Marriage Confidential - Pamela Haag
With bracing candor, Marriage Confidential take us inside a world where romantic ideas have given way to a “post-romantic” mood and a fair number of marriages end up “semi-happy.” It’s a world where the husbands of “workhorse wives” pursue the Having It All dream that married women have abandoned; where children have migrated from the children’s table to the centerpiece; and where technology, demography, and economy place unprecedented stresses on marital fidelity. Among other examples of marriage trailblazers, Haag even presents a case for how updated ideas of non-monogamy might be an option for the future.
Uniquely weaving together cultural commentary, memoir, storytelling, history, and research, Marriage Confidential gives us a riveting glimpse of what the future of marriage might look like.
Just within the introduction I found myself nodding my head fully agreeing and feeling like FINALLY. Finally someone really gets it. The author talks about how a lot marriages become "melancholy" where it isn't bad, but something feels missing leading you to constantly ask yourself, "Is this it?". She talks about how this is really hitting home for the couples who are seemingly living the American Dream- we have homes, we have careers, we have families, we have a spouse, we have everything people hope for in their lives and yet... it's not enough. But why is it not enough? I have had several conversations with friends who are in the same boat and we all wonder why marriages now don't last like our parents or even grandparent's marriages did. The book talks about how back then, marriage was where people start their lives. They got married and then built their lives together. Now, people are getting married after they've gone to school, started a career, maybe you already have a home, or even children. It makes total sense. If we already have all of these things when we enter into marriage, what is there left to build?
I also found it interesting that the notion that feminism really screwed us in the end was made. I mean, feminists started with good intentions seeking equality but when they start waving the "We can have it all" flag meaning a home, family, and career they kind of doomed us into unhappiness. Think of every mom you know that works full time and yet is still the main caretaker of the family: how happy are they? Eventually a person is going to burn out. But then think of the stay at home moms you know: how happy are they? They've lost a certain level of independence and freedom as they stay home to care for the children. Either option you look at has pros and cons.
I really enjoyed this book and swallowed it up quickly and really covers a LOT of information. I feel like if people who are married read this book and really fully understood that no matter WHO you marry, you'll end up here. Really, the grass might be greener somewhere else but eventually weeds creep in. You just have to be on top of them and cultivate your marriage. Marriage is hard ass work and it never ends. We talk about how you parent your children forever, well you have to put just as much effort into your marriage. If your partner doesn't want to work as hard as you, make them. Inspire them to want it just as much as you do. It's really a fascinating read and absolutely genius.