July 12, 2020   10:01am

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Can you make your marriage better?

How one wife took her husband through marriage therapies to see if they could improve an already pretty good marriage ….

If you get The New York Times and you’re married, you may have already read this story.  Among the women I know, it received reviews from: “I was totally bored” to “Every woman should read this.”   The point is, it seems everyone did read it.  If you missed it, read: A More Perfect Union by Elizabeth Weil which was in The New York Times Magazine Sunday, December 6.

A few tidbits:

“For the next few weeks, even our sex was more intimate, more open and trusting.  Then I found myself recoiling.  As if I were obeying Newton’s third law of motion, I had an innate equal and opposite reaction to our new found intimacy, to living our lives, as the saccharine marriage-improvement phrase goes, as we instead of as me.”

“I realized that my favorite books about marriage — Calvin Trillin’s “About Alice” and Joan Didion’s “Year of Magical Thinking” —  included one spouse who was dead.”

“Some in the field are outwardly critical of most marriage therapy; among them is William J. Doherty, a psychologist and the director of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at the University of Minnesota, who writes: ‘If you talk to a therapist in the United States about your marriage, I believe that you stand a good risk of harming your marriage.’ ”

“… A better marriage meant more passionate sex, this went without saying.  But by now I noticed a pattern:  improving my marriage in one area often caused problems in another. More intimacy meant less autonomy.  More passion meant less stability …”

“… I came to view the project as a giant attempt to throw everything out of the messy closet that was our life and put it back in a way that resembled an ad for the Container Store.  Not everything fit.  It never would.”

“… the “good-enough marriage” is characterized by its capacity to allow spouses to keep growing, to afford them the strength and bravery required to face the world.”

“But to keep expecting our marriages to fulfill our desires — to bring us the unending happiness or passion or intimacy or stability we crave — and to measure our unions by their capacity to satisfy those longings, is naive, even demeaning…”

Whatever the health of your marriage, this is an article worth reading,


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