Re: There They Go, Bad-Mouthing Divorce Again

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From: Dave Winer (
Date: Tue Sep 12 2000 - 09:57:41 PDT

Human beings didn't evolve into the isolated lifestyle we live today. We
used to live in villages. Each adult would be intimate with 20 other adults.
I think that's how we're programmed, and why looking to one person for
intimacy leads to dissatisfaction. My own opinion of course. Dave

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lisa Dusseault" <>
To: <FoRK@XeNT.CoM>
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2000 9:40 AM
Subject: RE: There They Go, Bad-Mouthing Divorce Again

> Much as I'd like to agree with the pro-marriage sentiments, I'm dubious
> about the "I know n couples who are truly happily married" statement. I
> used to think I could at least count on my parents and grand-parents, well
> that's three couples there, right? Um, actually, no. Both my
> wrote "auto-biographies" in the last few years, and although each of them
> married one man and stayed with him, neither of them was happy about it.
> fact, the complaints are bitter. Boy am I glad that society restricts me
> less, in that I can get divorced or separated without suffering social
> discrimination for decades, which is what one of my grandmothers actually
> considered as an action/consequence. And my parents? Well, my mom is
> pretty closed-mouthed, but I get the impression she would like my dad to
> travel less, and wishes she had more to fill her time. Can I claim that
> another couple is happily married when they might have plenty of reasons
> concealing their problems from me?
> [I've started to wonder whether, given that men seemed to have the
> advantages in a marriage in the past, most women were unhappy but socially
> trapped. That could explain why today's more independent and socially
> restricted women leave their mates more often. There's too many factors
> know though.]
> Have you ever had the experience of knowing a couple you beleived to be
> "truly happily married" -- until it falls apart in an awful, messy
> I have. Many people hide their troubles from everybody, or at least only
> confide in a friend or relative or two, which probably isn't you.
> Sadly, you can't even trust declarations from people who say "we are [I
> truly, happily, married". I've said that. I was wrong.
> Does "truly happily married" encompass people who are sticking it out and
> working hard to make it work -- perhaps because they have kids, or a
> or just that public social commitment -- but might separate some day if
> situation gets worse or the ties somehow loosen?
> Does "truly happily married" encompass couples who seem happy, but in fact
> have some internal stand-off arranged (e.g. an affair now and then is
> tolerated, or serious compromises made in terms of how much time they can
> stand to be together)?
> Does it count if there have been serious troubles in the past? E.g. I
> an older couple that barely made it through the years when their children
> were young and the wife was frequently sick yet they needed the money she
> got from working. I know they're doing better now, but wounds likely
> exist from that time. In my experience, making it through a difficult
> period might not make a couple stronger -- it can also introduce or expose
> cracks which only burst open later.
> Not to say "truly happily married" doesn't exist, but it certainly is
> than I wish it were. I'm in favour of divorce, which isn't to say I think
> everybody should get divorced: I just think it's a reasonable and
> un-disgraceful solution to a common problem.
> Lisa

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