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Don't Marry This Woman!

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In an article by Stephanie Rosenbloom in The New York Times about high-tech snooping, I caught this bit:

Amy Greenspan, a graphic designer in Manhattan, said she opens her fiancé’s mail, but not his e-mail — though she occasionally answers his cellphone and responds to instant messages for him (though she said she identifies herself).

But one night, she said, she picked up his cellphone and began a game of scrolling through his address book and deleting other women’s phone numbers. “He had to make a case for everybody who stayed,” she said.

Frightening. The fact that she wasn't the first to go says everything about the guy. Can we all band together, take up a collection, and maybe rent him a nice little starter set of balls?

The best approach is to pick somebody ethical and let them be. Also, to not believe in the fiction that love necessarily lasts forever. As a smart out-of-print book, Advice To A Young Wife From An Old Mistress, by (Ms.) Michael Drury, points out you can't pledge to love somebody forever any more than you can promise to have any feeling forever. What you can do is pledge to act loving and to stick around -- even if the spark has turn to shit. Mmm, romantic!

A column I wrote a while back, Caught In A Bridal Wave, with the exact Michael Drury quote is here.

Posted by aalkon at September 7, 2006 11:59 AM

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Comments

Roger's Rules of the Road

1. Never get caught without your wheels
2. Never say the 2 words (I do)
3. Never listen to the 3 words (I love you)

Posted by: Roger at September 7, 2006 7:49 AM

This is so wrong, I don't know where to begin. I've had exes pull this on me before. I maintain a no-excuses "two-strike" rule on this. On the other hand, one of my best friends is married to a woman who laughed when I told her about this. Her response: "we have no privacy; he opens my email all the time." So I guess its not a gender thing.

Posted by: snakeman99 at September 7, 2006 8:08 AM

> you can't pledge to love
> somebody forever

No, but you can promise to behave as if you do. People want to think their needs are gonna be met

Posted by: Crid at September 7, 2006 8:33 AM

"People want to think their needs are gonna be met"

People have unrealistic needs because they haven't considered that marriage, as it's been practiced, doesn't make sense for our times. Stephanie Coontz, in her book, Marriage, a history, points out that the problem came in when people started marrying for love instead of just marrying as a business arrangement.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 7, 2006 9:01 AM

I think their relationship sounds suffocating, kind of like being in prison. Why can't they just be happy, and enjoy each other's company?

Posted by: Canada at September 7, 2006 9:22 AM

To me, that's how a relationship should work. You stay together because you have more fun together and are better together than you are alone. When that stops being the case, you break up. For couples who have children, there should be a delivery room to dorm room plan. You pledge to stay together and keep the peace for that long. Then you can break up.

Of course, while men tend to be about "Who am I?" too many women are about "Who am I with?", which means they don't develop themselves to have a career that's a real means of support, and don't develop whole selves. Those are the women who overvalue their relationships -- because their relationships are where they get their identity.

My feeling, in a relationship: Either you want me or you don't. If you want somebody else, you should have them.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at September 7, 2006 9:43 AM

That's funny... I have a "two-strike" rule too. Must be an industry standard. Richard Dawkins might just be right about that whole "tit-for-two-tats" thing.

Posted by: Paul Hrissikopoulos at September 7, 2006 11:31 AM

"Only a race of limited lifespan could imagine that love is forever." - Wayne Alexander, as Lorien, for J. M. Straczynski in Babylon 5.

Posted by: Radwaste at September 7, 2006 7:01 PM

In an extreme case like this, would a one-strike rule be so wrong?

Posted by: Gary S. at September 7, 2006 9:22 PM

snakeman writes:

This is so wrong, I don't know where to begin. I've had exes pull this on me before. I maintain a no-excuses "two-strike" rule on this. On the other hand, one of my best friends is married to a woman who laughed when I told her about this. Her response: "we have no privacy; he opens my email all the time." So I guess its not a gender thing.

Two? That's too generous. If you let someone off the hook for snooping once, all they're going to do is make sure they don't get caught. I expect eventually, they'll become brazen enough to get caught again, if it continues. But how much of your privacy will be compromised by then?

You catch them in the act the first time, you've already established they have no ethics. What more do you need to know? You think saying "If I ever catch you violating my privacy again, you're history!" will suddenly turn an unethical person into an ethical one?

I say kick 'em to the curb, right then and there. You don't read other peoples' mail, or sift through their address book or check their calls on their cell phones. If you do, you've got major league security issues and probably control issues as well.

Posted by: Patrick at September 8, 2006 12:21 AM

We're imperfect creatures of passion, so two works for me. But then that's but my good and my evil. So as you will.

Posted by: Paul Hrissikopoulos at September 8, 2006 9:05 AM

Hi, my sites:
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Posted by: Yhanks you at February 1, 2008 6:03 AM

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