and what it is for
Love this. Especially: If we look to marriage simply to cure loneliness or feelings of weakness, we expect far too little of it. We will end up simply seeing our spouses as inconsistent sources of respite from existential dread.
Bravo on your incisive analysis of what has gone astray in contemporary understandings of marriage, and the starts in the right direction that you make in proposing an alternative. For a fuller understanding of marriage and what marriage is for, I strongly recommend Love and Responsibility by Pope Saint John Paul II. This philosophical text will take your ideas further and integrate them into a comprehensive, consistent, and compelling theory of marriage that will bear incredible fruit.
I have read this substrack for a while, and generally don't have much to add besides that I always enjoy it, both in what it covers and simply how it is written. Keep up the great work!
“ Times piece argued that hating your spouse was no reason to leave them, while the Atlantic piece argued that loving your spouse was no reason not to leave them.” Sounds like polygamy to me. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but they/them still feel plural to me.