Monday, July 30, 2018

Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel


When my son got married, it really was a happy day. His wife's parents had a place on a lake, and they had the reception there, and it was beautiful. They hired a bartender who had real squeezed lime juice for my vodka gimlets instead of Rose's, and I wasn't about to let all his hard word squeezing limes go to waste. Reading this book made me think about my son and every other marriage I know that didn't make it. The truth is, none of were that surprised when they split up. It was kind of a quick fire job, and the writing was on the wall. My son is charming and charismatic. He makes great first impressions, but those are usually his best. I guess Perel might say that his desire for emotional intimacy led to a loss of mystery or that he wasn't good enough at harnessing his inner rage, or some other bullshit. My guess is that he wasn't good enough at doing the dishes or keeping his shirt buttoned right or ignoring the adoring gazes of his college students. But what the hell do I know? At least I know well enough not to make up some ridiculous nonsense about why relationships don't work. I was married for 46 years, and it was not all mystery and romance, and that, Esther, is not what it is all about. Trust, respect, reliability, kindness - these are the building blocks, and you don't get those by going to swingers weekends every now and then. I mean, what the hell even is that? Jesus. I'm just glad my wife never read this while she was alive. She was beautifully open-minded, but that made her susceptible to "experts" shoveling her a load now and again, and she probably would have come away from this book convinced that we were communicating too well or some other hooey. No stars.

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