In a new book called Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting The Rules, author Pamela Haag argues that there are five types of “modern marriages” and most of them suck. They suck, she says, because in this age it isn’t so much love and compatibility that keep spouses together as much as it is security and children. You know your marriage sucks, or is only “semihappy,” as she calls it, if you “wake up worried about divorce. Or if one minute you can’t imagine staying in your marriage, and the next minute you can’t imagine leaving.”
And if you’re wondering: yes, Haag is married, and yes, she includes her marriage as one that isn’t exactly thriving.
“‘I have a nice marriage, a lovely husband, but you never know. [Some] days and [some] moments I think that this could very well be the last year of our marriage,” she writes in the book.
Naturally, since Haag isn’t terribly happy in her marriage, she knows that every other marriage in the world is the same. Well, maybe not exactly the same. There are, after all, five kinds of sucky, or “semihappy” marriages out there she has discovered. (To be fair, she did use more than her own marriage as a study; she also researched 2,000 other not-so-happy couples.) After the jump, read her description of the five types of modern marriages and see if yours fits any of them.
The Five Modern Marriages
THE SEMIHAPPY MARRIAGE
According to Marriage Confidential: ‘Mostly you live with genuine ambivalence and indeterminacy: One minute, you feel that your marriage is a good, solid thing; the next, you resent it and you think, how can I live with this person anymore?’
THE PARENTING MARRIAGE
Ms. Haag writes: ‘Children are at the center of a family now. Go back to the Fifties and husbands and wives had many different roles… Today, parenting is the sole priority… It crowds out other functions.’
Where a wife works a corporate job that she doesn’t necessarily like in order to fund the pro-golfer or musician dreams of her ‘Tom Sawyer’ husband.
ED MCMAHON SYNDROME
Named after the Eighties actor and comedian whose catchphrase was, ‘You are correct, sir!’, M.s Haag is referring to a spouse who is so eager not to rock the ‘semihappy’ boat he or she will agree with just about anything.
An uncomfortable limbo between marriage and divorce that emerged during the recent recession. It defines couple that might want to divorce but can’t afford to do so, or a separated couple that are still cohabiting.
So, there you go! Five types of modern marriages and not a one of them sounds healthy or very happy. I would argue that Haag’s description of modern marriages doesn’t sound anything like mine at all, but she’d probably tell me to give it ten years and a coupla kids. So, what about you who already have ten (or so) years and a coupla kids? Does your marriage sound like any of Haag’s five descriptions?
[via Daily Mail]