. Thanks for making me feel better rainbo.
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