DR. WALLACE: My best friend at my school just told me that three quarters of people in the United States marry a person that they first met in high school. That number seems a bit high to me. Could this be true?
I do know many couples who went to our high school and are now married, but I’m not sure what percentage they represent. On the other hand, my favorite aunt, a lady I truly look up to, has told me that it would be better to wait to find my mate in college or even after I graduate from college. Is she giving me good advice in your opinion? — A curious high school girl, via email
A CURIOUS HIGH SCHOOL GIRL: I’ve read dozens of studies and reports on this topic over the years and, collectively, I’ve found them to be very insightful.
In short, most studies agree that only 5% or less of the general population end up marrying a person they attended high school with. And ironically, the preponderance of studies also indicate that people who first marry at the age of 25 have a much better chance of avoiding divorce than those who first marry at age 20 or younger. The statistics are quite significant.
So, I’d say that your favorite aunt is indeed a wise lady, and she’s giving you some sage advice.
SOMETIMES I NEED HELP!
DR. WALLACE: I’ve just recently turned 20 years old and I have a wonderful 3-year-old son and a loving husband. I am a stay-at-home mom and I try my best to take care of my son and all of our house responsibilities.
Most of the time this is workable, but sometimes it is just too much and I get a deep feeling that I need a break.
My husband goes to work during the week and even occasionally on the weekends, too, since he’s in construction and they always have various projects in different points of assembly. My husband helps a little here and there, but I want him to help me more by spending time with our son so I can go shopping or even meet one of my girlfriends for lunch.
How do I ask my husband for more help with our son and explain tactfully to him that I am exhausted without sounding selfish? — Mom needing a break, via email
MOM NEEDING A BREAK: Your husband sounds like a busy guy, too, but your idea for him to spend alone time with his son is indeed quite valid. Both he and your child would benefit if he could spend a few hours with your son to give you an occasional break.
I suggest that you engage your husband in an open and honest discussion so that he can understand and appreciate where you are coming from. Suggest that you each try to carve out a bit of personal time for each other. Since he loves you, I’m sure he will listen carefully to you. Put things in terms of you feeling it would be better for him to stay with your son for these few hours than to hire a babysitter to create the space you need. Ask him directly for his help; men often enjoy responding to requests to help a lady out — especially a beloved spouse!
Either way, I trust he’ll find a way to help you. It’s important to address issues such as this directly early on with very open and easygoing conversations, so please proceed forward with confidence in bringing this issue up.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.