Why The ‘5 Reasons We Can’t Handle Marriage Anymore’ Are Nonsense

Anthony D’Ambrosio is a 29 year old sex and relationship columnist who recently published an article titled ‘5 Reasons We Can’t Handle Marriage Anymore.’ He and I are virtually the same age (I just turned 30). I mention this because Anthony’s article speaks in generalities about those in our age range.

The article, which paints his (our) generation with fairly broad brushstrokes and suggests that none of us are capable of having a successful marriage due to some generalizations which Anthony seems to think that everyone our age shares. It is worth noting that Anthony is divorced after a marriage which began in 2012.

In this article, I will outline his points and give my own opinions in return. I welcome your thoughts in the comments below.

stillcan1

1. Sex becomes almost non-existent.

In this point, Anthony discusses the virtual inevitability of a sexless marriage.

“Instead, we have sex once every couple weeks, or when it’s time to get pregnant. It becomes this chore. You no longer look at your partner wanting to rip their clothes off, but rather instead, dread the thought. That’s not crazy to you?”

Now, I am not married yet, but I have parents and grandparents who have been married for decades. Not that anyone wants to think about their parents being intimate, but I can say with confidence that lack of affection is not an issue for them. The statements Anthony makes here are presented as universal and factual, where the reality is they are just not.

He goes on to suggest that visual stigma around us such as ‘half naked’ photos will cause us to become less attracted to our spouse. I never use “lol” when writing articles, but the only thing I can say to this is…lol.

Anyone who is familiar with my writing knows that I spend a lot of my time discussing the importance of keeping the romance alive even in a long term relationship. This means continuing to date each other, show your appreciation, doing the little things, and stoking the fire. Yes, that very much includes sex too.

I do not want to point fingers at anyone, but if one’s marriage becomes sexless (while they are still in their 20’s, no less…) one may want to hold off on suggesting that every other married couple eventually meets the same fate. It is simply not true.

2. Finances cripple us.

Anthony continues:

“Years ago, it didn’t cost upward of $200,000 for an education. It also didn’t cost $300,000-plus for a home. The cost of living was very different than what it is now. You’d be naive to believe this stress doesn’t cause strain on marriages today.”

You’re right, Anthony! And I myself have taken this into consideration repeatedly. I have recently more deeply understood the importance of developing a savings and putting money aside during our youth – but I have always had the desire to be financially comfortable before getting married.

Regardless of savings, though, financial challenges are a reality of life whether you are single or married. They are part of the journey and one of the challenges that a couple decides they are going to face together.

This is an interesting statement from Anthony: “Part of life is being able to live. Not having the finances to do so takes away yet another important aspect of our relationships. It keeps us inside, forced to see the life everyone else is living.”

His closing words suggest that not everyone is facing these financial hardships. Not everyone needs to sacrifice going out to dinner in order to pay the mortgage. Not everyone needs to choose between clothes or food for their children. Do many people? Yes, unfortunately. Does everyone? No. Another reason to not play into these damaging generalizations.

stillcan2

3. We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time.

This is a good one. Anthony says:

“Let’s face it, the last time you “spoke” to the person you love, you didn’t even hear their voice. You could be at work, the gym, maybe with the kids at soccer. You may even be in the same room. You told your wife you made dinner reservations … through a text message. Your husband had flowers delivered to your job … through an app on his phone. You both searched for furnishings for your new home … on Pinterest. There’s no physical connection attached to anything anymore.”

As my English friends would say, what a load of bollocks. Forgive me for saying this but I am starting to feel like I am reading a jaded rant from someone who had a negative experience and is projecting his shortcomings on to the rest of us.

Some of us really listen to the person we love. Some of us understand the difference between using technology as a convenience, and completely relying on it. Some of us do still develop deep emotional connections with the person we love.

If you don’t do that, that is why a marriage will fail. Not because you made dinner reservations via text. Give me a break.

4. Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved.

I am starting to think “our” should just be replaced with “my” throughout the original article, because so many of these points don’t apply to many of us. Is social media creating an attention-driven society? Sure it is. Does that take away the innate human desire to be loved by another? Definitely not.

A good man (or woman) understands that attention from multiple people can’t hold a candle to the feeling of being loved by the right one.

stillcan4

5. Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you.

“Everywhere we go, everything we do — made public. Instead of enjoying the moment, we get lost in cyberspace, trying to figure out the best status update, or the perfect filter.”

Sure, I am as guilty as anyone else of over-sharing online, but that doesn’t mean it has to interfere with an intimate relationship. I posted a photo the other day of my girlfriend and I, and some people commented that they didn’t even know I was in a relationship.

Why? Because we have kept things private. I have been better and don’t check-in every time we go somewhere. I don’t take photos on every date. My personal Facebook page has become void of any sort of hints about where I am, usually. While these things are still present, they are rare.

We all have a past, we all have relationships that didn’t work out, and many people like Anthony have marriages that didn’t work out either. But the key to moving forward in life is to look back and learn lessons from these situations. What could we have done differently? What could we have improved? What can we do better next time?

These are the questions we have to ask ourselves and use to grow and develop. I am afraid that Anthony simply took his experience, wrote down all of the reasons why his particular marriage didn’t work for him, and he painted the rest of us with the same brush.

Marriage (I would imagine) is full of challenges. There are promises that need to be made, and kept, in order for a marriage to work.

Every situation is different and unique. My relationship is not Anthony’s, which is not yours, which is not your neighbor’s. We do not need to fall prey to societal norms that keep others from happiness. We do not need to become victims to technology and allow it to act as a barrier between the one we love – instead, we can use it as a bridge to stay in closer contact with them.

You are not a statistic, you are not a generalization, and you are not somebody else’s story. This is your life, make it everything you dream for it to be.

You can read Anthony’s article here.

_____________________________________________

Click here to get my new e-book, The Modern Man’s Guide To Chivalry And Courtship!

buynow

_____________________________________________

If you enjoyed this article, please use the buttons below to share it on social media and enter your email here to be notified when new content is published!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Advertisements

40 thoughts on “Why The ‘5 Reasons We Can’t Handle Marriage Anymore’ Are Nonsense

  1. Actually, I thought the article had some great points. The 2 biggies that I constantly see are the overuse of technology and people needing so much attention. Look around the next time you go out to dinner. How many people are scrolling on their phones instead of giving their partner the undivided attention they deserve. That’s just a fact.

    His article didn’t say marriage was impossible. His article didn’t seem jaded to me. I think it makes complete sense that he wrote an article about relationships having issues since he has been divorced. That’s his experience talking. After all, I don’t want relationship advice from someone who has no experience in relationships.

    While I love your articles and read all of them, I thought his article had some valid points.

    • Mel, I totally hear you and I agree with what you’re saying on many levels. I do always see people buried in their phones out at dinner or just generally seeming disconnected from each other.

      My issue with his article is that it sounded to me like he was grouping everyone into this category and suggesting that nobody in our age group is capable of anything more than this.

      Perhaps it is just from my perspective that he sounded jaded, but I do feel there was a little bitterness in his tone. Maybe it is because I see things so differently and I fit into the category he is attempting to generalize.

      I appreciate your feedback and your consistent readership!

      – James

      • I think it’s interesting that you, James, fell the writer was grouping everyone into one category, because I felt that he was just talking about the younger generation. As in, anyone under 35, though I see a lot of 40 year olds having some of the same tendencies. I agree it would have been good had he been a bit more specific about who exactly he was talking about. That being said, I have to agree with a lot he said because I’ve seen it. Read it. Heard it.
        Most of the guys I know are only into texting and don’t feel like they make enough money and and are on social media more than I am…. I’m not saying all of this is bad, but grouped together with everything, it’s a rather dismal view on our generations.
        I also feel that the takeaway from this is to maybe not do a lot of the things he mentions. More of a pessimistic approach instead of like your method of more optimism.
        But again, like others have said, it seems to be an opinion piece, so one can take it however they want to take it.
        Is everyone like this? No, but I see a larger majority of people acting this way. But again, this is just my opinion. 🙂

      • James, I thought he sounded jaded as well. I don’t post updates of where I am and what I am doing on a daily basis, heck, I don’t even have the facebook app on my phone, nor do I have e-mail on my phone, because I don’t want to be ‘that’ connected to the world. IF I check my phone while I am at dinner with my husband, it’s because a close friend or family member has either called or sent a text.

        My husband does have e-mail on his phone..but his phone is for work, so if he’s checking e-mail or texts or answering it while we are out..it’s work or family (and family only if they couldn’t reach me on my phone).

        And you know what, there are even times we actually leave our phones at home.

        As far as homes go, I bought my home years ago, many times folks have wanted me to refinance for a lower interest rate and then ‘give’ us the equity in the home. No, they aren’t ‘giving’ me anything, they are merely wanting to ‘loan’ me money that I would again have to pay–only to another lender. No thanks, paying one time for a house is enough. Now, if they were willing to merely refinance the amount I have left to pay on my home at a lower interest rate as opposed to adding additional money to that amount–THEN I MIGHT consider it–but to insist I borrow more money– is no go for me, and seems utterly silly to me.

  2. I completely agree with you. If you’re more interested in staying connected to your phone and your cyber family than to the man or woman sitting in front of you, then that is your failure, not the failure of marriage.

  3. First off, I absolutely love your articles James! They always seem to strike a chord, and leave me with some great advice that I keep tucked in the back of my mind!

    I personally think Anthony’s article uses a very large brush to paint generalizations across an entire generation. I think that all of the points he has made can, in this day in age, effect any relationship…romantic or otherwise, to people of any age. But to say that these things cause the demise of a marriage specifically seems a bit crazy and extreme. I think these points he’s made (minus the sex one) have the potential to ruin or end any relationship. I have had friends who have had other friendships end due to financial differences. One didn’t understand the limitations of the other and chose not to compromise to help keep the friendship.

    I just turned 30 at the end of November, and while I am not anywhere close to marriage myself, I have many friends who have been happily married for several years…and fall into ‘our generation’ as Anthony tagged it. I’m not saying that I know all the ins & outs and intimate details of their lives, but I also know them well enough to know that they truly work at their marriages, in every aspect.They have the kids and the house and the expenses, but they still make time with friends, have date nights, work at keeping their relationship going.

    I do think a lot has changed since our grandparents & parents got married. Divorce is more common & maybe an easier answer than working through things. But our grandparents & parents had just as many difficulties as we do today. Sure, they didn’t have the technology but there were other things, that in their time, were just as big. My parents have been marriednfor almost 33yrs and together 37yrs. My Dad’s parents were married for almost 50yrs when my Grandfather passed. My Grandmother never remarried because my Grandfather was the love of her life. But alternately….my Mom’s parents had their divorce finalized on what would have been their 44th anniversary. Divorce can happen at any stage in a relationship, if you stop trying and for many other reasons. It’s not specifically our generation.

    I think that what I take, if anything, from his article is things to be potentially mindful in, in any relationship. I am at the beginning of a new relationship and there are a lot of things I’ve learned from past relationships, your articles, other sources of what I want in a relationship and things to be mindful of. When we go out to dinner or on a date, my phone NEVER comes out. He has my full attention & likewise from him. Neither one of us post pictures or anything about us on social media. Those who are important to us & we want to know about our relationship, we tell. Little things like that.

    I agree with what you’ve said in your article and think potentially this was an outlet for Anthony to get all his ‘feelings’ on his failed marriage out. But to use them and make huge generalizations like he did saying these things are why no marriage of people in our generation will work seems a bit ridiculous and a bit extreme.

    Thanks for another great article James!

  4. James,

    I like your perspective on this article. Marriage is work and not everyone able to handle it effectively. But that’s doesn’t mean everybody can’t handle marriage. I can’t, my parents can so do my many friends. Anthony is just looking for reasons to justify his divorce.

  5. Thank you for your insightful article! I fully agree with your exploration of this topic. Yes, the reasons he gave why a marriage might fail seemed to me to really be reasons why ANY relationship might suffer. Not limited to marriage only. As you put it so well, it’s not the fault of marriage, its the fault of the person within the relationship.

  6. I thought Anthony’s article was well-written and he covered all his bases. I’m not sure what gave you the impression that he was saying more than what he actually remarked in his article. While he may have referred to “our” generation, the millenial generation, frequently throughout his article, I thought it was fairly clear which sorts of people of the millenial generation he was referring to. After all, not all millenials are tech savvy. Not all millenials are connected to social media 24/7. And not all millenials use technology as a primary means of communication. He’s referring to just those millenials who ARE tech savvy, who ARE connected to social media 24/7, and who DO use technology as a primary means of communication. Is it a generalization? Of course it is. But is it talking about “all” millenials? No.

    From the sound of your article, it seems like you are just nit-picking his words and taking them out of context. Taken like that as you have done, sure, I can certainly see why it would appear as though it was a bitter rant. In fact, anyone can.

  7. “You are not a statistic, you are not a generalization, and you are not somebody else’s story. ”

    That’s the most important thing about the article. Marriage has challenges now. It had different challenges in our parents’ day and grandparents’ day. But, it doesn’t mean it’s not “doable”. I’ve been divorced and I don’t have a bitter opinion of marriage. I gave what I felt I could (while still maintaining self) to make the marriage work and had a partner who didn’t. If I had been a different partner – maybe more mature, more willing to confront when needed instead of always trying to please and say “yes” — things may have been different. If I had known and used different skills to try to get my needs met, I may have been happier in the marriage. Regardless,we ended up where we are and I’m very happy with my life now. Single, but in a nice, loving relationship.

    The problem with generalizations are just that — they are generalizations. And this article seems to sweep up a generation into one tidy, little homogenous pile and that just doesn’t work when you’re talking about humans.

  8. He brings up some good points and so do you. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” and knowing these challenges just means you have to protect your marriage from them. It does feel like nothing is sacred any more with the things people post on social media nowadays but ultimately, we have to choose to keep certain things private, your relationship should be one of them.

  9. I agree that it’s impossible to say his article is true for every couple, every marriage but I would suggest it as a warning as to what not to do in a marriage. Sadly my marriage of over 10 years seems to be coming to an end for many of the reasons he has mentioned in his article. It almost could be written about our relationship and its deterioration.
    Don’t completely count the guy out, just maybe take it as a good warning as to why many marriages do fail

  10. I think you hit the point with your responses James. Relationship is hard work and we all need to learn and unlearn things. Additionally in a relationship both parties need to work towards the common future and respect needs of both on the way.

    Now closing the computer and hitting the bed next to my better half!

  11. It seems to me the guy who wrote the original article is bitter b/c of how his marriage turned out. I am 26 & have been married for almost 4 yrs (my husband is 27). NONE of the above things describe our marriage at all. We talk all the time about how being together makes our lives so much better. Being married hasn’t changed our sex life one bit; if anything it’s better! I really don’t understand how marriage can change a relationship so drastically if it was truly a healthy relationship beforehand. Or if it does go downhill it’s b/c one or both partners have decided not to put in the necessary effort to maintain the relationship. I certainly don’t think everyone needs to or should get married as young as I did. In fact I’d advise against it unless you’ve been with your partner for a very long time (like I had). My point is that no one should rush into marriage, but at the same time there is nothing inherently wrong with marriage that destroys relationships & makes it no longer relevant. On the same token, if a couple has been together for a long time but just doesn’t want to get married, I don’t have a problem with that either. Different strokes for different folks.

  12. I read his article as more of things that can possibly inhibit a healthy relationships growth. I didn’t take from his article that ‘this is all inevitable and this will happen to you all’. I took it more as an eye opening outlook to help educate others on how to avoid bad habits in a relationship. He wasn’t as outright as you’re making it seem to be. That being said you also had good points and intentions. I just think you read it more aggressively. Now I may have read it too lightly, but I guess that’s just difference in perspective.

  13. I thought he had some good points, but you do, too. My husband and I are from the same generation. We are 30 and 32. We will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary next month. We are both happy and secure in our marriage, even when we fight. 🙂 I understand that is rare for people our age, but it is entirely possible. Most of my husband’s friends and co-workers around our age have been divorced, but a few have stuck with it for 5+ years. Our son on the other hand has almost all friends that have parents that are still together (these are mainly eight and nine year olds). We are the youngest parents, but only by three or four years. Only one child has a step dad, and one is being raised by a single mom (but sadly they both had dads that have passed away).
    My husband and I consider our family our top priority. We use social media, but not excessively. We have no desire to keep up with the Joneses. We are happy with our smallish house and only one newer car. This means we can afford for me to stay at home, and still take an awesome vacation every other year or so. We have sex multiple times each week and I still desire my husband more than anyone else on earth. Marriage is work, but it is definitely worth it!

  14. Your article lacks any validity due to the fact that you have no experience in the field you are writing…. Stick to writing about what you have experienced first hand not as an outside viewer. The biggest flaw I see in this article is your focus on a previous article. Of course its going to be easy to overcome another article if the topic and points are already laid out for you. Next time try to be a little more creative and lift your grudge against “Anthony” as your hypocrisy comes out when you explain how “Anthony” is using is one personal experience to generalize marriage. Then you try to justify one of your points with personal experience with your girlfriend (Still confused why your girlfriend is relevant when the title of the article is about marriage). I could continue onwards but I would rather thank you for the time I spent critiquing your article.

  15. I have lived trough a divorce and after 7 years remarried ..age 55 female married for 5 years.
    Sex is nice but not the most important in life …a life long partners …trust …and …love. ( without sex) holding hands.
    if I get a text I love you …I know how it feels and it warms up my heart and gives me a smile on my faces …because I know how it feels.
    I strongly believe If I don’t feel loved by hugs and kisses caring having you’re partner beside you and hear I love you, go out to dinner ect , then yes Marriage is over.
    You are in control how you use technology …which is just a easy way to get your excitement nothing else …not A life time support ..partner for life …
    You choose …what is important for you……if you don’t have control or have not figure out you life..and like the technology and attention …you got the answer.

  16. After reading Anthony’s articles there are two things that stand out to me, that weren’t already mentioned in your response. The first is, a sexless marriage is a SYMPTOM of deeper problems. Marriage does not inevitably lead to a sex-less life. If yours did, there are other, even bigger issues to deal with. And secondly, Anthony’s fourth point strikes close to one of the biggest issues, with out actually naming it: selfishness. If you get married focusing on what it will do for YOU, expecting your spouse to meet certain needs and desires you have, you will be very disappointed. Marriages are only successful when BOTH people put their spouse’s needs, desires, and wants ABOVE their own. To do that, you have to be content and confident with who you are first. Too many people go into marriage with a Jerry Maguire “you complete me” complex. No person can ever “complete you”, they can only COMPLEMENT you. If you expect your spouse to make you whole, you will be very disappointed with your concept of marriage.

  17. Pingback: People Who Say Millenials Can't Handle Marriage are Full of It -

  18. loved your response to the original article. i’m 41 and married a millennial…i was 33 when we met and he was 25…we have been married 5 years, have one toddler and another one on the way. my parents had 4 divorces between the two of them, so i grew up thinking marriage was always doomed and always ended in people hurting each other financially…but i did 5 years of soul-searching and self-work following some long term relationships that failed and became “whole” enough to be vulnerable again and luckily get embraced as a whole by “mr. right”…you’re spot-on, marriage does take work…lots of maintenance too. i can pretty much echo what other people have said above, that it’s not about finding the “right” partner, it’s about BEING the “right” partner. luck also may have something to do with it…for myself in my own experience it was not settling for less than i felt i deserved and getting enough self-esteem to know i was worth more than some guys were offering or treating me and having the courage to say good-bye. i suppose marrying someone with the same value-system, same financial spending habits/goals and lifestyles goes a long way too to helping to keep marriages together.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s