walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

dunno what to make of this

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/magazine/06marriage-t.html

It's 10 pages, so it's hard to recommend it.

Two writers who have been married for most of a decade and produced two daughters, decide to engage in some self-help with respect to their marriage. They recognize some of the risks inherent in this activity, so kudos for that. And it's written by the woman, so we don't really know what he thinks of all this. Also, it's hard not to immediately think NPD MUCH!!! more or less every time he's mentioned. Predictably, she's clearly got some boundary issues. The fact that she's concerned about the pulling-away, as opposed to the, good lord you spend _how many_ hours a day together issues, was sort of the red flag on that.

It's a train wreck in progress, but I think I primarily would like to point out this error in judgment.

"Shortly after our first child, Hannah, was born, Dan and I started having the same conversation every night: do you want to cook dinner or look after the kid? He always picked cook, I always picked kid, and now, seven years later, Dan was an excellent, compulsive and profligate chef. We spent far more money on food than we did on our mortgage."

Both parties are responsible for this set of interactions and its predictable outcome. The problem was a simple one: they did not require that Dan participate in the life of the children. This could have been done in any number of ways, but mostly, these two idiots needed to quit thinking in terms of "what do I want right now" and think more in terms of "how is this going to develop over time". If you give one parent all the kid-time, the other parent will, utterly predictably, feel left out of the family and will get creepy and weird and dominating in an effort to compensate.

Arguably, Dan's that way by nature. I wouldn't know. But this set of choices would absolutely contribute, and there's plenty of evidence later in the article that they got exactly the outcome one would expect. Altho I will note that Dan and his checklist approach to cookbooks may be creepy enough to count towards some sort of diagnosis.

Besides. What a fucking cliche. The hands-down most creative and applause generating part of everything to do with the house and/or family is cooking (a limited case can be made for decorating -- but it is limited). Guys have been taking over the cooking and turning it into some huge task that prevents them from doing anything else around the house ever since women started making enough money to insist that they do something around the house. This couple doesn't need psychotherapy. They need consciousness raising. Because this is _not_ an equal relationship. And the woman needs to start kicking that guy's ass. I don't know if his ass needs kicking, but she clearly needs to start kicking.
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