The Meaning of Color and the Psychology of Marriage

In her article on how to find the perfect woman, under the category ‘Marriage Psychology’, Anna Chew begins: ‘To find the perfect woman is not complicated. First know thy self. Your favorite color will lead you the way.’

In 2005 there were 283,730 weddings in the UK, down nearly 10 per cent since 2004 when there were 313,550 weddings.

Between 2005 and 2006, the number of divorces granted in the UK fell by 4.5 per cent to 148,141, from 155,052.

According to http://www.annecollins.com/weight_health/obesity-rate.htm, nearly 4 out of 10 adults in the USA will be obese within five years if people keep packing on pounds at the current rate – putting their health at risk, says one of the top obesity researchers.

If these statistics are anything to go by, then I would suggest that (i) finding the perfect woman is fraught with uncertainty and compromise, and (ii) people by and large have no idea who they are.

I will further suggest that for the large percentage of marriages that end in divorce, and for those US citizens suffering from obesity, then all their relationships will be dysfunctional and prone to aggravation and difficulty.

Merely asking a person what their favorite color can, I suggest, only add to the confusion.

However, taking Ms Chew’s cue, and I did find her article extremely interesting and informative, so I asked myself the question: what is my favorite color?, if indeed I have one.

To assist me in making my choice, I looked to Microsoft’s Paint program for examples of color. I was not disappointed.

If you click on Colors -> Edit Colors -> Define Custom Colors, it gives you a palette from which you can create your own perfect color. It provides 256 scales of red, 256 scales of green, 256 scales of blue, as well as 240 scales of Hue, 241 scales of Saturation, and 241 scales of Luminosity.

Taking just the possible combinations of red, green and blue gives a total choice of 16,777,216 possible combinations ranging from the blackest of black to the whitest of white.

Well personally speaking, I like all of them. In fact, I don’t think life would be the same if some of them were missing. I guess that certain colors can reflect the myriad shades of our personality that include one or more of love, sex, romance, passion, jollity, depression, humor, melancholy, assertiveness, submissiveness, seriousness, heartache, loneliness, rage, anger, irritation, joy, serenity, ecstasy, suicide, determination, creativity, peace, confusion, dismay, revenge, hunger, early morning despair, late night inebriation, and any others I have forgotten to include.

Why do so many marriages fail? The last time I heard a statistic on the subject was a news item on the radio which said that 1 in 3 marriages in the UK end in divorce.

Back in the late 50s, early 60s, I knew of one couple in my street who had divorced, a rare event. But now, what with pre-marital agreements and the like, it seems that one has to factor in divorce before you even get married.

It must also be true, however, that every couple who does marry intends to make it last.

United States, in the year 1990:
– 1,075,000 children under the age of 18 had their parents divorce
– 61% of divorcing couples from a first marriage for each, have children under the age of 18

I assume from this that 39% of divorces for that year did not involve children, but 61% did.

Thus, in 1990, 655,750 couples divorced who had children. Would they have divorced had they never had children? I will hazard a guess and say not necessarily.

Having children brings us into direct conflict with our own childhoods, especially if the spouse has very different ideas about how to raise children.

Perhaps when two people get together, instead of asking each what their favorite color is, they should ask a few questions concerning the raising of children.

What better way to get an idea about their own childhood?

So what sort of questions might we ask? Well, here’s some for starters:

(i) do you think that the idea of the baby sleeping between the parents is good or bad?

(ii) do you think a child should be put to bed, or is it okay for the child to fall asleep on the parent’s lap?

(iii) do you think it is right to instantly go to a child when s/he cries out, or is it better to let the child cry it out, because they will always fall asleep eventually?

(iv) should you discourage a child from sucking its thumb?

(v) do you think there are occasions when it is okay to get angry at a child?

(vi) do you think it is important to give your child 100% attention when you are breast feeding it, or is it okay to say, read a book, while you are breast feeding?

(vii) should you carry your child in a back pack so that the child is always in touch with you, or does it not matter?

(viii) should you split with your spouse if you think the spouse is creating unnecessary and seemingly intractable problems?

(ix) mothers – do you think that fathers are important to children, and in the event of divorce, that the fathers should be allowed unfettered access to the children?

(x) fathers – in the event of divorce, would you fight heaven on earth for custody of the children, or do you think that the mother would be perfectly adequate for the task?

(xi) mothers – how happy would you be for the father to give 100% to the children, and for him to pull you up when he feels you are neglecting your children?

(x) fathers – same question.

(xi) imagine you gave birth to yourself – how would you raise the child? Would you give the child as good a deal as you got yourself, or would you go for serious modification?

(xii) Did our parents suffer when they were raising us? If yes, in what way?

Ah, but the power of love to conquer all anxieties and uncertainties, and its ability to blind us to all the warning signs that pervade courtship. During the courtship phase, we are in love, and we pretty much take it for granted that all the above questions will take care of themselves.

But it is a funny thing. Left to their own devices, any married couple should be able to get along quite well with each other, and not have to worry about anything.

However, each couple has a couple of parents, and my guess is that marriages with children that fail, have their roots in parents-in-law who have a history of emotional and psychological difficulties, whereas the young married couple don’t as yet have one – a history that is.

Sooner or later, the problems of the in-laws are liable to become the problems of the newly weds.

Thus, the struggling spouse is liable to realize at some stage that s/he really does not know him or her self at all. At this point, they are either prone to sinking into a life of boredom and submission, or else they hang on to their convictions and give their partner misery and heartache.

Perhaps neither wishes to give up their nice house or their possessions, and so they opt for a life of peaceful, but loveless, coexistence.

Notwithstanding, it is certainly a romantic idea to ask someone what their favorite color is, and if it’s the right one, then what could be simpler or more apt?

I just have to figure out what my favorite color is. Perhaps someone could tell me. A muddy shade of brown probably.