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Cult of Parenting Is Destroying Marriage

Sometimes we need to put our partners first, write Danielle and Astro Teller
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2014 5:12 PM CDT
Cult of Parenting Is Destroying Marriage
Parenting is treated like a religion in American culture, say Danielle and Astro Teller.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – In the US, parenting today is comparable to a religion: "Nothing in life is allowed to be more important than our children, and we must never speak a disloyal word about our relationships with our offspring," write Danielle and Astro Teller at Quartz. As evidence, they point to Ayelet Waldman's 2005 New York Times essay in which she noted that she loved her husband more than her kids. The reaction, which included physical threats, was reminiscent of "how a religion persecutes a heretic," the Tellers write. You can criticize anyone else in your family, but say something negative about your kids "and see how fast you get dropped from the PTA."

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But it wasn't always this way, the Tellers suggest; this type of thinking took hold "sometime between when we were children and when we had children of our own." And it's taking a toll on marriage, they write: "Couples who live entirely child-centric lives can lose touch with one another to the point where they have nothing left to say to one another when the kids leave home." We "press pause" on our romantic relationships while raising the kids. Then, "once our gods have left us, we try to pick up the pieces of our long-neglected marriages and find new purpose. Is it surprising that divorce rates are rising fastest for new empty nesters?" Click for the full piece. (Read more parenting stories.)

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