In her review of Elizabeth Gilbert's book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage, Ilene Serlin writes:
Acknowledging the stresses that the Western ideal of the nuclear family places on modern marriages, Gilbert begins to realize that love is being there for each other and "there is not one special person who will make your life magically complete, but that there are any number of people (right in your community, probably) with whom you could seal a respectful bond" (p. 41). Marriage is not found but built: "The emotional place where a marriage begins is not nearly as important as the emotional place where a marriage finds itself toward the end, after many years of partnership." (p. 41)Does Western culture overemphasize the role of love and romance in the success of long-lasting relationships? What are the critical elements to building a long-lasting marriage/relationship? The idea of romantic marriage is relatively new, historically speaking. Will ideas about marriage continue to evolve? Will divorce rates in the future (25 years, 50 years) drop, rise, or stay about the same?
By Ilene Serlin
PsycCRITIQUES, 2011 Vol 56(28)