Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

One of these days, I will write about something other than marriage. I will wax eloquent about DC traffic and church politics and the joys of a large bowl of ice cream paired with a fashion show. But for now, this dominates my thoughts.

I have 5 sets of friends who got married this past weekend. The weddings were all glorious – beautiful, celebratory, filled with the gospel. The bride and groom glowed and the parents cried and there was much laughter. I rejoice with these couples; with the newness of life and the promises made. I gladly stand alongside friends and take their vows along with them, acknowledging that now, more than ever, marriage requires community support. Which is why this article stirs up some of the deepest anger and sadness within me.

There are numerous points of the article that upset me, but mostly it’s the attitude that the author takes to marriage. She concludes the memoir by saying:

In any case, here’s my final piece of advice: avoid marriage—or you too may suffer the emotional pain, the humiliation, and the logistical difficulty, not to mention the expense, of breaking up a long-term union at midlife for something as demonstrably fleeting as love.”

I have a variety of thoughts on the article, but I would love to hear yours. Please read the article and let me know your reactions.

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6 thoughts on “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

  1. Kristen – The author of this article struck me as a jaded and bitter person who has decided not to work on her marriage any longer – and then draws the conclusion that neither should anybody else. She seems very angry with men – for example using terms such as ‘kitchen-bitches’ seems a bit extreme.
    I have only been married for 12 years (not 20 like the author) – some wonderful, some challenging, but I find that any work I put in to keeping my husband and home happy – and therefore myself happy – are hugely rewarding. I love our ‘dates’ which are usually squeezed in at lunch times, because we have young children and work commitments. I love the warmth of our partnership that extends across all areas of our lives together. I love that our children take it for granted that mum and dad love each other and them and that everything is okay.
    Having said that, I am not opposed to divorce and separation under circumstances that lead to a destructive relationship that cannot be mended. But I would never tell anybody to avoid marriage.
    I do agree with the notion in the article that marriage and relationships have evolved over time, due partly to women taking greater roles outside the home. But I also think that men and women have evolved socially as well, to accept these changes and work with them.
    From personal experience, I recommend marriage very highly. It is never fairy tale perfect, but has to be worked at everyday, by both partners, just like any other part of life. As somebody else said, being married means that I get to play with my best friend everyday!

  2. My reaction is that I’m a little upset that you asked me to read this. I suppose you’ll have to be present at my wedding when I dredge all this information up in a storm of jitters and remind me that it’s patently untrue and to remember the Dan Seaborn “plus Jesus = making it” bit. K?

  3. Wow, is she bitter much? And lest we forget, it seems that her extramarital affair brought this all upon herself.

    She also seems to be part of the ‘me’ generation of folks more interested in looking out for Number One than putting their own needs aside for the children’s. Do people not understand that this is what happens when you have kids? That they become the more important thing than you?

    It’s all gone wonky somewhere….and this contributes to the wonkiness.

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