Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, January 29, 2010

Elizabeth Gilbert on Marriage

For fans of Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love), here’s a CNN interview with the writer on her new book Committed, which covers her view of marriage following a bitter divorce and (happy?) remarriage.  We’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the future, with a movie version of Eat, Pray, Love coming out late this summer, starring Julia Roberts.

Here’s an interesting excerpt from the CNN interview, which can be accessed in its entirety here:

CNN: Marriage has often been portrayed as something that protects women. But you found in your book that it benefits men the most. Were you surprised by that?

Gilbert: It's surprising, though it shouldn't be. Looking at study after study, it becomes quite chilling to see how very much benefited men are by marriage. Married men perform in life exceptionally better than single men, they live longer, they're richer, they're happier.

CNN: And yet men are often reluctant to enter into marriage.

Gilbert: Which is the big irony. They have to be dragged kicking and screaming into something that will benefit them enormously in life. And the cruel irony is that the people who drag them kicking and screaming into it -- the women -- are the ones who often find that they've gotten the short end of the stick.

Women give more and as a result they give up more.

I think the other problem is that women go into marriage with such high expectations, really inflated romantic ideas about what this relationship is going to be. Men go into marriage with virtually no expectations whatsoever. Ten years later, the men are delightfully surprised to find out that it's actually kind of nice, and the women have sort of had to take a nose dive from what they thought it was going to be.


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