Couples Fight Over the Green

Arguments over money? That’s yesterday’s news. Eco-conflict is the marital issue du jour.

What happens when one half of a couple becomes passionate about living sustainably, while the other remains indifferent? It’s a problem that’s becoming more common, as eco-awareness grows and more people shift toward greener lifestyles. <!–more–> And now therapists report that conflict over green morals is an emerging issue in marriages across the country, according to the NY Times.

Shelley Cobb planted a permaculture garden. Her husband says she's in her "high priestess phase" of environmentalism. Photo via nytimes.com by Ann Johansson

Shelley Cobb planted a permaculture garden. Her husband says she’s in her “high priestess phase” of environmentalism. Photo via nytimes.com by Ann Johansson

“As the focus on climate increases in the public’s mind, it can’t help but be a part of people’s planning about the future,” said Thomas Joseph Doherty, a clinical psychologist in Portland, Ore., who has a practice that focuses on environmental issues. “It touches every part of how they live: what they eat, whether they want to fly, what kind of vacation they want.”One particularly interesting part of the article focuses on how men prefer to make large impact and aren’t interested in smaller-impact actions, causing conflict in the home over things like recycling and water use. This is a phenomenon I’ve observed in my own marriage and in friend’s homes. It seems as though many women are happy to make many small changes in the home, while their boyfriends and husbands are fairly indifferent until talk turns to big changes like solar energy upgrades and fuel-efficient cars.So if men are from Mars and women are from Venus, is this what happens when we all try to save the Earth? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)Read the full article on NYTimes.com >>

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One Comment

  1. I really appreciated this article- read the full version. I’m working on my second edition of a Wedding Guide and am including a section on being eco-friendly in the planning. The words of caution about the effects of pushing each other fit my focus…planning a wedding as a couple with respect and specific ways to overcome obstacles tostrengthen the relationship. Thanks for including this article on your site!

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