Reevaluating the Pursuit of Perfection in Marriage

Apr 3


Larry Bilotta

Larry Bilotta

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In a society where the quest for the ideal romantic partner often resembles a relentless treasure hunt, the concept of a blissful marriage may seem like a mirage. Yet, the question lingers: should one settle for a comfortable partnership or continue the search for a fabled soul mate? This article delves into the provocative stance of Lori Gottlieb, who in her March 2008 Atlantic Monthly column, "Marry Him!", challenges the notion of holding out for perfect love and instead advocates for embracing a more pragmatic approach to matrimony.


The Myth of Effortless Romance

Did you ever wonder if the partner you chose was truly the one,Reevaluating the Pursuit of Perfection in Marriage Articles or if you compromised too soon? It's time to reconsider. In a candid revelation, Lori Gottlieb, a National Public Radio commentator, shared her personal journey and the epiphany that the Hollywood portrayal of effortless romance is not the reality for most. Approaching her late 30s and still single, Gottlieb chose to have a child via sperm donation, a decision that, contrary to empowering her, left her feeling isolated and less desirable to potential partners.

Her advice to women is straightforward: settle. Gottlieb suggests that seeking a fundamentally decent man is more practical than chasing the elusive feelings of love, connection, or the ideal of a soul mate. This perspective resonates with many women who, after years of holding out for a fairy-tale romance, are now recognizing the value of stable, albeit less thrilling, relationships.

The Reality of Marriage Over Romance

Gottlieb's column struck a chord with readers and echoed the sentiments of numerous best-selling relationship books. These books, while often marketed as empowering, subtly endorse the idea of settling by prioritizing marriage over romantic love. They encourage women to focus on securing a proposal, sometimes at the cost of their authenticity or happiness.

The Shift in Perspective

  • In Your 20s: The concept of settling may not even cross your mind.
  • In Your 30s: You might begin to view your partner in a different light.
  • In Your 40s: Gottlieb's insights could provide substantial food for thought.

The Path to a Happy Marriage

Larry Bilotta, a marriage educator with over 27 years of experience, offers an alternative to the settle-or-search dilemma. He has developed a method to guide couples through the complexities of marriage, aiming to create a union where both partners feel fulfilled and content. Bilotta's approach involves teaching spouses to understand and accept each other's differences, manage negative emotions, and foster mutual happiness.

The Process of Rejuvenation

  1. Understand your spouse's perspective as a unique individual.
  2. Learn to accept and appreciate these differences.
  3. Discover how to maintain happiness and love in the relationship.
  4. Implement strategies to quickly overcome negative feelings.

This process is neither simple nor quick, but with dedication and the right guidance, a joyful marriage is attainable.

The Bottom Line

Marriage, as Gottlieb and Bilotta suggest, is not solely about love. It's about partnership, shared responsibilities, and building a life together. While Gottlieb paints a picture of marriage as a "partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business," Bilotta believes it can be more than that. It's about creating a plan and taking action to improve the current state of your marriage before it's too late.

The Takeaway

  • Marriage is not just about love; it's about partnership and shared life goals.
  • Settling for a good partner can be a practical choice.
  • A fulfilling marriage requires effort, understanding, and a solid plan.

For those seeking to break the cycle of dissatisfaction and prevent the path to divorce, it's crucial to act now. With the right approach, you can transform your marriage into a source of joy and fulfillment without the need for a perfect Mr. Right.

For further reading on the topic of marriage and relationships, consider exploring the insights of The Gottman Institute or the advice offered by Psychology Today.

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