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Pamela Haag: One conversation that sticks in my mind is with a very old friend of mine, who is kind of in a so-so marriage, has its difficulties.  It isn’t terrible.  It isn’t great.  And these marriages really interest me because they are incubators for change.  And we were talking about what we expected out of marriage because expectations are a big part of the post-romantic age.

She was making comments like, “Well it’s not very realistic to think that the person that you talk to about plumbing or dog food would be the big love of your life.”  What she really wanted from marriage was kind of the grit and the everyday routines, and, despite all the ups and down that had happened in her marriage, she knew that when Christmas came around they would be lighting the tree together and they had these rituals.  For her that was very much the expectation and almost the ideal of marriage.  And it really stuck in my mind and I heard that sentiment echoed in other conversations I had. 

And there was a lot of conversation about these wives who stuck by their husbands after infidelity had happened.  At the time it was with Elliot Spitzer - there's always a new infidelity scandal, but at the time it was with Spitzer.  It was almost as if they were being blamed for doing that, but as I watched those scandals unfold it occurred to me, well, maybe fidelity or monogamy just doesn’t have the same pride of place in marriage that it used to, maybe it’s not as important as it used to be.  This, too, kind of caused me to gravitate toward the idea of a post-romantic sensibility where even the place of monogamy is not necessarily what it once was.

Directed by Jonathan Fowler
Produced by Elizabeth Rodd

More from the Big Idea for Tuesday, October 18 2011

 

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