Why does anyone want to get married? All the hopes and dreams we have about happily ever after seem to be nothing but a fairy tale illusion. It's very possible, the "hard work" it requires to make a marriage work wrings out all the passion and joy from this union. The public bust-ups and sexual escapades of numerous celebrity marriages makes it very obvious we currently inhabit a vast and bleak landscape of marital discontent.
In a much-discussed survey of 35,000 American women, published in Woman's Day, 72 percent of married women said they had considered leaving their husbands. Seventy-nine percent said they'd like sex more often, and 52 percent said they have no sex life to speak of.
Most of us have not consciously or categorically banished passionate love from our lives, we just can't seem to make it fit. Indeed, if being in love is such a stimulating and gratifying state — and can be, of course — why would we do without it unless we had to?
Talk to almost any therapist, and he or she will tell you that the primary reason people aren't happy is they are too tired to have sex and have built up a little mountain of resentments over the difficulty of running a household together. This is in part why we are so fascinated with marriages that appear, from the outside at least, highly functional and romantic: How do the Obamas make time for date night when Barack has a country to run?
It's interesting that even as heterosexual women are sounding the death knell for their nuptials, homosexual men and women are fighting for the right to marry traditionally. It may be that you can't properly relate to an institution until you become a member.