August 9, 2005Aside

The Marriage Game

Does this sound familiar?

This is an archived blog post from The Acorn.

Here’s something from Michael Higgins that should enlighten your day. Surely, prisoner’s dilemma can be appropriately used to model marriage, not least because we have always been warned that it is not just a word, but a sentence.

Marriage can be like this. In the beginning, the husband and the wife cooperate naturally. But then, once in a while, one or the other does something selfish. Maybe it is minor, like leaving socks on the floor or forgetting to make the bed. At first the spouse might be forgiving, but then over time the instinct to “punish” the spouse becomes overwhelming. The aggrieved spouse might yell, or might give the dreaded “silent treatment”.

My wife views this blog as a sort of “defection”. It only benefits me, (she never reads it), and it represents time that could have been spent doing things that my whole family could enjoy instead of just me. Now, my wife does not mean that I must do everything for the good of the entire family, but in the margin, an extra hour of blogging is an hour lost to family activities: gardening, home improvement, family fun…

The bottom line: either I find a really good reason for my wife to like my blog or I will have to drastically reduce my blogging. Maybe I can work out some kind of deal with her: I do X, Y, and Z and she’s let me spend 10 hours a week blogging. Or maybe I can figure out some plausible way that one could get rich blogging, (seriously, someone will figure it out).

In any case, I don’t dare let her think that I am playing “defect” in the hopes that she will give up and let me do as I please. Some couples start the “defect, defect” option and never stop. It happens all the time. I must cooperate. [Chocolates and Gold Coins]

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