Ivyy Goldberg, Esq. Tackles Marriage
Sometimes, my dears, in my relentless perusal of the internet, I will come across an article that is absurd, miserable, and unintentionally hilarious. Often, this article will try to prove a point, but in trying to prove a point will actually do just the opposite; it will prove MY point. And sometimes, this article is so fun to bash, that I just have to talk about it here, in a public forum, in a new segment we shall now call…
So here’s this wonderful mid-life crisis article on marriage and all its accompanying misery, written by a middle-aged woman who is leaving her husband. The article starts out innocuous enough- she spells out the difficulty of raising kids, working full time, keeping a house, AND keeping the spark alive in the marriage. But she seems to take on all of that as a solo adventure- getting angry at her husband when she fails at any one of these tasks, blaming him for making her feel like an inadequate woman:
“To work, to parent, to housekeep, to be the ones who schedule “date night,” only to be reprimanded in the home by male kitchen bitches, and then, in the bedroom, to be ignored — it’s a bum deal.”
Her solution: to leave the marriage and be her own solo person, responsible for her own achievements and failures. And I say, good for you, random internet woman!! You sound like just the type of person who needs to be solo, nevermind the fact that you have small children at home. If, after 20 years of marriage, you’re still thinking in terms of “I have to cook dinner, then do MY laundry, then take MY dog on a walk, then think about how to put the spark back into MY marriage”, then you’ve kinda missed the point.
The author then starts throwing SCIENCE at us: “…While a Rutgers study suggests that only 38 percent of married people in America describe themselves as happy,… it’s clear that females are dissatisfied — more and more, divorce seems to be initiated by women.”
So, here, in case you’re wondering, the author is trying to talk herself into believing she’s not alone. As long as MORE AND MORE females are initiating divorce, this must be an ok thing!!
“If marriage is the Old World and what lies beyond is the New World, it’s the apparently stable men who are Old Worlders, and the Girls’ Night Out, questionnaire-completing women who are the questing New Worlders.”
Throughout the article, the author refers to these stable men in a totally derogatory fashion, almost emasculating them for NOT having a wandering eye, for NOT having an 18-year-old’s sex drive, for wanting to keep the homefires burning, the pots bubbling, the shelves neat and tidy.
“In our parents’ era, the guy hit 45, got the toupee, drove the red Porsche, and left his family for the young, hot secretary. We are unable to imagine any of the husbands driving anything with fewer than five seat belts.” Hey, what’s the female equivalent of “misogynist”? Hold on, let me go look it up….ah, there we go: misandrist.
Ok, so, at the end of the article, the author lays out her ‘solution’ to the problem of marriage in general. Let’s take a look:
“So, herewith, some modest proposals. Why don’t we accept marriage as a splitting-the-mortgage arrangement? …rekindling the romance is,..biologically unnatural, particularly after the kids come. If high-revving women are sexually frustrated, let them have some sort of French arrangement where they have two men, the postfeminist model dad building shelves, cooking bouillabaisse, and ignoring them in the home, and the occasional fun-loving boyfriend the kids never see.
As far as the children are concerned, …let children between the ages of 1 and 5 be raised in a household of mothers and their female kin. Let the men/husbands/boyfriends come in once or twice a week to build shelves, prepare (a meal), or provide sex.
Or best of all, after the breast-feeding and toddler years are through, let those nurturing superdads be the custodial parents! Let the Type A moms obsessively work, write checks, and forget to feed the dog. Let the dads then, if they wish, kick out those sloppy working mothers and run effective households, hiring the appropriate staff, if need be. To a certain extent, men today may have more clarity about what it takes to raise children in the modern age. They don’t, for instance, have today’s working mother’s ambivalence and emotional stickiness.”
Ok, so really, REALLY what the author is saying here is that she’s sick of not only her husband, but her kids, and her family in general! She straight up says she has ambivalence towards her children and would rather her husband be the custodial parent!!
Suck it up, lady. You made your bed, now sleep in it with your kids. They can’t help it that they’re needy and don’t let you complete all those questionnaires and New-World Girls-Night-Out dinner parties.
And finally, this paragon of emotional stability gives us, the lost and uninitiated, some guidance: “…here’s my final piece of advice: avoid marriage — or you too may suffer the emotional pain, the humiliation, and the logistical difficulty, not to mention the expense, of breaking up a long-term union at midlife for something as demonstrably fleeting as love.”
Ugh. Let’s raise our glasses for a toast, my friends: May we never become so cynical and jilted. May love and marriage always be, if not two peas in a pod, at least in the same ballpark as each other. May our partners be the people we go to when we have negative thoughts and feelings, and may our partners work WITH US as a team to sort out the good from the bad, to laugh off our shortcomings and celebrate our triumphs, and to forever be forming a more perfect union. Amen.