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Jenna McCarthy 談你所不知道的婚姻

Jenna McCarthy: What you don't know about marriage

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Jenna McCarthy

2011年11月演講,2012年2月在TEDxAmericanRiviera上線

 

翻譯:TED

編輯:朱學恆、洪曉慧

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

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關於這場演講

在這場輕鬆有趣的TEDx演講中,作家Jenna McCarthy分享關於經營婚姻(尤其是幸福婚姻)一些令人驚訝的研究。其中一個訣竅是:千萬不要贏得奧斯卡最佳女主角獎。

 

關於Jenna McCarthy

Jenna McCarthy撰寫關於男女關係、婚姻及養育子女方面的著作。

 

為什麼要聽她演講

Jenna McCarthy的著作包括:《如果人們所謂的該死蜜月有那麼簡單:與妳嫁的那個電視成癮、性成癮、並非那麼好用的男人共同生活並相愛》。她過去的著作包括:《為人母之旅:從高跟鞋和舞會到高腳椅和尿壺》及《為新手媽媽∕新手爸爸加油》,和即將出版的系列作品《給媽媽們的大卡車》及《給爸爸們的茶會》。

 

「如果Chelsea Handler(美國暢銷作家、演員)和費爾醫生(美國脫口秀主持人)有個愛情結晶,應該會像Jenna McCarthy。」

-Celia Rivenbark

 

Jenna McCarthy的英語網上資料

Home: jennamccarthy.com

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

Jenna McCarthy 談你所不知道的婚姻

 

在美國,每年有207萬7千對新人許下神聖且合法的承諾,要與另一半攜手共度往後的人生,(笑聲),並承諾絕對不會跟任何其他人有染,絕對不會。他買下婚戒,她挑好婚紗,兩人一起購買所有東西,她帶他到Arthur Murray學院學習交際舞,當那個重大日子來到,他們會站在上帝、家人及一些她父親的生意夥伴面前發誓,不論發生任何事,即使一貧如洗,即使罹患威脅生命的疾病,即使遭遇不幸的災難,都無法改變兩人之間永恆不變的愛與承諾。

 

(笑聲)

 

這些天真的年輕小鬼們信誓旦旦,說會珍惜彼此一輩子,從熱戀期到中年危機,體重默默增加了50磅,直到很久後的某一天,其中一個人終於能安詳地長眠。你知道,因為他們再也聽不到對方的鼾聲了。他們會在婚禮那天喝個爛醉,用蛋糕砸對方的臉,跳「瑪卡蓮娜」,我們會在一旁為他們遞毛巾、舉杯祝賀,享受免費的喜酒,在他們身上灑鳥食祝福,每次都是如此-雖然我們都心知肚明,統計指出這些夫妻有一半會在十年內離婚。

 

(笑聲)

 

當然,還有另一半沒離婚,對嗎?他們只是老是忘記結婚紀念日,為了去哪裡度假起爭執,還有激烈爭論廁所的衛生紙捲應該朝內還是朝外。然而,有一部分夫妻依然享受彼此的陪伴,即使齒搖髮白仍鶼鰈情深。

 

研究人員想知道其中原因,我的意思是,聽著,用不著進行什麼雙盲、對照等科學研究,就知道什麼會使婚姻出問題。例如彼此不尊重、厭倦對方、成天上網玩臉書,或是有了外遇;但在一些與上述完全相反的情況下,彼此尊重、生活充滿驚喜、家裡沒網路、遵守乏味的一夫一妻制-婚姻關係仍會莫名其妙地迅速惡化。所以,成功的婚姻是怎麼維繫的?這些白頭到老的夫妻有什麼共同點?他們是怎麼做到的?我們能從他們身上學習到什麼?如果你仍是個快樂的單身貴族,為什麼要放棄現有的生活,自討苦吃地去找一個所謂特別的人,讓你下半輩子不得安寧?

 

研究人員花了數十億你們納的稅,試著找出其中原因。他們跟蹤那些幸福的小夫妻,觀察他們的一舉一動、特殊癖好,試著精確地找出是什麼原因,使他們能倖免於發生在鄰居和朋友身上的悲劇。研究結果發現,這些成功的婚姻故事存在一些共同點;事實上,不只是不搞外遇。

 

舉例來說,在最幸福的婚姻中,太太的身材和外型都保持的比先生好。(笑聲)。顯而易見,對嗎?顯然這導致了幸福的婚姻,因為我們女人相當在意身材和外表,而男人成天想的就是性-理想中的女性身材和外型都比他們本身更正點。這個研究的可貴之處在於,它並沒有顯示女性一定要瘦才會幸福,我們只要比伴侶瘦就好,所以不需耗盡心力節食或運動,我們只要等老公變胖就好,也許多烤幾塊派;這是個天大的好消息,並不是很困難。

 

研究人員還說,最幸福的夫妻是懂得正面思考的,例如,一個快樂的太太不會去酸丈夫的啤酒肚越來越大,或建議他慢跑減肥,她或許會這麼說,「哇,親愛的,謝謝你辛苦地把肚子養大,讓我相較之下顯得更瘦了。」在任何情況下,這些夫妻都能發掘出其中的美好,「是的,這實在很糟,那場大火把我們所有家當都燒光了,但能睡在星光下也挺不錯的,幸好你有這些能讓我們保持溫暖的體脂肪。」

 

我最喜歡的一個研究發現是,丈夫越樂意幫忙做家事,在妻子眼裡就越迷人,因為我們需要一個能告訴我們這一點的研究,但整個情況是這樣;當她發現丈夫越迷人,他們的性行為就越頻繁,他們越享受性愛,他就會對妻子越好,而他對她越好,她就會越少抱怨他將濕毛巾留在床上,最後他們就能一直過著幸福快樂的日子。換句話說,男性們,你們或許願意選擇在家務方面得分。

 

這是個有趣的發現;一個研究指出,在童年相片裡露出笑容的人比較不會離婚,這個研究是有根據的。先說明一下,這個研究不是根據你自行提供的童年歡樂故事,也不是研究你的舊日記,整個數據純粹取決於人們在童年照片中看起來快不快樂。我不清楚各位的年齡,但我孩提時代,父母們用一種特殊的相機拍照,裡面塞著所謂底片的東西。天哪!底片可是很貴的,他們不可能以數位攝影模式,火速地連拍300張照片,然後挑選一張最美、笑容最燦爛的來做聖誕卡。喔,想得美!他們把你盛裝打扮,讓你們排排站,你得遵照指示,對該死的相機露出微笑,否則就得跟你的生日派對吻別了。但我仍有許多露出快樂假笑的童年照片,我很慶幸它們使我離婚的機率比其他人低一些。

 

所以,我們還能做些什麼以捍衛幸福婚姻?千萬別贏得奧斯卡最佳女主角獎。(笑聲)。我是說真的;貝蒂戴維斯、瓊克勞馥、荷莉貝瑞、希拉蕊史旺、珊卓布拉克、瑞絲薇絲朋,她們全都是抱回這座小金人後不久就恢復單身了,這事實上就是所謂的小金人詛咒,這是婚姻的死亡之吻,我們應該盡量避免才是。

 

危險的不只是影片中的主角,事實證明,不過是看個浪漫喜劇片都會導致婚姻滿意度下降!(笑聲)顯然,殘酷的事實是,這種浪漫情節或許本來有機會發生在我們身上,但顯然並沒有發生,或許也不可能發生了,讓我們的生活相較之下顯得慘不忍睹。理論上來說,我想如果我們選擇演員慘遭謀殺,或死於起火爆炸車禍中的電影,當我們走出戲院時,比較容易感覺我們的生活還是相當不錯的。

 

喝酒似乎對婚姻也有負面影響;好吧,我無法在這一點上多加著墨,因為一見到這個標題我就看不下去了。但這一點就嚇人了:離婚會傳染。是的-當你有一對老朋友離婚了,你的離婚機率也會提高百分之七十五。我必須說,我對這一點並不苟同,我跟我先生目睹身邊許多朋友離婚,然後在我們這個年紀辛苦地掙扎著,在情色簡訊、威而鋼和網路交友中度過單身生活,我想,對我的婚姻來說,這些朋友的借鏡比任何威脅都更讓人警惕。

 

現在,你們或許想知道,為什麼人要結婚?好,美國聯邦政府列出一千多條合法益處保障配偶,其中包括探監權,但希望你們永遠不需要用到這一條。除了這些廣泛的聯邦特權外,已婚夫婦有更好的收入,身心都更健康,我們能養出更快樂、更穩定、更成功的下一代,我們比那些定不下來的單身朋友們更享受性愛,信不信由你,我們甚至活得更久,這是相當有說服力的論點,讓你跟一個本來就很喜歡的人結婚。

 

現在,如果你不曾體會過夫妻共同節稅的快感,我也無法告訴你如何找到一位摯愛之人-擁有理想身材、充滿吸引力、喜歡恐怖片、朋友不多、又剛好想離婚的對象,但我只能鼓勵你們開始試著尋找,因為,如我指出的,婚姻的好處超乎想像;重點是,無論你是已婚或正在尋找終身伴侶,我認為結婚就像合開一間公司,需要雙方經營與維護。所以我希望你們能善用我今天提供的資訊,衡量你們婚姻的優勢與風險因子。

 

舉例來說,我的婚姻生活還算不錯,一方面,我有個身材相當健美的老公,長得很帥,所以,顯然我必須加把勁養胖他;我得說,我們身邊這些離婚的朋友或許會下意識地試著讓我們分手,所以我們必須留心這點。我們確實喜歡喝點小酒。另一方面,我有那些裝出快樂假笑的童年相片,還有,我老公幫忙做很多家事,也很高興在他有生之年都不必再看任何一部愛情喜劇片。

 

所以我擁有這所有的優勢,但為了以防萬一,我確實格外努力地盡量不要贏得奧斯卡獎,為了你們的婚姻著想,我建議你們也得盡量避免得到這個獎。等下酒吧見囉!(掌聲)

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this Talk

In this funny, casual talk from TEDx, writer Jenna McCarthy shares surprising research on how marriages (especially happy marriages) really work. One tip: Do not try to win an Oscar for best actress.

About the Speaker

Jenna McCarthy writes about relationships, marriage and parenting. Full bio »

Transcript

Every year in the United States alone, 2,077,000 couples make a legal and spiritual decision to spend the rest of their lives together ... (Laughter) and not to have sex with anyone else, ever. He buys a ring, she buys a dress. They go shopping for all sorts of things. She takes him to Arthur Murray for ballroom dancing lessons. And the big day comes. And they'll stand before God and family and some guy her dad once did business with, and they'll vow that nothing, not abject poverty, not life-threatening illness, not complete and utter misery will ever put the tiniest damper on their eternal love and devotion.

(Laughter)

These optimistic young bastards promise to honor and cherish each other through hot flashes and mid-life crises and a cumulative 50-lb. weight gain, until that far-off day when one of them is finally able to rest in peace. You know, because they can't hear the snoring anymore. And then they'll get stupid drunk and smash cake in each others' faces and do the "Macarena," and we'll be there showering them with towels and toasters and drinking their free booze and throwing birdseed at them every single time -- even though we know, statistically, half of them will be divorced within a decade.

(Laughter)

Of course, the other half won't, right? They'll keep forgetting anniversaries and arguing about where to spend holidays and debating which way the toilet paper should come off of the roll. And some of them will even still be enjoying each others' company when neither of them can chew solid food anymore.

And researchers want to know why. I mean, look, it doesn't take a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to figure out what makes a marriage not work. Disrespect, boredom, too much time on Facebook, having sex with other people. But you can have the exact opposite of all of those things -- respect, excitement, a broken Internet connection, mind-numbing monogamy -- and the thing still can go to hell in a hand basket. So what's going on when it doesn't? What do the folks who make it all the way to side-by-side burial plots have in common? What are they doing right? What can we learn from them? And if you're still happily sleeping solo, why should you stop what you're doing and make it your life's work to find that one special person that you can annoy for the rest of your life?

Well researchers spend billions of your tax dollars trying to figure that out. They stalk blissful couples and they study their every move and mannerism. And they try to pinpoint what it is that sets them apart from their miserable neighbors and friends. And it turns out, the success stories share a few similarities, actually, beyond they don't have sex with other people.

For instance, in the happiest marriages, the wife is thinner and better looking than the husband. (Laughter) Obvious, right. It's obvious that this leads to marital bliss because, women, we care a great deal about being thin and good looking, whereas men mostly care about sex ... ideally with women who are thinner and better looking than they are. The beauty of this research though is that no one is suggesting that women have to be thin to be happy; we just have to be thinner than our partners. So instead of all that laborious dieting and exercising, we just need to wait for them to get fat, maybe bake a few pies. This is good information to have, and it's not that complicated.

Research also suggests that the happiest couples are the ones that focus on the positives. For example, the happy wife. Instead of pointing out her husband's growing gut or suggesting he go for a run, she might say, "Wow, honey, thank you for going out of your way to make me relatively thinner." These are couples who can find good in any situation. "Yeah, it was devastating when we lost everything in that fire, but it's kind of nice sleeping out here under the stars, and it's a good thing you've got all that body fat to keep us warm."

One of my favorite studies found that the more willing a husband is to do house work, the more attractive his wife will find him. Because we needed a study to tell us this. But here's what's going on here. The more attractive she finds him, the more sex they have; the more sex they have, the nicer he is to her; the nicer he is to her, the less she nags him about leaving wet towels on the bed -- and ultimately, they live happily ever after. In other words, men, you might want to pick it up a notch in the domestic department.

Here's an interesting one. One study found that people who smile in childhood photographs are less likely to get a divorce. This is an actual study, and let me clarify. The researchers were not looking at documented self-reports of childhood happiness or even studying old journals. The data were based entirely on whether people looked happy in these early pictures. Now I don't know how old all of you are, but when I was a kid, your parents took pictures with a special kind of camera that held something called film, and, by God, film was expensive. They didn't take 300 shots of you in that rapid-fire digital video mode and then pick out the nicest, smileyest one for the Christmas card. Oh no. They dressed you up, they lined you up, and you smiled for the fucking camera like they told you to or you could kiss your birthday party goodbye. But still, I have a huge pile of fake happy childhood pictures and I'm glad they make me less likely than some people to get a divorce.

So what else can you do to safeguard your marriage? Do not win an Oscar for best actress. (Laughter) I'm serious. Bettie Davis, Joan Crawford, Hallie Berry, Hillary Swank, Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, all of them single soon after taking home that statue. They actually call it the Oscar curse. It is the marriage kiss of death and something that should be avoided.

And it's not just successfully starring in films that's dangerous. It turns out, merely watching a romantic comedy causes relationship satisfaction to plummet. (Laughter) Apparently, the bitter realization that maybe it could happen to us, but it obviously hasn't and it probably never will, makes our lives seem unbearably grim in comparison. And theoretically, I suppose if we opt for a film where someone gets brutally murdered or dies in a fiery car crash, we are more likely to walk out of that theater feeling like we've got it pretty good.

Drinking alcohol, it seems, is bad for your marriage. Yeah. I can't tell you anymore about that one because I stopped reading it at the headline. But here's a scary one: Divorce is contagious. That's right -- when you have a close couple friend split up, it increases your chances of getting a divorce by 75 percent. Now I have to say, I don't get this one at all. My husband and I have watched quite a few friends divide their assets and then struggle with being our age and single in an age of sexting and Viagra and eHarmony. And I'm thinking they've done more for my marriage than a lifetime of therapy ever could.

So now you may be wondering, why does anyone get married ever? Well the U.S. federal government counts more than a thousand legal benefits to being someone's spouse -- a list that includes visitation rights in jail, but hopefully you'll never need that one. But beyond the profound federal perks, married people make more money. We're healthier, physically and emotionally. We produce happier, more stable and more successful kids. We have more sex than our supposedly swinging single friends -- believe it or not. We even live longer, which is a pretty compelling argument for marrying someone you like a lot in the first place.

Now if you're not currently experiencing the joy of the joint tax return, I can't tell you how to find a chore-loving person of the approximately ideal size and attractiveness who prefers horror movies and doesn't have a lot of friends hovering on the brink of divorce, but I can only encourage you to try, because the benefits, as I've pointed out, are significant. The bottom line is, whether you're in it or you're searching for it, I believe marriage is an institution worth pursuing and protecting. So I hope you'll use the information I've given you today to weigh your personal strengths against your own risk factors.

For instance, in my marriage, I'd say I'm doing okay. One the one hand, I have a husband who's annoyingly lean and incredibly handsome. So I'm obviously going to need fatten him up. And like I said, we have those divorced friends who may secretly or subconsciously be trying to break us up. So we have to keep an eye on that. And we do like a cocktail or two. On the other hand, I have the fake happy picture thing. And also, my husband does a lot around the house, and would happily never see another romantic comedy as long as he lives.

So I've got all those things going for me. But just in case, I plan to work extra hard to not win an Oscar anytime soon. And for the good of your relationships, I would encourage you to do the same. I'll see you at the bar.

(Applause)
 


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