In today’s New York Times Styles section, Jenny talks about what writing a book about marriage did to (and for) her own marriage:
No sooner had we started interviewing couples, polling strangers and diving into the research than our marriages became petri dishes for testing our theories (or having them tested on us).
Week No. 8 of writing, week No. 2 of my first daughter’s life: My husband promises he’ll be home at 7 p.m. He walks in at 9. I combust. Why can’t he ever be on time, I ask in an acid-laced tone…. I kept fighting, despite knowing that I was wrong….
At the time, I was knee-deep in research about a concept called loss aversion. Economists have documented this phenomenon: in a nutshell, we have to win $200 to make up for the pain of losing $100. And this fear makes us behave irrationally, like betting more money when we’re already losing it hand over fist. Or entering a bidding war for an early 20th-century American flag that we will tuck away in the attic just because we don’t want to lose to the guy in the back with the bad khakis. Or escalating a fight with a spouse when we sort of know we’ve already lost. Read More…