Marriage is fraught with “emotional pain, humiliation, and logistical difficulty.” And for women—expected to work, parent, tend to the house, and on top of all that, keep the romance alive—it’s a “bum deal,” writes Sandra Tsing Loh, herself ending a 20-year union, in the Atlantic. In this era of “white-collar work and washing machines” and soaring life expectancies, “isn’t the idea of lifelong marriage obsolete?”
Sure, stability is important for raising kids. But that stability needn’t be traditional, Loh notes. We could try “the tribal approach”: have young kids raised “in a household of mothers and their female kin.” Men can take custody when the kids are older. Or we could “accept marriage as a splitting-the-mortgage arrangement”—a pair of friends, who “set the bedroom aglow”—only with their separate laptops.