Blog #46: Models for Marriage

 Granted, no two marriages (straight or gay) are exactly the same. However, researchers at Austin Peay University have come up with some interesting patterns that we can all recognize. Let us take a look at them, along with their Greek names, one at a time.

  1. STORGE (Friendship)- Here, the couple may be sexual lovers, but they look upon their relationship as being primarily one of friendship. Even if, for some reason, sex were not possible, the two would not skip a beat in their relationship. Their partner is their best friend.
  2. AGAPE (Giving)- This type of relationship is founded on “God”. Each serves the other; each sees “God” in one another. There is relatively little conflict in such relationships.
  3. MANIA (Possessive)- One or both parties look upon each other as their property The two spend lots of time together and frequently resent their mate having other relationships, even with members of the same sex. A man may be upset that someone looks flirtatiously at his spouse in the mall. A woman may have sleepless nights because her husband has a female business partner.
  4. PRAGMA (Shopping List)- With a typically American pragmatic approach, a partner is chosen because they measure up to a shopping list of desired qualities. Forget Cupid. Here, one is looking not for romance, but for compatibility. This approach is dramatized by the phenomenon of dating services. A couple is often matched by a computer because each has certain common goals.

5.LUDUS (Game Playing)- Commitment is the issue here. Late to marry, each is dedicated to playing the game of love. Open marriages may be a possibility, as would be “swinging.”

  1. EROS (Ideal Type)- Each is not really committed to a person, but to an ideal. Sex drives this sort of relationship. Such relationships can be very powerful for as long as they last. But what happens to each as they age? Because the body is no longer the same, is the relationship over? It is with some people. Trophy Wives would be a perfect example.

 The survey also revealed some other interesting conclusions. A woman’s happiness seemed to have relatively little to do with the man she married, unless he was abusive in some way. Men, however, were most happy being married to the agape women, while, surprise, surprise, the mania types gave them the most aggravation. Agape– type women were, incidentally, the happiest themselves.

 Also, demonstrating that Allah is indeed merciful, mania, ludus, and eros types were often attracted to one another and were generally as happy as clams. Until they were not.


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4 responses to “Blog #46: Models for Marriage

  1. Can’t really tell my own experience. Are there more types or do I have to choose in between some?


    • Excellent point, Georg, no two marriages are the same. Truly. The models listed were meant to give a general idea of major ways that some people consider the main purpose of being together. Tom


  2. Very interesting topic – but I would like to offer for consideration another type of marriage (not surprised a University would not list it….as we move toward the esoteric, toward fifth chakra consciousness, the path is narrow and steep, and few are the fellow travelers…..)

    The type of marriage not listed is the marriage with God. Ram Dass describes this well in his book “Grist for the Mill”

    “The reason we form a conscious marriage on the physical plane with a partner is in order to do the work of coming to God together. That is the only reason for marriage when one is conscious. If we marry for economics, if we marry for passion, if we marry for romantic love, if we marry for convenience, if we marry for sexual gratification, it will pass and there will be suffering. The only marriage contract that works is what the original contract was-we enter into this contract in order to come to God, together. That’s what a conscious marriage is about. In fact, that is what everything we’re doing is about. When we’re ready, we flip the figure and background, and what was figure becomes background and what was background becomes figure.”

    My only addition to the above, is that it is not so much a “coming to God” – as there is no “coming to” – we are already there, God is already here. The spark of the Divine lives within each and everyone of us – so it is not so much a “coming to” as an “opening” to – becoming aware of our true nature. There is no where to go – we are already here!


    thank you Tom – for your articles and that spark my mind and my passion on this path!


  3. First of all, great comments. Ram Dass says that “the only marriage that works”, etc. is when people come to God together. I agree that those marriages are the best ones, but do we not know of many other marriages that “work” that are far from that model? A marriage that is a true “sacrament” (a making holy or revealing the holy) is a truly wonderful thing, but, at this stage of evolution, it is, from my experience, a very, very rare thing indeed. May such unions more quickly become, at least, our ideal!


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