What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage – by Amy Sutherland, New York Times

What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage

New York Times

As I wash dishes at the kitchen sink, my husband paces behind me, irritated. “Have you seen my keys?” he snarls, then huffs out a loud sigh and stomps from the room with our dog, Dixie, at his heels, anxious over her favorite human’s upset.

In the past I would have been right behind Dixie. I would have turned off the faucet and joined the hunt while trying to soothe my husband with bromides like, “Don’t worry, they’ll turn up.” But that only made him angrier, and a simple case of missing keys soon would become a full-blown angst-ridden drama starring the two of us and our poor nervous dog.

Amy Sutherland is the author of “Kicked, Bitten and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers” (Viking, June 2006). She lives in Boston and in Portland, Me.


3 thoughts on “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage – by Amy Sutherland, New York Times

  1. While I do not believe that the behavior change tactics described in the following article are the be all and end all of how to make a committed relationship work, they certainly are one very well-proven and valuable modus operandi that will be enormously helpful in dealing with the majority of vexing behaviors of our mates. 

    Indeed, the truth inherent in the article–that we are in fact animals, and that men are very different animals than women animals, is why couplewise.com has the “Make Agreements” tool.  One of the insights and tactics this article misses, however, that is also key to having a successful committed relationship is what we will be discussing in the next article by Dan Wile on the importance of what John Gottman calls “bids.”  

    So we hope you’ll subscribe to our blog, so as not to miss that one, and the many other great ones to follow. It promises to be one of our best.  Gottman calls Dan a genius and the best couple therapist in America.

    Gary Krane PhD, CEO/Co-Founder

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