Anthony D’Ambrosio is done with marriage. The 29-year-old, who met his wife in 2004 and divorced her in 2012, has been on the dating scene for three years and he’s learned a thing or two: Mainly that there are five reasons that marriage didn’t work for him and that these same reasons apply to your stupid, useless relationship.
Putting aside the elephant in the room — the fact that D’Ambrosio is too young to be this world-weary, got married way too early and writes like he’s the expert of everyone’s relationship despite the fact that his article could have literally ended with a “lol” because it’s so cringe-inducing — let’s talk about the actual reasons that he believes that marriage doesn’t work, which are specious and clearly rooted in D’Ambrosio’s own personal feelings and nothing else. (I kind of imagine him sending this piece to his ex and writing “thinking of you” and then feeling just as smug as I am right now writing about what an unrepentant idiot he is.)
So what’s ruining marriage and making it impossible for you to maintain a relationship? Let me give you a quick rundown: Lack of sex, crippling finances, being connected to the outside world but also disconnected to the person we love (#deepthought), our need for attention more than love and, of course social media. Now, on the whole, this doesn’t look like a ridiculous list. It’s true that some of us need more attention and that sex may fade from a marriage over time, but what D’Ambrosio doesn’t mention are the most important marriage killers of them all: lack of hard work and communication. Nor does he mention that, according to various sources, divorces are actually down since the idyllic time before cellphones and computers.
Based on the article, it feels like D’Ambrosio is operating on a completely different wavelength than many couples who have been able to stay happy in long-term relationships. It’s not that he’s completely wrong about the decrease in sex over a period of years, it’s that he’s completely ignoring the fact that some of us will never want to have as much sex as we wanted to when we were 23 and that as passion fades a little from a relationship (normal once you’ve showered while your partner is pooping) it’s replaced by comfort and the warm feeling you get from knowing that there’s always going to be someone there for you and will be on your side. If you’ve got a problem with the lack of sex, your partner’s social media use or the fact that they don’t clean the house enough, you don’t sit down and declare marriage dead for everyone. There are other ways to handle it. And based on D’Ambrosio’s use of Marilyn Monroe as an attention-seeking harlot, it doesn’t seem that he’s equipped with the emotional maturity to do that.
Even years ago, people would clamor over celebrities. When I think back, I can imagine young women wanting to be like Marilyn Monroe. She was beautiful, all over magazines, could have any man she wanted and, in fact, did.
But she was a celebrity. And in order to be a successful one, she had to keep all eyes on her. Same holds true for celebrities today. They have to stay in the spotlight or their fame runs out, and they get replaced by the next best thing.
That’s not how this works! That’s not how any of this works! For most people, marriage doesn’t just fade out because they need attention from everybody and, hopefully, by the time you’re married you can kind of tell how much attention your partner will need and try to balance that in your relationship. These are things that you try to figure out
This leads me to the discussion of that “hard work” bit. I’ve been in a relationship for seven years (next week) and while I'm not expert enough to tell people what's wrong with their marriages as freely as D'Ambrosio does, I can tell you that I have some experience with relationships and the elbow grease (no pun intended) that keeps them going. I love my partner very much I can’t tell you that living together is one big gay party. I don’t clean enough, he cleans too much. He watches too much TV, I’m grumpy and don’t want to talk when he comes home at night. He goes to bed at ten and I show up sometime after three. And yet, somehow we’re still chugging along. Not because we’re a model couple but because we communicate and work from a framework of similar values towards the same goals. And that’s what’s really important, regardless of whether Facebook exists or not.
Many of us try to figure out exactly why a relationship ended after it’s over. D’ambrosio with his decrees about sexing it up and making sure not to invite strangers into your bedroom via social media seems like he’s trying to find a reason for why his marriage didn’t work out, not help others see the “road blocks” modern society puts out for millennials currently considering marriage. He claims his experience comes from watching the people around him every day, but it’s difficult to take him seriously when his only qualifications seem to be a divorce and the desire to love again (and maybe get married?). It’s kind of like the fox who couldn’t get the grapes so he decided they were too bitter? If it didn’t work for him, it won’t work for you either,
Here’s how he closes his piece:
Marriage is sacred. It is the most beautiful sacrament and has tremendous promise for those fortunate enough to experience it. Divorced or not, I am a believer in true love and building a beautiful life with someone. In fact, it’s been my dream since I was young.
I hope you never experience the demise of your love. It’s painful, and life changing; something nobody should ever feel.
I do fear, however, that the world we live in today has put roadblocks in the way of getting there and living a happy life with someone. Some things are in our control, and unfortunately, others are not.
People can agree or disagree.
I’m perfectly OK with that.
First of all, everyone experiences heartbreak. It is a natural and unfortunate part of life and while I wouldn’t recommend that you go out and get your heart trampled on by anyone, I will say that having mine trodden upon by the cloven hooves of a cheating ex kind of taught me about what I would and wouldn’t accept in a relationship. It’s not fun, but it is a growth opportunity. I would argue that if it’s something one not only should feel, but inevitably will. Second of all, if you’re going to have strong opinions (like this one), don’t cop out on them at the end. Speak them out loud and let people decide how they’re going to handle them, knowing that you’ll be able to weather the storm. You know what? That works in a successful marriage, too. Funny, that.
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