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Marriage Confidential: Love in the Post-Romantic Age [Kindle Edition]

Pamela Haag
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $11.79
You Save: $4.20 (26%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
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Book Description

“Inthis timely and thought-provoking analysis of modern coupledom, PamelaHaag& paints a vivid tableau of the ‘semi-happy’ couple. Written withwit and aplomb, this page turner will instigate an insurrection against ourmarital complacency.” —Esther Perel, author of Matingin Captivity

Writtenwith the persuasive power of Naomi Wolf and the analytical skills of Susan Faludi, Pamela Haag’s provocative but sympathetic look atthe state of marriage today answers—and goes beyond—the question many of us are asking: "Is this all there is?"

Editorial Reviews


“The personal is political after all. This first big history of the marriages of the post-feminist generation tells a riveting story of how socially empowered women-including many who opted out-and their mates are still struggling to find happiness in their personal lives.”

From the Back Cover

Marriage Confidential tackles this question with bracing candor, taking us inside a world where romantic ideas have given way to a "post-romantic" mood and a fair number of marriages end up "semi-happy." It's a world where the husbands of "workhorse wives" pursue the Having It All dream that married women have abandoned; where children have migrated from the children's table to the centerpiece; and where technology, demography, and economy place unprecedented stresses on marital fidelity. Among other examples of marriage trailblazers, Haag even presents a case for how updated ideas of non-monogamy might be an option for the future.

Uniquely weaving together cultural commentary, memoir, storytelling, history, and research, Marriage Confidential gives us a riveting glimpse of what the future of marriage might look like.

Product Details

  • File Size: 641 KB
  • Print Length: 355 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0061719293
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; Reprint edition (May 31, 2011)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004FEF6QU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,772 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 84 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the end of marriage as we know it? April 9, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Once upon a time and if we wanted society's approval, we needed to get married in order to have sex, children and financial security. Today, thanks to birth control, education, women's earning power and changing mores, marriage is no longer an imperative. It's a choice. However, as author Pamela Haag finds out, in spite of all the freedoms modern generations enjoy, marriage can still be as conventional and confining as it was in our parents' times.

In "Marriage Confidential," Ms. Haag argues that modern couples are increasingly susceptible to a malaise she calls "marriage melancholy." Husband and wife profess their love for each other and are committed to their children. To their families and friends, their marriage is a happy one. However, in private, both spouses are besieged by feelings of doubts, of "something not being quite right," and of sadness. Unable to pinpoint the root of their discontent, they settle into a low stress, low-conflict, semi-happy marriage.

Based on research literature on marriage, information glimpsed out of online discussions and groups, the results of two surveys, interviews, personal experiences resulting from her going "undercover" and on reflections of her own marriage, Ms. Haag uncovers the reasons of today's marital dissatisfaction in the "Have-It-All/Do-It-All" syndrome, the unrealistic expectations of parenthood perfection and online cheating. The first two factors have contributed to the spouses' disassociation with their identities as adults with intimate needs. The third one undermines (and denies) the last pillar of traditional marriage: monogamy. Curiously, Ms. Hagg seems to see monogamy as the obstacle toward marital fulfillment today.
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87 of 104 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Writing Hides The Content May 15, 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Haag presents offers an analysis of contemporary marriage in the post-romantic age of workhorse wives, royal children, undersexed spouses, and rebel couples who are rewriting the rules. The fundamental problem with "Marriage Confidential" is that the writing style obscures its content.

It is very difficult to absorb the subject matter of this book due to the distraction caused by Haag's strange choice of words, confusing, unclear prose and inaccurate writing. The text is hopped up with pseudo-intellectual vocabulary, often used inappropriately, which does nothing more than confuse the reader. Sample words: jeremiad and charivari - both of which are used incorrectly. Why use "transmogrify" when you could use "transform"? If such word choices are intended to impress the reader, in actuality they undermine the book's substance by making it less accessible, annoying this reader.

Here's a sample sentence: "Emily loves to play `family,' and in this game, she ventriloquizes her parents' marriage with what sounds like chilling concision."

Emily is not "ventriloquizing," but parodying, mimicking or imitating her parents' marriage dialogue. Further, "concision" seems irrelevant in this sentence, although "accuracy" would be appropriate.

Haag describes the term "bromance" as being included in the "Oxford English Dictionary. This dictionary defines "bromance" as "a close but nonsexual relationship between two men." Webster's is consistent with Oxford, defining "bromance" as a close but nonsexual friendship between men." Haag's next sentence defines "bromances" as "crushes" among avowedly heterosexual men, directly conflicting with the use of the term as defined by Oxford.
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46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I received this book for free through the Amazon Vine program.

This is the worst book I have read in a long time, in several senses of the word "worst." In fact, the only thing that kept me reading to the end was that I wanted to be able to write a complete review detailing everything that is wrong with it. Starting with the actual writing itself, there were two problems right off the bat. First, as other reviewers have noted, the ridiculously stilted language, which would be one problem on its own, but the fact that Haag misuses words, sometimes to the point of outright malapropisms, is another yet. Also it is clear before you are even half way through the first chapter that Haag is not certain about what kind of book she is writing. Hard nonfiction, with the research to back up her assertions? If that was the goal, the book fails miserably, as the research presented is thin indeed. Creative nonfiction, a kind of meditation on the current state of marriage? As such this book also fails, as the writing is too superficial and glib to be called "creative." She muddies the water further by dragging in her own marriage and her poor husband John, who is thanked in foreward and acknowledgements alike, but apparently is also a fine example of a disappointing, dull, passionless husband. This was a bad idea as it spoiled Haag herself as a sympathetic narrator; I spent the rest of the book feeling vaguely mortified for her husband and child, who also gets dragged in as evidence of kids-as-marriage-killers.

If you share Haag's perspective on what life ought to be, you might find this book more appealling. To give you an idea of her bias, she defines being grounded (as in rooted in a stable place) as a negative early in the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I am SOOO glad I didn't listen and I didn't miss out on ...
I almost didn't but this book because of the complaint about language. Pretentious and inefficient language annoys me to no end. Read more
Published 2 months ago by TW
5.0 out of 5 stars Haag is an excellent writer and she tackles this topic with candor and...
Fascinating book that highlights the changing face of marriage in the 21st century. Ms. Haag is an excellent writer and she tackles this topic with candor and objectivity. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Terry Gaspard
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth a moment's time.
I borrowed this book from the library and read it on my Kindle. Well, I won't lie -- I haven't finished the book. I hate it too much to keep on reading. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Sofia
1.0 out of 5 stars Marriage Confidential
Marriage Confidential by Pamela Haag, a Goodreads First Read free giveaway book won on May 12th, received on May 20th, but that I didn't start reading until July 14th. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kristine Fisher
1.0 out of 5 stars The most depressing marriage book I've ever read
My favorite part of reading this book was finishing it. This is not the book to read if you want to be encouraged or improve your marriage. Read more
Published 13 months ago by dgrec
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
I liked the idea of this book, but then I started reading it. I'm not sure who her audience was, but if I were Ms. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mom of 2...Going on 3
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I had expected.
I was so excited to receive this book. I have read many good reviews (and a few bad) so I thought it was going to be a good read. Read more
Published on April 23, 2013 by J. Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Marriage Confidential by Pamela Haag
Marriage Confidential reads as a long opinion piece. It was quite dry in spots and it wasn't what I would call cohesive. Read more
Published on February 16, 2013 by Jennifer Hartling
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't get into it
Someone recommended this book to me and I've tried to read it on several occasions but just can't get into it. Read more
Published on January 2, 2013 by Lisa
5.0 out of 5 stars The book I have been waiting 20 years for
This is the book that I have needed for 20 years. This book has helped to save my marriage, my happiness, and my career. I was raised Catholic by a very strict latin mother. Read more
Published on January 2, 2013 by Paulie
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More About the Author

Pamela Haag began her professional life as an academic, earning a Ph.D. in history from Yale after attending Swarthmore College. Her writing spans a wide and unusual spectrum, from academic scholarship to memoir with a focus on women's issues, feminism, and American culture. She has worked as Director of Research for the AAUW, a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., which focuses on gender equity in education; as a speechwriter; and has written numerous personal and opinion essays in a variety of venues, from NPR to the American Scholar, the Christian Science Monitor to the Michigan Quarterly Review. She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and post-doctoral fellowships at both Brown and Rutgers University. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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