Tag Archives: marriage

Modern Love


Diane Johnson looks dating and marriage in a NYRB review.

It used to be that on a date, the boy would pay for a Pepsi and the movie; that was it. Lori Gottlieb, in Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, estimates the cost to today’s woman of four months of dating, counting therapy afterward when it doesn’t work out, to be $3,600: online dating service, clothes, including expensive underwear, haircut, hair color, cosmetics, bikini wax, entertaining him, and gifts. Things have changed.

Married With (or Without) Children

A survey reported on the Well blog shows fidelity as criteria #1 for a happy marriage.

But what about children? As an ingredient to a happy marriage, kids were far from essential, ranking eighth behind good sex, sharing chores, adequate income and a nice house, among other things. Only 41 percent of respondents said children were important to a happy marriage, down from 65 percent in 1990.

Passionate Marriage (in 6 Simple Steps)

Couples’ lit spotlight: Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships, by sex/relationship therapist, David Schnarch. The book samples actual sex therapy sessions to make its case.

Don’t care to read 400 pages about how differentiation?  Try the six-point plan linked from Schnarch’s website, posted here minus the explanations:

  1. Operate from the Best in Yourself.
  2. Sustain eye contact with each other out of bed.
  3. Try Hugging ’till Relaxed.
  4. Make eye contact in bed.
  5. Change your style of sexual interactions.
  6. Pay attention to depth of involvement with your partner during sex.

Also via PassionateMarriage.com, here’s a Sex in Relationships Survey, which pretty much communicates what Schnarch is aiming at while rating your sex life on a 11 – 55 scale.

“For Better”

A review and excerpt of Tara Parker-Pope’s For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage, which surveys the research about what makes marriages work. From the book:

Is the story of your early courtship filled with nostalgia and optimism? Or is it tinged with negativity and regret? Do you remember getting lost in the rain together on your first date? Or do you just remember the fact that he refused to stop for directions?

Spouses who are in happy marriages often recount the early part of their relationship with laughter, smiles, and nostalgia — even when talking about difficult times like a job loss or financial struggles. Unhappy couples, however, tend to recast their past times together in a decidedly negative light.