OK. You've been in marriage counseling and you tell him that he's micro-managing you too much, he's fooling around too much, he's not listening enough and the therapist agrees that he has to do some homework to make the marriage better.
But you get home and what does he do? He plops down on the couch, remote in hand, and watches TV while you cook, clean and take care of the kids.
He even criticizes the way you do all that you do.
Well, one researcher has come up with a novel explanation. Maybe that lug of a husband just has the lazy gene.
J. Timothy Lightfoot, a kinesiologist, and his team at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, have discovered that genetics may predispose some people to laziness.
His research was on mice — not men — but still, the team thinks there are connections to the human species.
They wondered why more people aren't prone to physical activity when everyone knows its benefits for health and happiness, including marital happiness.
“We have put forward a fairly complete genomic map of the areas that are associated with regulation of physical activity,” says Lightfoot, whose study was published in the current issue of “The Journal of Heredity.”
The researchers calculated that heredity accounted for about 50 percent of the differences in activity.
But here's the kicker.
It wasn't as though the less active mice couldn't work.
While the exercise wheels of the activity-prone mice would turn all night, some of the sedentary mice devised ingenious ways to avoid activity. One stuffed wood shavings around the wheel and turned it into a bed. One used it as a place to relieve himself.
“When we used to talk about activity, it was whether or not people decided to be active,” says Lightfoot. “Now it's clear that there's an inherent drive as to whether one is active or not active.”
Lightfoot added that chemistry is not destiny. By identifying the biochemical circuitry and maybe finding a drug to cure it, this predisposition could be overcome.
To try or not to try is a key to any success.
Many marriage therapists privately admit that counseling isn’t effective unless both people work at it. Often women will be the ones doing the heavy lifting in trying to keep their marriages together.
A guy changes a diaper and expects applause while the woman has already done it five times a day without any fanfare at all.
A woman will try to have a date with her mate by suggesting a walk and he wants to watch a ballgame.
Or he buys her a drill for her birthday instead of making the effort to go to a store and find a dress she would like.
In most cases, the woman will become infuriated.
Now he can use this excuse. “It's not personal sweetheart. I just have the lazy gene and as of now, there is no cure.”
Except, of course, divorce.