Skip to comments.Shame Is Deader Than Dead
Posted on 06/28/2009 2:36:20 PM PDT by dr_who
"The author is ending her marriage. Isnt it time you did the same? So The Atlantic provocatively introduces its July/August feature Lets Call the Whole Thing Off. It comes at a propitious moment. This seems to be the week for TMI too much information. South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has told more, much more, than we needed to know about his mistress (how he met her, how their relationship ripened), his views on Gods laws, on the Appalachian Trail, and on forgiveness.
Why must wayward American public figures stage these auto autos-da-fé these self-immolations on TV? Dignity, which arises from a proper sense of keeping private matters private, is a lost aspiration, apparently along with so many other virtues, like dignitys companion restraint. Yes, Sanford needed to apologize to the citizens of South Carolina for going AWOL. But as for the messy private details, a simple written statement that he was having marital issues would have sufficed. At least Mrs. Sanford showed some sound judgment by declining to pose next to her straying spouse as he fielded queries about his extramarital activities. But even her statement and it goes without saying that she finds herself in this situation unwillingly strayed into TMI. She told the world under what circumstances she would consider repairing their union: I remain willing to forgive Mark completely for his indiscretions and to welcome him back, in time, if he continues to work toward reconciliation with a true spirit of humility and repentance. Thats the sort of thing that should be communicated to one person only.
The Atlantics Sandra Tsing Loh not content to cheat on her husband and file for divorce compounded the betrayal by writing about it in cringe-inducing detail. Her account begins in the office of the couples marriage therapist, where Loh recounts the moment she decided she couldnt work on her marriage despite having two young sons. We cried, we rent our hair, we bewailed the fate of our children. And yet at the end of the day . . . I would not be able to replace the romantic memory of my fellow transgressor with the more suitable image of my husband, which is what it would take in modern-therapy terms to knit our familys domestic construct back together. Does the whole world need to know that? Do her children? Her childrens classmates?
But because Ms. Loh is a journalist, she cannot resist the urge to, in George Wills term, commit sociology. Since her own divorce, shes begun a journey of reading, thinking, and listening to whats going on in other 21st-century American families. And along the way, Ive begun to wonder, what with all the abject and swallowed misery: Why do we still insist on marriage? This, bear in mind, comes from the magazine that boldly declared Dan Quayle Was Right on its April 1993 cover.
Lohs form of sociology is a sloppy one a few quotes from pop psychology texts, a few examples from among her friends and acquaintances and she is ready to declare that marriage itself is the problem. To work, to parent, to housekeep, to be the ones who schedule date night, only to be reprimanded in the home by male kitchen b, and then, in the bedroom, to be ignored its a bum deal. How far we have come, sisters, from The Feminine Mystique, when Betty Freidan cried under the lash of domesticity. Todays woman is apparently miserable because her husband is too much of a culinary perfectionist and too inadequate a lover. Maybe. But thats one problem with playing a sociologist in magazines. Its all impressions, not data.
Lohs solutions range from the casually immoral (wives should take lovers without leaving the marriage) to the tribal Let children between the ages of 1 and 5 be raised in a household of mothers and their female kin. Let the men/husbands/boyfriends come in once or twice a week to build shelves, prepare that bouillabaisse, or provide sex.
There are no solutions to the problems Loh identifies. People will become dissatisfied with their spouses, and they will behave selfishly. But as countless real social scientists have shown W. Bradford Wilcox, Sarah McLanahan, Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, and David Blankenhorn spring to mind marriage remains the most secure arrangement in which to raise healthy children. It also conduces to adult happiness more than any other arrangement.
Ironically, for all her fulminating, Loh hints at the end of her piece that her own selfish quest ended unhappily. Avoid marriage or you too may suffer the emotional pain, the humiliation, and the logistical difficulty, not to mention the expense, of breaking up a long-term union at midlife for something as demonstrably fleeting as love.
How about another solution that is only about 3,000 years old? How about avoiding adultery?
Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2009 Creators Syndicate, Inc.
“Shame is dead”
Was he 50 years old?
Let children between the ages of 1 and 5 be raised in a household of mothers and their female kin. Let the men/husbands/boyfriends come in once or twice a week to build shelves, prepare that bouillabaisse, or provide sex.
Oh, OK, sure, if you say so, lady. But what if we don’t like bouillabaisse?
More like 3,000 years old by the columnist’s reckoning.
>>More like 3,000 years old by the columnists reckoning.<<
And she’s right — about everything.
More job security for priests, if only they could seize the moment!
Men have been the adulterers for eons and women sucked it up in order to maintain financial continuity for their children.
Now that women have been ‘liberated’, they have become, why libertines of course.
Shame on cuckolding men and women, and the homewreckers who assist in the destruction of our childrens’ right to a stable, moral family structure. Just wait until the children leave the nest if you must behave like studs and sluts.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Just another self-absorbed feminist b****’s version of Utopia.
If you're gay.
That's just crazy talk.
This is the “It’s all about me” generation. During “love’s” first blush, we cater to the object of our affection. Then it gets tedious as real life sets in. Emotionally we want carnivals and circuses. And there is now nothing to tell us that’s not the way to live and will never bring true happiness.
That's just crazy talk.
Have a friend who is getting a divorce. Told me he got in trouble and " everyone does it".
I told him no not everyone, I have been married 29years and not cheated.
I would like to hear from this author in a few years, when she has become dis-enchanted with her fling (or vice-versa) and longs for the boring stability that she (AND her children) once had. It’s sad and sickening that this “cosmo-girl” mentality is nothing more than a dead-end street for so many women.
For what purpose would a Male agree to this arrangement?
Why agree to this “contract”
It screams “I don't need you for anything”
Strangely I have some sympathy to the argument that Marriage is a “contract” or a “Covenant”
And should have nothing to do with Governance and Law except by mutual consent.
By this viewpoint, each marriage is precisely defined by those within it,
or by Covenant - a Contract with God
Divorce and infidelity, from this standpoint would be
dealt with primarily as a breach of Contract
not as a Breach of Common Law
Polygamy and Same Gender unions would be no different than
Polyandry, Plural Marriages, and Bestial Unions
Unless it is a Covenant Marriage in which the
Contract is defined by God, and so are the expectations
This, I believe, is the correct approach
But I'm not so sure it is so much a matter of Governance and Law
Let alone, regulated and supported by coercive taking - Taxation
But the issues with regard to Societal supports, insurance, etc.
would be a null concept, except by mutual consent
Well, I also wonder what happens when the kids reach age 6. Ship them off to public school boot camp?
I won't be participating in the "proving the sex" part.
First grade - on steroids
Brave New World in it's infancy
Everybody belongs to everybody else
Soma - Don't give a damn, take a gram
I almost upchucked lunch reading about this Atlantic magazine article. As it is, I subscribe to the Atlantic, and I haven’t read this article since I’m here at a conference. I’m not the catch of the day, certainly, but I can express a certain charm when I want to, and last night this little hot thing from Russia working at a local watering hole starting coming on to me. Flattering, sure. And during this whole round of little flirations and casual questions, all I could think about was my wife and son - and how a leap into bed could be the gunshot wound to the heart of my marriage. I paid my bill and walked out. Then I read about this twit writer and her utter lack of care about her children and her husband, and her dumbass idea that somehow men don’t need, deserve, or want a cohesive, loving family.
When I get home I plan on reading this article and then giving this immoral slattern a piece of my mind. Perhaps she can use it to fill in the hole in her consciousness.
Perhaps she grew up believing that since her face isn’t pretty enough she is well within her rights to abandon or neglect those who are closest to her. Just a wild theory.
She may never become disenchanted with her fling. It sounds like it was a bad idea for her to be married to anyone in the first place.