Pamela Haag has written the generational "big book" on modern marriage, a mesmerizing, sometimes salacious look at the semi-happy ambivalence lurking just below the surface of many marriages today. The spouses may rarely fight—they may maintain a sincere affection for each other—but one or both may harbor a melancholy sense that something important is missing.
Remarkably, this side of the marriage story hasn't been told or analyzed—until now.
Meticulously researched and injected with insightful firsthand accounts and welcome doses of humor, Marriage Confidential articulates for a generation that grew up believing they would "have it all" why they have ended up disenchanted. Haag introduces us to contemporary marriages where spouses act more like life partners than lovers; children occupy an uncontested position at the center of the marital relationship; and even the romantic staples of sexual fidelity and passion are assailed from all sides—so much so that spouses can end up having affairs online almost by accident.
Blending tales from the front lines of matrimony with cultural history, surveys, and research covert-ops (such as joining an online affair-finding site and posting a personal ad in the New York Review of Books), Haag paints a detailed picture of the state of marriage today. And to show what's possible as well as what's melancholy in our post-romantic age, Haag seeks out marriages with a twist—rebels who are quietly brainstorming and evolving the scripts around career, money, social life, child rearing, and sex.
Provocative but sympathetic, forward-thinking and bold, here, at last, is a manifesto for living large in marriage.
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“Inthis timely and thought-provoking analysis of modern coupledom, PamelaHaag& paints a vivid tableau of the ‘semi-happy’ couple. Written withwit and aplomb, this page turner will instigate an insurrection against ourmarital complacency.” —Esther Perel, author of Matingin Captivity
Writtenwith the persuasive power of Naomi Wolf and the analytical skills of Susan Faludi, Pamela Haag’s provocative but sympathetic look atthe state of marriage today answers—and goes beyond—the question many of us are asking: "Is this all there is?"From the Back Cover:
Marriage Confidential tackles this question with bracing candor, taking us inside a world where romantic ideas have given way to a "post-romantic" mood and a fair number of marriages end up "semi-happy." It's a world where the husbands of "workhorse wives" pursue the Having It All dream that married women have abandoned; where children have migrated from the children's table to the centerpiece; and where technology, demography, and economy place unprecedented stresses on marital fidelity. Among other examples of marriage trailblazers, Haag even presents a case for how updated ideas of non-monogamy might be an option for the future.
Uniquely weaving together cultural commentary, memoir, storytelling, history, and research, Marriage Confidential gives us a riveting glimpse of what the future of marriage might look like.
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