Are you a Tom Sawyer Husband? How about a Workhorse Wife considering an Oreo Marriage? These are just a few of the types of couples outlined in Pamela Haag’s new book, Marriage Confidential: The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses and Rebel Couples Who Are Rewriting The Rules. Many of Haag’s categories are different ways of describing “so-so marriage,” where security, familiarity, and shared responsibilities are what keep couples together rather than love. “It’s these low-conflict, amiable, but sort of listless marriages that actually contribute the lion’s share to the divorce rate. It’s not the couples who are throwing dishes and screaming,” she said in the DailyMail.
Haag also wrote a guest article for CNN.com. In it she focuses on the “non-traditional” solutions couples may try to make their marriage work. These include: separate bedrooms; a “marriage sabbatical”; non-monogamy; and/or tolerating infidelity.
Well now! These two articles sure got us all stirred up.
“Pamela Haag has it oh-so-right. . . and oh-so-wrong.” Dr. Abigail Hirsch says.
“We love her descriptions of the ways marriages slip into semi-happiness. Her categories are very true. And, her solution — to open things up to letting outsiders into your intimate life and maybe even the bedroom — is a lousy solution to spicing up marriage.
Can I be harsh? Here it is.
How would you feel about a bike repair shop that told you, “oh, front tire flat? We’ll just take it off and give it to someone else. Your bike will work fine with one tire!” Bad advice.
Same with marriage problems — if your marriage has some broken parts, like lackluster passion, missing romance, zero loving connection — the solution is (almost always) not to remove the possibility for deep, rewarding intimate connection — the solution is to FIX THE BROKEN PIECE. If your love life is lacking, learn the skills to turn the spark back on. If warmth and connection are a thing from the distant past, invest in learning how to make them a part of the future from today forwards.
Be proactive about bringing sex, passion, love, intimacy, and friendship into your day-to-day with your spouse if you want your marriage to sizzle. If you’d rather your marriage fizzle, then take your metaphorical tire elsewhere.”
In conclusion, never settle for solutions that make you feel less than satisfied. A joyous, loving, definitely not “so-so” marriage is a real possibility for everyone. You deserve to, and can, be happy!