And so married people turned to each other. To excess. This peaked in the 1950s, and after that, there was some healthy skepticism of the overly insular family. But somehow we're drifting back into an excessively marriage-focused way of living.No friendship substitutes for a good marriage. A marginal marriage can be saved by external friendships, though. No one person can be everything to another person. Commenter "me" says this:
The problem, in Coontz's view, is not only that we deny ourselves the happiness to be found in friendships, but also that by expecting so much from one romantic relationship, we can put so much pressure on it that it breaks. What's worse, if the marriage was our source of happiness, we have nothing.
Marriage has always had a storied past. Just look at the Hebrew marriage contracts. They were as complex as as a leveraged airplane lease. I don't think there was ever any ideal period for marriage. I believe the most successful marriages are between relatively independent people that could live well enough alone, but enjoy each other's company.If you can't be happy with yourself, how can you be happy with someone else?