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Marriage Confidential

The Post-Romantic Age of Workhouse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting the Rules

Pamela Haag

Constant 'Is this as good as it's ever going to get?' 'Am I only staying because I lack the courage to divorce?'

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Spouses who are sad more than miserable, disappointed more than chronically unhappy."I'm happy , but .... followed by a long list of fairly serious shortcomings - not just leaving the toilet seat up stuff, but withered passion or total lack of communication. These are 'low stress-low conflict' moderately unhappy marriages.

Stephanie Coontz Marriage: A History. From the nineteenth century marriage changed from a sturdy social institution, a duty and an obligation, to a twentieth century bond based on great expectations of love and intimacy. But in the twenty-first century its changing again, and we're not sure where it's going.

Lori Gottlieb Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough reckoned woman should overlook minor flaws in a partner and embrace the larger comforts of marriage. Memorably she advised that all men want is sex and someone to make them a sandwich.

No longer need marriage to get sex, children or a social life. But marriage now seemed to be lots of dissatisfaction and complaints, but no remedies.

Women have finally figured out that they can't have it all - can't have the career, the travel, the friendships, the time alone, and a family as well.

Lawrence Summers, one time Harvard president, "sizzling on the third rail" of feminist politics when made a clumsy comment about difference between male and female brains.

Woman had childbirth epiphany when doctor said "You know, you don't get a medal for doing it without medication."

Guys who set up man caves for themselves and mates upset some women. Call them 'child men' who aren't committed to taking marriage seriously. But alternative suggestion that in fact these are guys who play by all the rules - faithful and responsible.

Infidelity - seems to becoming more tolerated, but no-one is sure why. Is it because marriage is so solid that a bit on the side is no threat, or is it that marriage is so superficial that nothing is really at stake.

Interesting public reaction to infidelity in public figures such as Eliot Spitzer and John Edwards. Their wives stood by them, despite the many other women demanding that they ditch their straying husbands. Author thought that Hillary Clinton would really have liked to say "Yes my husband's a tomcat but he's brilliant and fascinating - and so am I - and I'm in love with him and we have an astonishingly exciting life, and sexual fidelity isn't really the most important thing about it."

Noel Biderman, founder of Ashley Madison, says he spends a lot of time reading romances such as The Bridges of Madison County to try to figure out new ways of marketing to 40 year old wives.

LT review of Marriage Confidential

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