Essay: Christine Wicker asks why women are walking away from marriage
A lot of midlife women in my acquaintance are leaving what appear to be perfectly good and loving husbands. Or thinking about it. Or cheating on them. Or wanting to. Or staying married and faithful but buying their own houses, which they either live in or keep as a bolt hole.This article is sad, frustrating, and even funny. Here's the funny part:
"More traditional women may wear rose-colored glasses, but they also benefit from a sense of male and female roles," said sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, who conducted the research. "They don't expect their husband to act like a woman."Traditional women (like me!) are wearing rose-colored glasses? Wrong. We are not the ones who were duped into thinking that the world revolved around us, and that our minute-by-minute happiness is the most important and desirable accomplishment in our lives. We know better:
From the Westminster Shorter Catechism:
myself - my happiness and what I want, is an empty life. But you don't have to care about the Catechism, or be Christian, or even believe in God to know that. We receive satisfaction by focusing on others, not on ourselves. We can never satisfy ourselves by doing more for ourselves. There will always be something lacking.
This is sad, frustrating, maddening:
... Dr. Susan Love, author of Dr. Love's Breast Book, as writing that many women find an affair is "part of the healing process" after a cancer diagnosis. She also quoted Sheila Kitzinger in Woman's Experience of Sex as saying that these wives may begin affairs thinking that "it was all well and good for a husband of 35 years to still love them without a breast, but they needed to feel they were still sexually attractive to feel whole again."
Infidelity - adultery, if I may use an old-fashioned term - as part of the healing process? What are these people thinking? (Yes, I'm shouting.) It's not enough that her own husband loves her? Is anything ever enough for these people?
If this is how most people are starting to think, our culture is doomed. I really wonder sometimes what life will be like for my children when they are adults. Will my son find a wife who won't spend all her time calculating what value he adds to her life? Will my daughter find a husband to love and cherish her?
Hard not to feel anxious for the future.