Marriage is dying! So says marriage expert Cameron Diaz:
“I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.”
Where I disagree with Dr. Albow is with this statement:
“And, make no mistake about it, marriage that includes cohabitation is a really tough environment in which to preserve such passion. The vast, vast majority of men and women, in fact, are no longer physically attracted to their spouses after five or ten years (that’s being kind), if they have seen one another most of that time. Human beings just are not built to desire one another once we have flossed in the same room a hundred times and shared a laundry basket for thousands of days.”
Sex is certainly a part of marriage, but it isn’t the only part. I think Dr. Albow has unwittingly hit on the root of the problem, which can claim failing marriages as a symptom. Modern technology has helped us create a culture of instant gratification. There’s an underlying assumption in modern society that since we can do a certain thing, we should. Since we can watch movies on our phones, we should, and if we’re deprived of it for some reason, it’s a problem that needs to be solved. The same can be said for sex. Since drugs and other methods allow us to, for the most part, determine when a women conceives, we can partake without undue risk of pregnancy. However, just because we can do something does not mean we should. Marriage based solely on sexual gratification (what he calls “passion”) is almost certainly doomed to failure. Strangely enough, studies have shown that happily married people live longer, healthier lives. Apparently, these strange people must be doing something right.
Dr. Ablow ends with marriage’s death sentence:
It’s only a matter of time now. Marriage will fade away. We should be thinking about what might replace it. We should come up with something that improves the quality of our lives and those of our children.
Dr. Ablow’s solution is a sad one. It consists of just accepting a lower standard for personal behavior, of conceding victory to the most destructive forces arrayed against our civil society, and equating pleasure and gratification with real happiness and fulfillment.
I guess I’ll just enjoy my abnormal closeness with my wife and hope that Dr. Ablow doesn’t find out about me and commission some sort of study about my “condition”.