The Post-Romantic Age of Workhorse Wives, Royal Children, Undersexed Spouses, and Rebel Couples Who Are R
By Pamela Haag
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061719288, 352pp.)
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
List Price: $25.99*
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Pamela Haag has written the generational "big book" on modern marriage, a mesmerizing, sometimes salacious look at the semi-happy ambivalence lurking just below the surface of many marriages today. The spouses may rarely fightthey may maintain a sincere affection for each otherbut one or both may harbor a melancholy sense that something important is missing.
Remarkably, this side of the marriage story hasn't been told or analyzeduntil now.
Meticulously researched and injected with insightful firsthand accounts and welcome doses of humor, Marriage Confidential articulates for a generation that grew up believing they would "have it all" why they have ended up disenchanted. Haag introduces us to contemporary marriages where spouses act more like life partners than lovers; children occupy an uncontested position at the center of the marital relationship; and even the romantic staples of sexual fidelity and passion are assailed from all sidesso much so that spouses can end up having affairs online almost by accident.
Blending tales from the front lines of matrimony with cultural history, surveys, and research covert-ops (such as joining an online affair-finding site and posting a personal ad in the New York Review of Books), Haag paints a detailed picture of the state of marriage today. And to show what's possible as well as what's melancholy in our post-romantic age, Haag seeks out marriages with a twistrebels who are quietly brainstorming and evolving the scripts around career, money, social life, child rearing, and sex.
Provocative but sympathetic, forward-thinking and bold, here, at last, is a manifesto for living large in marriage.
PAMELA HAAG has a Ph.D. in history from Yale and has held several fellowships. She has been published in the American Scholar, Christian Science Monitor, and Huffington Post, and has been heard on NPR and elsewhere. She also writes a twice-weekly column for Big Think magazine.