Birth Order and Marriage

A place for discussions surrounding marriage. Marrieds and singles welcome.

Birth Order and Marriage

Postby sketcher » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:51 am

For those of you who are married, were you the oldest, middle, or youngest growing up? And what about your spouse? Do you agree with what birth order says about people's personalities and how it plays into their marital relationships, or is it all a bunch of hooey in your case? To give you a frame of reference:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ful ... -means-you

http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2009/12/02/ ... -marriage/

Personally, even though it really fails to truly prove anything, I've been a believer in birth order since I learned about it in high school. Simply because I saw the "oldest" tendencies in myself, and the "youngest" tendencies in people whom I saw were younger siblings. As a result, I wrote off girls instantly whom I knew were also the oldest siblings, since I didn't want a power struggle that would fuel fighting - especially since I know that there's only room for one of me under the same roof. Now, I have softened my approach with people over the last couple of years, though it would be naive of me to think that this whole side of me has truly gone away. But what really brings me to this question is that currently, the women at church whom I believe are the "low hanging fruit" for me mostly are made up of firstborns. I guess I'm really asking whether my giving them a chance now will end up giving me regrets later.
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Re: Birth Order and Marriage

Postby little_tigress » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:04 am

Not married, but I do find this concept rather interesting. I don`t personally put too much stock in the idea. Generalities may be correct, because they`re... well... general theories. But it doesn`t take into account the individual who may break free of the presupposed mold.

Me, for example. I am the youngest child in my family. Heck, I`m the baby of all my cousins by a wide margin, so on paper you`d expect me to be the stereotypical pampered last child described in those articles. And yet in my family, the role I played growing up was more akin to being the eldest. I was very much the "older sister" to my big brother most of our lives. So where does that put me? As youngest born, according to those articles, I should marry an only child. But psychologically I have always been the "older sibling" so does that mean I`d be better off with someone else who was born last in their family? or a middle child?

I don`t think it really matters. I`ll end up with someone who is a good match for me regardless of what their birth order may be.

Aaaand now I`ll stpe aside and let the marrieds who might have a better idea of what they`re talking about than me answer :D
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Re: Birth Order and Marriage

Postby sketcher » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:18 am

The cycle also starts over after a certain number of years/kids, though. IIRC it's every 5 years or 4th child.
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Re: Birth Order and Marriage

Postby Wren » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:44 pm

Blind Post-

WrenHubby is the baby of the family (and only boy). I am a middle child (second and last girl). I'm not sure how accurate the links will be for us, or at least WrenHubby, because it's Western focused and my husband is Chinese. The Chinese have very different standards and expectations of behavior than Westerners. Well, they don't list my marriage as best or worst, so I guess that's good. I do think there may be some truth there. My husband is not bossy/domineering and is very big on discussing things. I don't think that would necessarily be the case with a first born. And one of the articles said that my being a middle child makes me 'sensitive to unfairness and injustice'. That's true generally and within relationships, so the fact that my husband likes to discuss things and includes me in on decisions is great.

It's funny because in previous relationships, I got along much better with firstborns than the youngest guys. The firstborns seemed more mature and treated me as an equal. The youngest seemed to be a little more immature and there were more communication issues. So, the article saying first and middles are a bad match wasn't true for me. My husband, though is not one of the youngest that fits that pattern. He's got some of the good things from his Chinese upbringing, but he has the playfulness and fairness that comes with being the youngest because he was a little pampered by being the only boy in the family. His sisters did all of the chores and he was a little pampered. But being Chinese still meant he couldn't be a slacker or be immature. So, I got the best deal, I think. :D (Not sure if he did, though. :P)

I'm kind of a typical middle child and that means being diplomatic or peace-seeking. I think that's good in a marriage. Compromise, forgiveness, and accepting less than perfection is good in a marriage and middles are good with those things generally. That need for fairness might makes things more difficult, but WrenHubby likes things to be fair and discussed, too, so it all works out well for us.

I'm not sure how much birth order really matters, when other factors also play in. Though I don't like to dismiss personality things and won't with this. I'm sure it does play a part in relationships.
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Re: Birth Order and Marriage

Postby Edwards1984 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 3:10 pm

The description of the oldest, middle, and youngest children in the first link did sound like myself and my two younger sisters (though I don't think my first sister ever felt "jealous" or "deprived" of youngest status). However, I don't know if birth order has too much effect on compatibility: Mary is the youngest in her family, but I get along with her a lot more than I do my youngest sister. I'm sure there are plenty of other factors, some of which may stem from the birth order but not dependent upon it.
"And how the Lord has a little left me, how weak do I find myself! O, let it teach me to depend less on myself, to be more humble, and to give more of the praise of my ability to Jesus Christ." Jonathan Edwards (from his journal)
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Re: Birth Order and Marriage

Postby mina » Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:44 pm

I'm a last born and my husband is an only. I've never felt that I fit the youngest birth order mantra; in many ways I felt like an only b/c I was growing up at home by myself from like age 10 and up. I'm sure birthorder can affect marriage just like it can affect every relationship you have. Like anything, you have to have self awareness so if there are negative traits that come through birthorder or whatever you can choose to not fall in those habits. So you married someone that some study says that your birthorders are a recipe for disaster or doom..... I think you can choose to love and work through things even ingrained personality traits, if both parties are willing to work at it. You learn to work together in marriage no matter your birth order, personality, Briggs Myers outcome, whatever,..... I wouldn't base initial dating or pursuing based on birth order. I don't think there is an exact preventative formula for creating a perfect trouble free marriage or relationship.
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Re: Birth Order and Marriage

Postby Marycita » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:02 am

Well, Tony definitely is the leader type, but that may be because he's a true man, not just birth order. And I definitely am very much a youngest child in ways. But I wouldn't say even one of the reasons our marriage works is a parental thing like that one article mentioned! Yikes!
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Re: Birth Order and Marriage

Postby Miles » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:54 am

Not that I'm married, but character and personality are far more important to me than order of birth. Although there may be slight statistical trends, birth order hasn't made a noticeable difference in my friendships or relationships.
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Re: Birth Order and Marriage

Postby Beauty4Ashes » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:50 am

My husband is the youngest of 3. He has 2 older sisters. I am right in the middle between twin brothers who are older and a younger brother. However when you add in my 3 half siblings, I would be more like second youngest. It was very hard for me to grow up as a middle child especially as the only girl as I mainly lived with my brothers. I was treated very poorly by my mother and older twin brothers. I was blamed for everything and verbally abused constantly and never got the privelages the older and younger got. I do feel I have a lot of compassion for people maybe from my experiences and I get along well with men. My husband was often treated like the annoying little brother by his older sisters who were quite a bit older than him. But I think he is pretty caring and understanding I'm not sure how much that has to do with being the youngest and more to do with him having an amazing mother. But we fit together well regardless.
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