why do we marry the wrong person
In his essay ( NYT, 5/28/16) Alain de Botton, famous for the heady remedies of
How Proust Can Change Your Life remarks, In place of romanticism de Botton interposes another way of looking at the world standing in sharp contrast to the kind of idealizations which cast a shadow on literally every endeavor in human existence. If it's agreed that that which has yet to be always trumps that which exists due to the Pandora's Box called possibility then de Botton's argument makes even more sense. What he's saying is that it's almost impossible not to marry for the wrong reasons, amongst them loneliness, the need "to make a nice feeling permanent," or the subliminal attraction of "familiarity. " His remedy lies in the adoption of a philosophical attitude (de Botton is also the author of The Consolations of Philosophy ) which he expresses thusly, De Botton calls his approach "tragic" and even refers to "pessimism," but it's not an admission of failure.
The dictionary definition of stoicism is "The endurance of pain or hardship without a display of feelings and without complaint. " Isn't de Botton really calling for a stoic attitude towards existence? Did You Marry the Wrong Guy?
As Amanda Clark, 33, a caterer from Boston, walked down the aisle toward her fiancГ, wearing a $15,000 gown and a 7-carat ring, she felt nothing but dread. I don't want to go through with this, she thought, with each step toward the altar. Just two hours before the ceremony, Clark had gone for a dip in the ocean with her two sisters. When it was time to get ready, Clark wouldn't budge. "I couldn't get out of the water," she says. "It was like knowing you have a work meeting but you don't want to go. " Clark had dated a handsome businessman for four years before they got engaged, and although he didn't make her race, she still loved him. "We were best friends, and I thought he'd make a great husband and father, even though I wasn't 'in love,'" she says. "I walked down the aisle thinking, What the hell?
During my vows, I wasn't making contact with my fiancГ. " Five years and two kids later, their life nonexistent, Clark wanted out. "I'd often wish he would cheat," she says. Finally, her husband, sensing her unhappiness, ended it. Clark is hardly the first woman to say "I do" when her heart wasn't in it. According to recent research conducted by Jennifer Gauvain, a therapist in Denver, 30 percent of now-divorced women say they knew in their gut they were making a mistake as they walked down the aisle в and kept walking anyway.
Only a handful backed out. The obvious question: If you know you're marrying the wrong guy, why do it? For starters, blame Cinderella. "Women are raised with an unrealistic impression of what love is supposed to look like," says Gauvain. "Girls read fairy tales where the woman gets saved by the prince, and when they're older, the same message is enforced through romantic comedies where love always prevails, despite impossible scenarios.
So women learn that love can always work, even when it's unhealthy. " Then there's the usual suspect: the biological clock. Clark's was ticking and she was ready to start a family. "The number 30 reads like an expiration date for unmarried women," says Gauvain. Not only are your baby-making years racing by, but you're leaving behind your 20s в a decade of experimentation, one-night stands, and making mistakes, professionally and personally. In the next decade, you're seen as an adult and can't do those things. "
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