Vera Mace 105 / Today Show segment/ Marriage around the world - 1/20/07

Smartmarriages smartmarriages at
Sat Jan 20 22:14:04 EST 2007



> Diane  
> You may want to alert your list to a very special birthday this week.  Vera
> Mace will be 105 on Jan 24. She and David conducted their first marriage
> enrichment retreat 45 years ago and founded the Association for Couples in
> Marriage Enrichment (ACME) in 1973 (on their  anniversary!).  They are THE
> pioneer couple in our field.  See
> < > We all
> owe her (and him) a debt of gratitude. I for one am grateful that I had the
> opportunity to speak to David on the phone 25 years ago and to meet them at
> the First International Marriage Enrichment Conference in Atlanta in April,
> 1988.  I've been trying to pay it forward ever since.  Cards can be sent to
> Vera at Birchwood Terr Room 320, 43 Starr Farm Road, Burlington, VT 05401.
> Happy Birthday Vera!
> Bill Coffin

This is proof that a happy marriage and doing great work for others are the
two best things you can do to boost your happiness and longevity!
David also lived a long, satisfying, and productive life. Anyone who knew
them basked in their happiness. And, all of us in this Smart Marriages
movement are the beneficiaries of their vision, conviction, genius, and
dedication. Their contributions to marriage are beyond measure.  - diane
In case you didn't catch it, here's the link. It may not be up for long.

Sounds pretty familiar....
> .... it's apparent that a Japanese husband expects his wife to be
> cheerful, uncomplaining, thrifty and good in bed, while a wife wants her
> husband to be attentive and generous.

For better or for worse, marriages endure
Yomiuri Weekly (Jan. 20, 2007) Japan

"What surprised us was the unusually high percentages who said they were
either 'satisfied' or 'extremely satisfied.'"

So writes Yomiuri Weekly (Jan. 28), which for its once-a-week survey polled
1,000 Japanese about their married life.

As it turned out, 338 male and 260 female respondents, both well over 50
percent, voiced satisfaction with their marriages.

In contrast, only 16 men and 28 women responded they were "extremely
dissatisfied" with their spouse.

The survey respondents included 200 married people age 20-40 and 800 people
in the 40-70 age group. Broken down by the problem areas, the biggest points
of contention (with number of women's responses in parentheses), in
descending order, centered on his (or her) personality, with 158 responses
(217); the attitude toward money, 93 (111); and meals or housework 119 (83).
Then came sexual relations 120 (50); household income 31 (119); and child
rearing 44 (69).

>From the above, it's apparent that a Japanese husband expects his wife to be
cheerful, uncomplaining, thrifty and good in bed, while a wife wants her
husband to be attentive and generous.

"I finally realized he's the type of person who catches a fish, but doesn't
feed it," complains a 34-year-old wife of her husband of 13 years. "This
came to the surface recently; but it may be due to stress at his job," she

Here are some of the other astute comments from survey participants.

"From around the time she turned 30, she seems to have stopped enjoying
sex," a husband, age 47, remarks. Another husband, age 55, still engages in
conjugal relations, but complains after 35 years of marriage, their sex had
become "boring" and "routine."

And the wives? "I don't want to do it very often, but my husband craves it
persistently," complained a woman married nine years, now age 33. "It's
stressing me out."

"She never cooks, but she eats enough for three people," the 51-year-old man
tells Yomiuri Weekly. She won't do any housework either. I'm totally
disgusted with her." This saintly man has endured such neglect for 20 years.
One wonders what positive qualities his wife boasts that has kept them

Wives' biggest complaints seemed to center on economic problems, with some
centered on her mate's lack of drive to gain a promotion.

"We're as different as two people can be," says a 42-year-old woman. "I
really feel we've got nothing in common. I'm busy every day and don't have
much time to dwell on it, but sometimes when we're together I think of how
time has passed with things like this and a shiver runs down my spine."

"Her attitude towards money is loose to the extreme," said a 53-year-old
man, whose household budget was regularly depleted by her contributions to a
religious cult.

"He used to play around with other women all the time," sighs a wife, age
37. "He stopped recently, but up to two or three years ago, it was terrible.
I wonder if it's because being in business for himself makes him more
appealing to the opposite sex?"

Out of the 1,000 respondents, 78 men and 34 women said they felt no
dissatisfactions toward their spouse at all. Perhaps, Yomiuri Weekly
concludes, those dire predictions that the divorce rate is about to soar --
after a new law that enables wives to claim half their husbands' social
security pensions takes effect this year -- might not come to pass. (By
Masuo Kamiyama, People's Pick contributor)


Banned under Saddam Hussein, some say they are cover for prostitution
By Nancy Trejos
Washington Post Staff Writer
The Washington Post
Jan 20, 2007

BAGHDAD ‹ Fatima Ali was a 24-year-old divorcee with no high school diploma
and no job. Shawket al-Rubae was a 34-year-old Shiite sheik with a pregnant
wife who, he said, could not have sex with him.

Ali wanted someone to take care of her. Rubae wanted a companion.

They met one afternoon in May at the house he shares with his wife, in the
room where he accepts visitors seeking his religious counsel. He had a
proposal. Would Ali be his temporary wife? He would pay her 5,000 Iraqi
dinars upfront ‹ about $4 ‹ in addition to her monthly expenses. About twice
a week over the next eight months, he would summon her to a house he would

The negotiations took an hour and ended with an unwritten agreement, the
couple recalled. Thus began their "mutaa," or enjoyment marriage, a
temporary union believed by Shiite Muslims to be sanctioned by Islamic law.

The Shiite practice began 1,400 years ago, in what is now Iraq and other
parts of the region, as a way to provide for war widows. Banned by President
Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led government, it has regained popularity since the
2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq brought the majority Shiites to power, said
clerics, women's rights activists and mutaa spouses.

"During Saddam's time, there was no religious freedom," said Faris
al-Shareef, a sheik who lives in the mainly Shiite city of Hilla.

Opponents of mutaa, most of them Sunni Arabs, say it is less about religious
freedom and more about economic exploitation. Thousands of men are dying in
the sectarian violence that has followed the invasion, leaving behind widows
who must fend for themselves. Many young men are out of work and prefer
temporary over permanent wives who require long-term financial commitments.
In a mutaa arrangement, the woman is entitled to payment only for the
duration of the marriage.

'A cover for prostitution'
"It's a cover for prostitution," said Um Akram, a women's rights activist in
Baghdad. "Some women, because they don't want to be prostitutes, they think
that this is legal because it's got some kind of religious cover. But it is
wrong, and they're still prostitutes from the society's point of view." Um
Akram, like the mutaa spouses interviewed, asked that only parts of her name
be published.

Many intellectuals consider ancient traditions such as these an obstacle to
Iraq's effort to become a more modern, democratic society. In recent years,
extremist religious groups have gained more power in Iraq.

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