The Best Article On Marriage Ever, From The Times

I’m not sold on this whole marriage idea, but I could see myself getting married if I ever decide to shed my pimp status. I guess. Anyway, I found this awesome article in the New York Times about a 30-something couple in California who go to marriage counseling and embark on the project of improving their relationship. It’s the best damn article on marriage I’ve ever read. The author is Elizabeth Weil and the insight she gives kicks ass. Fair warning, though, it’s a magnum opus…plan to spend 20′ or so reading all 10+ pages. Fortunately, Weil’s writing is super slick so you’ll enjoy the ride. Honey, you’ll want to bookmark this one since you’re the marrying type.

This article is called Married (Happily) With Issues.


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  • dadshouse

    Wait, we don’t get a thumbnail summary of this magnum opus? I just read the first paragraph – she doesn’t like French kissing. Hmm…. I will say, in my own experience as a married and now divorced man, marriage counseling doesn’t work to solve problems. It can help a couple communicate better. So if your marriage is just a little off, maybe it would help. If your marriage is on the rocks and you hate each other – forget it. You’re better off getting individual therapy, working on your own issues, being happy with who you are as a person, not defined by someone else. THEN come back to your relationship and see if it still works for both of you.
    .-= dadshouse´s last blog …Tiger and Elin – Can Marriage Survive an Affair? =-.

  • Honey

    These people are a little crazy (but then, aren’t we all) – she hates kissing and also doesn’t seem to really like sex (even when she thinks it’s good sex), and he is super jealous of her time (both now and the time before she met him). Also, they are both freelance writers so they’re together basically 24 hours a day because they work from home.

    I didn’t especially care for her voice and couldn’t relate to much of what she said. Jake and I talk all the time about what we want our relationship to be like (how we treat each other) and what we want our life to be like (i.e., long term plans about where we want to live and how we want to spend our time).

    But then, they have two kids and that seems to be both the biggest bone of contention between them when they disagree, and the biggest reason that although they spend a lot of time together, not much of it is quality time. This doesn’t surprise me, though – it’s why Jake and I don’t want kids.
    .-= Honey´s last blog …The Best Article On Marriage Ever, From The Times =-.

  • Offwinger

    I kept clicking the link for that article over the past week and then by the next time I was shutting down my laptop (to go to work, to come home, etc.), I still hadn’t read it.

    I finally slogged through it, just because it stayed so high on the NY Times most read list & I saw it blogged in a number of places.

    I thought her efforts to work on the marriage were superficial, and the conclusion obvious (people who prefer to not dig up complicated, unresolved issues do better when they don’t dig up said issues). It seemed like she was interested in ticking things off her checklist in “Steps to Improve My Marriage,” rather than doing any work to make a difference. She rushed through all sorts of methods and categories for improvement, without giving much of anything a chance.

    And by unwilling to work, I mean having any willingness to fundamentally change her more problematic interactions with her husband. She reminded me a lot of one of those people who thinks they are “keeping it real” and “just being themselves” as an excuse to be mean and snotty. The fact that she seems self-aware in the article that she was, in fact, acting mean, snotting and petty (not that her husband didn’t do the same sometimes too), did not seem to spur any desire to change. There was no “Aha, maybe I should be less snotty and mean!” moment. My take-away is that she and her husband may love each other, but they don’t seem to even like each other very much.

    As for marriage counseling, I agree with what David said about its utility. If you’re capable of communicating with each other, and what you’re both saying is, “I don’t like spending time with you, I don’t enjoy your company” then you don’t need counseling. You need to separate.

  • Jake

    Really good article. Talk about a lot of thinking, taking a step back and looking at your marriage from that perspective. The author relates to most of us going through the every day mundane activities as well as life’s ups and downs. Honestly, she wrote it like she felt and you can see that…and it is in many ways comical. I really do believe there could be a romantic comedy movie generated from this article. I think most of us who read the article can in at least some ways identify with what she observed and can look back and hopefully at least, chuckle a bit. A top-notch article that was thought-out and well read…how about, “An Article For The Ages”.