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The All-or-Nothing Marriage

How the Best Marriages Work

By Eli J. Finkel
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The All-or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work by Eli J. Finkel

The All-or-Nothing Marriage (2017) shows us the many ways in which the institution of marriage has changed over the years. Supported by a wealth of data and sociological studies, these blinks explain what makes the best marriages work and what causes the vulnerable ones to fall apart.

Key idea 1 of 9

The attitudes of men and women have significantly changed when it comes to marriage.

It wasn’t too long ago that marriage was considered a standard procedure with few complications to worry about. Rewind a few generations and marriage was strictly an agreement between a man and a woman, wherein the man was expected to work a steady job while the woman kept the household in order.

But over the last few decades, things have changed quite a bit.

In particular, women’s attitudes toward love and marriage have shifted considerably. Wives are no longer willing to sacrifice their own dreams and personal development for the sake of a relationship and marriage.

This shift is readily apparent in any of today’s best-selling books that feature women going on quests of self-discovery. Perhaps the most famous example is Eat, Pray, Love, the popular memoir by Elizabeth Gilbert that described how a series of disappointing relationships lead to her setting off on a journey around the world. Along the way, Gilbert discovers what really matters in life and gains a stronger sense of her own identity. By the novel’s end, she enters a new relationship that allows her to be both a strong individual and a caring partner.

The popularity of Eat, Pray, Love indicates that, for modern women, it’s paramount that relationships not hinder personal freedom and growth.

As for the modern man, we can also see signs of how there is less willingness to compromise in a marriage.

Much like women, men are also looking for partners who will respect their nature, rather than forcing them to follow societal rules.

In Neil Strauss’s popular book The Game, the author explores how focused men are on the art of sexual conquest. In his follow-up book, The Truth, Strauss decides to settle down in a monogamous relationship, but not before he’s satisfied his curiosity about open relationships.

The point seems to be that men also need the freedom to explore different relationships before they can find contentment in marriage.

How have these new attitudes changed the modern American marriage? Let’s find out in the blinks ahead.

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