Tolerance and Marriage

Yesterday the BBC reported that researchers at Bath University had shown that relationships in which a man married a smarter younger woman ( at least five years younger) the relationship was less likely to end up in a break up.

As a result we are presented with a pull quote from one of the readers who comments on this:

Not so long ago the husband had to be older than his wife in
order to be able to support a family, but such criteria are not so relevant now women have been educated to be able to command good jobs, so I suggest the basis for a successful marriage should be tolerance – Ms
Monahan Bristol.

Have mercy, tolerance.

Is that what we have come to? Tolerance as the basis for a succesful marriage/relationship?
I know I am incredibly ambitious at times, and perhaps when I am 87 and still haven’t found The One and I have a desperate moment; I might settle for tolerance (as long as he keeps his teeth clean) on a wild trip in Vegas. But until then, can we all just make ourselves a promise that tolerance is not even a factor to get married in the first place?

Surely you tolerate your in-laws, you tolerate neighbours and you might even tolerate some colleagues. But please – if and when deciding to share your life with someone else, can we all agree to at least make a slight effort to find someone who we love, admire and respect?
If we don’t tick at least two of the three boxes ( I accept that even the love-thing can wear thin after a decade and a half – or does it really?) perhaps we might consider the marriage/ relationship not that succesful? Never settle for less: life is too short to iron or to be unhappy (which is practically the same).

Perhaps it sounds horrendeously naive and old-fashioned but the idea that someone might actually settle for tolerance when presented with this situation, is just too much to bear!

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