The Obama Administration announced that marriage should no longer be defined as between a man and a woman, but it will still be defined as miserable my most married people.
This morning as I slogged through the scores of liberal outrage emails I now receive on an hourly basis, I noticed an email from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Oh no, I just heard from Babs Boxer on the budget, what's up with Kirsty, I wondered, and will she start writing to me daily? Yes, it was fun when I received the very first personal notes from my BFF Justin at MoveOn, my pal Robert at Campaign for America's Future, Charles at DFA, buddy Ben at PFAW, bestie Becky at CREDO, Deena at HRC, but I don't know if I have room for one more generically positive sounding but progressively leaning acronym in my life. But I'm a sucker for causes and I support K.G. so I hit open. Note: I am not a violent person, but I would pay top dollar to sit ringside at a political spanx-down between Gillibrand and Bachmann.
K-Brand was writing to let me know that she's so happy that Obama administration has announced that it will no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act and she urged me to join the nationwide movement to get Congress to repeal DOMA, so we can achieve marriage equality and all loving couples can have the rights and privileges of marriage she and her hubby of ten years get to enjoy. I too would love to see everyone get married, because misery loves company.
See, I've been married for 15 years, and at this point, we're just not that into us. Disillusioned? Maybe, just a little. He's always hot, I'm always cold, we don't even share the same blanket anymore. Why do we stay together? Is it love, our shared health care plan, raising our child, inertia, the fact that I'd have to work really hard to get my ass back into "dating shape" if we split up -- who knows? Maybe all of the above, but we're in a dwindling population, we're so last century. For the first time in one hundred years, unmarried young adults outnumber married people in this country. Though I'm the mayor of my marriage, it's safe to say the Foursquare generation doesn't care about marriage.
It's something of an irony that we're so focused on marriage equality, as getting shacked up is becoming obsolete in the U.S. It's like announcing improvements are being made to the rotary phone.
Study after study tells us that Americans are not exactly lining up to tie the knot, nor are they experiencing connubial bliss. A recent study at Harvard titled "Less Is More: The Lure of Ambiguity," proved that familiarity really does breed contempt. The more information participants received about their potential partners, the less they registered liking them.
University of North Carolina research quantified something people have long suspected: marriage does makes you fat! Couples who wed experience a seven pound gain over their single and co-habitating peers. Once thought to be good for your health, we now know that only men seem to benefit, health-wise, in marriage.
On top of that, Pew tells us that fewer Americans feel the need to get married any more and are doing so at an older age, preferring to remain single or in relationships being coined as "committed unmarried." The social stigma of raising children out of wedlock is disappearing everywhere except in Mike Huckabee's head. Yes, the future looks bleak for the child of Natalie Portman, a Harvard graduate, and one of the few household name actresses who has never had a drug problem or been photographed doing anything remotely illegal, much less going commando. While populations in Western Europe, in countries that provide health care, are shunning marriage in droves, why are we focused on this vestige of the past? Is this the liberal equivalent of the Tea Party's insistence on American exceptionalism?
Of course, it's the economy stupid, and the most tangible benefits of defeating DOMA would be economic. However, as of now, the Obama administration isn't prepared to act until either a definitive ruling comes from the courts that DOMA is unconstitutional, or repeal of the law by Congress, which is why my new BFF Kirsty is writing me. Until then, lawfully married same-sex couples will continue to be denied federal recognition and its associated rights, and health care benefits for federal employees -- so of course I agree that it's important to level the playing field.
However, to really experience total marriage equality, same-sex couples will have to learn to suck at it as much as heterosexuals. So as a long-married lady, I'm offering my five time-tested strategies that are sure to make your marriage suck. Top 5 don'ts:
1. Listen to Each Other
Don't bother, listening just takes time away from talking, which is what you wanted to do anyway.
2. Build Intimacy
I say, give me a little mystery. Too boring. The new Me Marriage model suggests developing your own interests as a way to bring new energy to your marriage, but it's also a great way to meet new people for you to date after you split.
3. Relationships Take Work
Working is hard enough these days; who has the energy to work on a relationship? We've done the math. Skip couples therapy and go to Paris instead -- you may end of divorced (38% of couples who try counseling split up anyway), so at least you'll have he memory of arguing in front of Notre Dame instead of some cramped, windowless therapist's office.
4.Keep the Peace
Nothing is more boring or is going to send you into an affair faster than a spouse who agrees with everything you say -- but don't just bicker, bring your A-game. No one likes a push-over.
5. Forgiveness Is for Pussies.
Holding a grudge is way more fun, and is the one hobby my husband and I have managed to cultivate. Besides, if you forgive and forget, what are you going to bitch about to your friends?
Try these strategies and you can be headed in the same direction as most married couples today: divorce. Let's face it, even if you 're excited by the prospect of a wedding -- everyone loves beginnings -- it's the staying married that just isn't very glamorous or popular. When Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds divorced, they announced they did so after "a long consideration." They were married for less than 18 months. My husband and I have had arguments that lasted longer than their marriage. Of course, being that they are in the top one percent of wage earners in the U.S., they can afford to marry or divorce as often as they desire, while so many American's are unable to get health insurance on their own or liquidate their assets due to the crash of the housing market. And that's as important as any benefits associated with getting hitched -- the gains associated with getting divorced. So perhaps we should focus equal attention on fixing the economy as marriage equality, that way, we could ensure that any couple, gay or straight can enjoy the opportunity to divorce, that would be real progress.