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She wants her children to still like their father, regardless of how much of a shit he was.

Modern love, indeed.


i'm linking your posting on my blog, so i don't have to write a new one. couldn't have said it better.


Really good take on it. I also think "iamnotstarjones" is right too.

michelle goodman

He wanted her to write about their experience, only not the part saying that he had a psychotic break/affair with a younger woman/dalliance with a man he met at the unemployment office. Because that would embarrass him more than the midlife crisis admission.

Judy McCrabby

I'm so glad to see I wasn't the only one annoyed by this column.


He's probably done it before and will do it again. I know someone in a similar boat and he hasn't been "in love" with his wife for years, he is just waiting for the kids to finish high school before he leaves (also so he doesn't have to pay child support). He has had many affairs in the last 20 years of their marriage. I'm sure his wife is ignoring all the warning signs as much as this woman is. It's sad when marriages become more of a "business partnership" than a true life partnership, but that's what many are today it seems.

Anne O. Nemis

I really hated reading this Modern Love because my mother is stuck in a loveless marriage (he's a bastard to live with), and I'm still asking why I thought someone who didn't give me the time of day was worth my time. Like the woman in the article, we figured putting up with it equated strength. Nope, it equals stupidity, and I'm still beating myself up.

The second someone treats you bad, just get out.


I found this blog via a Google search for one -- ONE! -- person who didn't think Munson's column was the wisdom of the ages. It so bummed me out to read all the "You go, girl!"-style comments to this piece on the NYT's website.

What particularly frosted my Pop-Tarts was this:

"I know what you’re thinking: I’m a pushover. I’m weak and scared and would put up with anything to keep the family together. I’m probably one of those women who would endure physical abuse. But I can assure you, I’m not. I load 1,500-pound horses into trailers and gallop through the high country of Montana all summer. I went through Pitocin-induced natural childbirth. And a Caesarean section without follow-up drugs. I am handy with a chain saw."


Dunno about the horses, but I live in Maine and have volunteered on a hotline for domestic abuse victims -- and I can tell you that neither having chain saw prowess nor experiencing natural childbirth mean that you're *not* "one of those women who would endure physical abuse."

All kinds of women (and men) are in battering relationships. But because a person *appears* to be someone who brooks no shit doesn't mean that he or she *is* a person who brooks no shit.


Such as relief to find someone else who sensed something fishy in that column. Talk about "not buying it"! I don't buy Munson's enlightenment for one second.

And she says she loves her husband... but her depiction of him as a bumbling schlemiel with the intelligence of a hamster rather belies that statement. (His only words in the essay are "huh?" and "huh?", until his mumbled Thanksgiving prayer.) Yeah, he's a prize worth keeping!


Just learned that Munson has a book coming out in April based on her "insights" -- hope she discusses the 500-pound elephant (or blonde) missing from the Modern Love piece.

Thanks for a thoughtful take on the piece. It (the ML piece) was a missed opportunity for some real truth telling that would have helped a lot of people.


I'll keep you rare birds in my head with me when I interview her this week!

Kristin Duus

I had a totally different reaction to Laura Munson's story. I saw it as a story of redemption. Redemption of a marriage. Redemption of Munson's chutzpah. I think far too many marriages end because the offended sit and "noodle" over the offense rather than rising above and giving the person in crisis breathing room. I am not advocating co-dependency or speaking of physical or emotional abuse,but simply acknowledging that it is a long-time between being a newlywed and "till death do us part." Too many families have been destroyed because this generation, and the one before, does not know how to withstand the storms.

As for the assumption that there must have been an affair...I totally disagree. Sometimes a person really IS too wound around the axle to be engaged in such a daliance. Munson's husband was depressed over his business failure and his "lack of trajectory." He was all about himself -- I don't think there was room for even a hot blonde.

I say "hurray" for Laura Munson. And I say "hurray" to the reconciliation of her marriage.

marriage in crisis

Great point about relationships having speed bumps. No relationship is perfect, and if they were they would be boring.


Lisa H.

I have to speak up here and say that despite your findings and your own past, this story can absolutely play out with no cheating. It happened with me.
Now, my husband didn't behave like the husband in the story; he wasn't rude to me. But just like in the story, I had to realize that (and because for me, he told me) the issues were mostly his and not on me. Sure, there were some things that I wasn't pulling my weigh on in the relationship. But he said the words that, above, you attribute to being the words of a cheater.
They're not. They're not always the words of a cheater. You don't know these people and so I don't feel that you can insist that a key element was left out.
My husband came around. We got through it. He got through his shit. We're really good now. My husband is still working through his stress-related middle-age-related issues, but we're doing it together.

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