Today in relationship advice from the animal kingdom: how to have a happy marriage by loving your partners like you love your pets: stupidly.
This advice comes via the Well Blog of the Times, a paper long enamored of stories that compare spouses to animals. Who can forget the famous/infamous "What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage," in which Amy Sutherland learned to manage "the American husband" using techniques borrowed from "exotic animal trainers" (Shamu apparently also taught her how to get a book deal)? Now Well's Tara Parker-Pope quotes psychologist Suzanne Phillips, who thinks couples can learn from less exotic beasts as well. Phillips writes that while we often think of pets as "undemanding" or providing "unconditional love," actually "most pets are loved in a way that makes us minimize or even deny the reality that they definitely have demands we simply accept." Translation: most pets are assholes, but we love them anyway, and maybe we should do the same in human relationships.