Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Marital Advice for a Very Close Friend

I have a very close, long-time friend who is going through marital discord. It happens.

I just read these few paragraphs in Accidental Canadian [p. 65] by Margaret Wente, referring to a conversation she had with Linda Waite, co-author of The Case for Marriage:

[S]urely, I argued, being trapped in a lousy, rotten marriage is worse than getting a divorce.

"Not necessarily," [replied Waite]. Most couples who say they are quite unhappy with their marriage but stay married are much happier five years later. Good marriages can go bad. But bad marriages quite often go good."

I thought of all the married couples I know who were miserable when their kids were little and they were broke and tired. I thought of the best friend who used to come over and throw herself on my couch and vow to leave her husband and run away to France. She never did. Now the kids are grown, the mortgage is paid off and she and the husband she couldn't stand for one more second are devoted to each other. They had a good marriage that went bad and then went good. They just had to wait it out.
A longer-run perspective might be helpful.
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