Once Upon a Time, You Could Sue People for Breaking Up With You

a broken heart
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

Our current conception of marriage as a romantic institution founded on love is relatively new. For hundreds, arguably thousands of years (since marriage ceremonies were documented as early as 2350 B.C. in Mesopotamia), marriage existed primarily to establish strategic alliances between families.

Marriage was a practical fixture, usually having a lot to do with money.  » Read more

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Maybe It’s Easier If You’ve Never Really Been Close to Other People

a wool blanket with a plaid pattern on it
Image by Joanna Bourne / CC BY

My first close friendships were blisteringly intense.

I had one childhood friend, Emma, whose parents were both zoologists. Emma’s family let me come along with them on their family vacations. I can remember vividly, even now, lying with Emma under the covers at night in an old farmhouse as the wind made noise in the rafters,  » Read more

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The Paternalization of Marriage: “You Need to Make Your Husband Do X,” “Get Your Wife to Do Y”

a wedding cake topper of a bride dragging a groom away by the leg
Image by nola.agent / CC BY

Unfortunately, there’s no shortage of people who will judge you based on what your partner does — or doesn’t do.

I noticed this when I first got married.  I’d fallen in love with my husband for a number of reasons. An unflappable sense of confidence, a warm sense of humor, a kind of charm that’s difficult for me even now to explain.  » Read more

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