The Most Memorable Passage in The Nurture Assumption
By Bryan Caplan
If you haven’t read The Nurture Assumption by Judith Harris, you simply must. Years later, this paragraph is still with me:
People sometimes ask me, “So you mean it doesn’t matter how I treat my child?” They never ask, “So you mean it doesn’t matter how I treat my husband or wife?” and yet the situation is similar. I don’t expect that the way I acted toward my husband is going to determine what kind of person he will be ten or twenty years from now. I do expect, however, that it will affect how happy he is to live with me and whether we will still be good friends in ten or twenty years.
You could easily add that a great way to alienate your spouse is to try to change him. How’s that for an example of unintended consequences?