Economics is the study of how we produce (make), consume (use), and transfer (give to someone else) various kinds of goods (physical things) and services (actions). In recent years, there have been several books in which economists use the methods of economic analysis to explain the way society (our culture or social structure) works.  The best known of these was the 2005 book, Freakonomics, which tried to explain different aspects of modern culture and living using economics.  (A freak is a strange or unusual person, and the term (word) is usually considered an insult).  Of course, “freakonomics” isn’t a real word in English; it is a new word created from “freak” and “economics.”

Now we have a new book in this same spirit (using this same idea or same approach) called Spousonomics, which tries to understand married people and their relationships through economic analysis. (Your spouse is the person you are married to.) Part of the book includes the results of a national poll (survey; questionnaire) of married couples and their opinions on various topics. Here are some of the results:

  • 36% said that having children has brought them closer together, while 7% said it has driven them apart (separated them more).
  • 45% agreed with the statement, “There are a few things [about my spouse ] I used to find appealing (attractive; making me like someone more) and now I don’t.”
  • 56% said they had gained weight (got fatter) since getting married; 62% said that their spouse had gained weight.
  • 57% said that a typical (normal) argument lasts 15 minutes or less; 4% said it lasts more than a day.
  • 77% said that the amount of sex they have has diminished (become less and less) as they get older; 76% wish that it would not diminish.
  • 35% said that they watch (pay attention to) their spouse’s spending, while 40% said that they don’t watch it.
  • 58% had “full confidence” (were very sure) that their spouse would not cheat on them (not have a sexual relationship with someone else).

If you are married, you might want to compare your answers with what U.S. couples reported (said).  My answers are (in order): Not applicable (I can’t answer since I don’t have children), disagree, I’ve gained weight and my wife has lost weight, two hours, none of your business (you have no right to know), never, full confidence.

Finally, my favorite result: 55% said that marriage is more work than they expected before getting married. In other words (to say the same thing another way), 45% of the people were lying.


Photo Credit: Anillos (Rings) by Musoromana, Wikipedia CC

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19 Responses to Spousonomics

  1. Daniel says:

    Just got divorced…

  2. emiliano says:

    Of course nearly the half are lying, but who knows?
    Having children more problems.
    Not me at this moment (more or less same weight than when we married) and she just a little only, but for long
    she has been always slender despite the daughters so graceful and delicate that was incredible nice for me.
    It depends (from minutes to hours) but never more than a day.
    Disagree, and of course it´s not of your concern.
    Absolutely ever full confidence.

    Good, very good indeed Jeff.
    It seems to me that I could be the longest married of the Blog?
    Yes, I think so.


  3. Peter says:

    Sorry pal,
    I have not become an oafish yet,:))) still single
    So ,it does not concern me
    It is not within my domain:)

  4. sara says:

    Thanks Dearest Dr.Jeff.
    I hadn’t heard of this aspect of economics before.I will search to know more about them.

  5. Ziba says:

    Hi Jeff
    The text is very interesting and the analysis is great. I experienced some of them.
    But I can’t tell something about it, because unfortunately I’m divorced.
    Thank u for good new words Jeff,

  6. Roberto says:

    Hello Jeff, is always a pleasure read your text. I’m sure that ESLPOD is the most useful site to learn English as well to be in touch with good issues.
    Well, I’m married and I suppose that each couple is different. I mean, most of the answers could be the same as mine. But I believe that being married is can be extremelly good/bad even if you have been gaining weight or other things. I don’t agree with this study. In my opinion each person is unique and happiness can be a diffrent feeling for each one. However I appreciate this kind of topic.

    From Brazil, a person who really appreciate your job.

    Roberto Geronimo

  7. Tania says:

    Hi! By curiosity I have read the summary of the book mentioned by you “The Narcissism Epidemic Living in the Age of Entitlement”. Publish Date: April 2009. Another new book…
    We use the same words : “narcisist” and “narcisism”. And everyone of us has a little of narcissism.
    But the narcissism an epidemic, a new plague in our society? In my opinion it’s too much to call it an epidemic.
    If you have got great realizations in your personal life or in your professional life, you are very rich, you are very good in a certain field of activity…of course you start thinking that you are special, unique,
    and entitled to better treatment than others.
    I think everyone would like to associate only with important people, want to have the best and newest of everything.
    And every parent thinks about his own child : I didn’t have the chance…but at least my child would be a special person.
    Are we all narcissistics?

    All the best for you all,


  8. Tania says:

    Hi! This is one of the way of the progress.

  9. Tania says:

    Hi! Yes, I agree with the idea “there is no absolute point where someone crosses the line from normal to narcissistic”.

  10. Tania says:

    Hi! I have not read the book, so my opinion has no value. It is not reliable.

  11. Tania says:

    Hi! I have listened to the English Cafe 76 about scientology (we have adopted the same term) especially because Tom Cruise is linked, associate with this new religion.
    From our newspapers I have understood he has had problems in Germany with his belief.
    Maybe it is interesting this self-help philosophy though it is weird.
    Everyone with his faith.

  12. Tania says:

    Hi! “Oh! Susanna” and “Oh My Darling, Clementine” are our first American tunes which we learn them in school.
    In this way the English lessons become more attractive. I like them very much.
    I have sung “Oh My Darling, Clementine” for many times.
    Now I can realize that I have not known the meaning of the line “Dwelt a miner, forty niner” and nor the last verse with “kissed her little sister”.
    Awful! The last verse seems to be an example of “loyalty – the vexing virtue”.
    Maybe if I knew the last verse I would not love the song so much.
    A bitter taste , but thank you for all literature notions.

  13. Tania says:

    Hi! We import clementines. I prefer them instead of others citric fruits. They are very good, indeed.

  14. Tania says:

    Hi! We have a show “Romanian’s Got Talent” on TV similar with those from another countries.
    The winner is a young boy , the MC-ing with Hip Hop music.
    Thank you for the English Cafe 224 on Hip Hop Culture.

  15. Peter says:

    Nice article,
    If you think about it ,you have a monopoly going on here
    Y never get to worry about a churn rate or something to that effect:))))
    U r one of the kind

  16. Peter says:

    You know what guys,
    We are all have this privilege ,this perk if you will to be a part of this huge jump start to a new realm of linguistic (I mean Eslpod set forth by Jeff)
    In simple words
    We are all beneficiary here.
    But ,now that I m thinking about it. There are still tons of interesting ,funny ,ridiculously common terms out there that Jeff has not touched them yet.
    And the same amount of terms that are form uncharted English land, like :in the offing (not likely to happen soon). Barely use. Yet ,exist!!!
    However,the good news is: we can have the honour of having Eslpod around for another 5 Years.
    It even could be a perpeptual thing,since it is the conventional wisdom that English Language is an coastless ocean. No one has seen the shoreline of this vast language.
    However,it is not the point I m trying to reach here. The point i m intending to make is: if we pony up a bit we may able to see the shoreline,as long as we have Jeff as the captain of Eslpod vessel.
    Dude,we need a boost jump. You bring the boost cable(financial aid) and Jeff will jump it past the shoreline.the land no one ever footstep on it.
    Jeff how do You like the analogy
    English is my thing ,isn’t it?
    Please ,
    You gotta give me that
    But,I gotta hand it to you pall. If it is the case ,the case is done through your amazingly, well directed program known as ESLPOD.
    You are my God Jeff
    Sooner or later I will come visit the place where amazing Jeff lives and the studio all these from-beyond lessons emitted.although,I have thought if you are a human or some ultra advance humanoid machine from some ultra advance planet with an ulterior mission :)))))))

    Till then,fate well my friend:)))

  17. Peter says:

    Sorry for the long-winded comment

  18. Tania says:

    Hi! I have just seen Woody Allen at the Cannes Festival 2011.

  19. Tania says:

    Hi! Thanks to your information about the Craiglist on Internet I was able to understand how a criminal chose his victims. A real case.

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