A few friends were talking the other day about how they know women who have settled down and gotten married, primarily because they had reached a certain age and they felt like it was time. And, of course, because they wanted kids. And they did not want to raise kids alone.
I’m not disputing the notionÂ that those are valid reasons – and they motivate plenty of men, as well as women! – but they do strike me as a reasons that could be solved not with a wedding band, but with the accumulation of massive dragon-hoard’s like stash of cash. And then you would not have to sit on the couch every day with someone you were not absolutely thrilled to see in your house.
I suppose I’ve thought about this ever since reading Lori Gottlieb’s Marry Him, a book which basically encourages women to settle with pleasant seeming guys because a marriage and raising a family is like running a small non-for-profit business. In her Atlantic article she wrote:
Settle! Thatâ€™s right. Donâ€™t worry about passion or intense connection. Donâ€™t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling â€śBravo!â€ť in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go. Based on my observations, in fact, settling will probably make you happier in the long run, since many of those who marry with great expectations become more disillusioned with each passing year. (Itâ€™s hard to maintain that level of zing when the conversation morphs into discussions about whoâ€™s changing the diapers or balancing the checkbook.)…
Once youâ€™re married, itâ€™s not about whom you want to go on vacation with; itâ€™s about whom you want to run a household with. Marriage isnâ€™t a passion-fest; itâ€™s more like a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business. And I mean this in a good way.
Incidentally, Lori Gottlieb’s book haunts every single woman I know. The notion, of course, is that if you don’t settle, you might not be able to have a family, and you need someone to share child raising with. You are an industry.
Well, yes, that’s probably true, to some extent, but that person really doesn’t need to be a husband.