The Surprising Truth About Marriage Success
Roger Nygard’s documentary, The Truth About Marriage, attempts to solve the mystery of happy relationships. Tune in to discover the secrets to lasting love.
Roger Nygard’s latest book and documentary, “The Truth About Marriage,” examines how we can all have happier relationships. Nygard has directed TV series such as “The Office,” and “The Bernie Mac Show” and has edited Emmy-nominated episodes of “VEEP” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” As an award-winning documentarian, Nygard often tackles serious topics in humorous ways, like with “Trekkies” and “The Nature of Existence.”
Show Notes: The Truth About Marriage Success
What inspired you to make this documentary about the truth about marriage?
I felt like I was a failure! I wanted to get married. I wanted to know what was wrong. My documentaries are like personal therapy.
What was the most surprising thing you learned about relationships?
A lot of what we do is predestined. We are designed to behave in certain ways. Our choices are pretty predictable. Gottman predicted whether a couple would stay together or get divorced, within ten minutes of observing them. If there was contempt, the relationships didn’t last. I found that fascinating.
Richard Baker discovered in the 90s that there are many kinds of sperm. Only one percent fertilizes an egg. He theorized that when you took the sperm of two men together, they would fight each other. He concluded that promiscuity promotes fertilization of the healthiest eggs. That was mind blowing to me.
Who is the boss in relationships?
It was unanimous that the woman is the boss. As Dr. Pat Allen puts it, there’s the president and someone in charge of vetoing the president. We look for someone to make us better.
If monogamy is so hard, why do so many people want monogamous relationships?
Insecurity. We’re very insecure. If you were totally secure with yourself and your partner, you would not need monogamy. [Thousands of years ago], we were in tribes in Africa where everything was shared, including partners. You can’t do that in our large populations today.
With the discovery of agriculture, man wanted to ensure everything he owned would be left to his genetic offspring. Marriage came about to put a social fence around a woman’s sexuality to make sure it’s his genetic offspring inheriting the farm. Monogamy evolved.
What’s the number one secret to relationship success?
Secrets to successful relationships? Women need the ‘vitamin’ of listening and feeling heard for fifteen to twenty minutes a day. End with a hug. That’s going to help your relationship thrive. Don’t ask for more than that. The male brain can’t handle it.
The masculine needs the ‘vitamin’ of disconnecting sometimes. The way to achieve that is for him to say, “Honey, I’m going fishing with my buddies for the weekend, and I can’t wait to see you for dinner Sunday night.” Announce when he’s leaving and coming back, and keep his word. If they both give each other these ‘vitamins’, it will help relationships thrive.
How can we reignite passion when it fades?
We can reignite passion by re-calibrating the masculine and feminine polarity. You’re in a series of relationships, and there’s a constant realignment of the balance. We all want stability/happiness.
What are your final words of advice for people who want to go on their last first date?
Men need a plan. Project confidence, especially if you’re the one in your masculine energy. The feminine energy partner needs to flirt. Present the invitation to the man. Dr. Pat Allen calls it the five-second rule. It can draw any man to you. Then he can pursue.
If you want to attract the right person, be the person you want to attract.
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