Two Stories About Marriage

I agree with Plain Jane Mom, this first story, She’s happily married, dreaming of divorce, is about the most depressing thing I’ve ever read about a “good” marriage.

There are so many things wrong about this. Leaving your shoes in the way isn’t even being a good roommate, let alone a good husband. Writing your complaints in O: The Oprah Magazine instead of going to counseling is a cheat. This is isn’t source material, it is your marriage.

Some of it hardly sounds real. Does she really believe that every wife thinks of divorce as a security blanket, that it is “the closely held contemplation of nearly every woman I know who has children who have been out of diapers for at least two years and a husband who won’t be in them for another 30.”?

Of course married people think seriously about divorce, as Ambrose Bierce said, “Who never doubted, never half believed.” But to treasure it? To call it a “secret reverie”? Dear Abby would tell you to get to a marriage counselor. Get some coaching in being human to each other, talking, living. It works, we’ve done it.

After that has thoroughly bummed you out, or perhaps, after you skip it, read John Scalzi on losing wedding rings and his tenth anniversary. It is full of the shared life, secret jokes, and surprises that only happen when you live together and love each other for that long.

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