Sandra Tsing Loh is getting divorced after 20 years of marriage and two children, she writes in The Atlantic. In Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, she suggests that most of us should give up on lifelong marriage too. Keeping romance alive is too much work for the modern woman.
Given my staggering working mother’s to-do list, I cannot take on yet another arduous home- and self-improvement project, that of rekindling our romance. Sobered by this failure as a mother—which is to say, my failure as a wife—I’ve since begun a journey of reading, thinking, and listening to what’s going on in other 21st-century American families. And along the way, I’ve begun to wonder, what with all the abject and swallowed misery: Why do we still insist on marriage? Sure, it made sense to agrarian families before 1900, when to farm the land, one needed two spouses, grandparents, and a raft of children. But now that we have white-collar work and washing machines, and our life expectancy has shot from 47 to 77, isn’t the idea of lifelong marriage obsolete?
Tsing Loh, who wrote two years ago that women prefer food to sex, also shares the details of her friends’ sexless marriages. The hubbies cook, remodel the kitchen and chauffeur the kids but prefer internet porn or cooking magazines to sex with their wives. The wives are inspired by Tsing Loh’s divorce to consider dumping their “male kitchen bitches.”
The kids will do almost as well raised by a single parent as in a two-parent family, Tsing Loh argues, as long as there’s “domestic stability,” i.e., no new boyfriends and girlfriends moving in and out. Divorce is OK if you stay single?
Laura at 11D says Loh lacks credibility on the subject of marriage.
She breaks up her marriage and then writes a magazine article about why people weren’t really meant to be married. Hello! Credibility problems here!
Loh explains that she had an affair, which ended their marriage. However, people weren’t really meant to be married for so long. Her kids wouldn’t really miss having both parents at home anyway. . . . Her husband and her friends’ husbands weren’t so great in the sack. And the husbands are kind of girlie in the way they help out around the house. Why should a marriage be work? She fishes around for any explanation that will save her.
Those of us who enjoy being married never seem to get space in The Atlantic. Perhaps it’s because we don’t wish to share the details with a national audience. Too little information.
Once a performance artist, Tsing Loh has no such scruples. Nonetheless, in a few years, her children will be able to read about her boredom with their father in The Atlantic archives. However disguised, her friends will guess the identities of the pathetic Rachel and Ian and Ellen and Ron. Who may now be her ex-friends.