We’re on the cusp of a new year — are you making resolutions? How about being resolving to be happier in your marriage?
Comedic author Jenna McCarthy (If It Was Easy They’d Call the Whole Damn Thing a Honeymoon: Living With and Loving the TV-Addicted, Sex-Obsessed, Not-So-Handy Man You Married) gives a TED talk that looks at marital studies (although some of these studies are questionable, such as the study that says married people are happier. Actually marriage does not “make” people happy; happy people tend to marry).
If you follow this advice, will you be able to live “happily ever after”? I’m not sure, but it’s clear at the end of the talk that McCarthy hopes so — to her, marriage is an institution “worth pursuing and protecting.”
Hmm — what are we “protecting” traditional marriage from?
As one viewer wrote, her talk is “a bit misguided and an ancient view of what marriage is/should be.”
We think so, too. And the promotion of “traditional” marriage will continue to make people unhappy, first because there is no such thing as “traditional” marriage — marriage has been changing since humans created the concept — and second because the model doesn’t work for about half of us, probably more as many people stay married in name only just to get health benefits, etc.
Susan Pease Gadoua and I believe society’s ready to tweak marriage. It already is to a certain extent — just look at the many people who are multiple marriers, who have an open marriage, who live apart, who are co-parenting with people they don’t love. Marrying “until death do us part” is not necessarily the sign of successful marriage. We need to stop clinging to that model.
What do you think?
Help us; please take our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JTLHCDP
And stay tuned next fall for the publication of The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Cynics, Commitaphobes and Connubial DIYers. Then we’ll really start seeing happy marriages!
Happy New Year!