Tom Storck had a great article in CetT in which he used the advice handed out by either the Dear Abby or Ann Landers column as a source of insight into American culture. I admit to being a compulsive and frequently appalled reader of Dear Abby. Today’s column connects with the ongoing discussion of annulments we’ve been having here.
"Unhappy in Nebraska" describes her sad situation: she’s thirty, married to a guy in his mid-50s with whom she has an 8-year-old daughter; she wants to have more children, he’s had a vasectomy; she wants to go back to college, he doesn’t want her to. Etc. She has tried to ignore her feelings, been to counseling, taken anti-depressants, and now wants out. She concludes: "At what point is it OK to make a decision you know will hurt someone else just for yourself?"
Sez Abby (now the original Abby’s daughter, as you may know): "Because counseling and medication haven’t helped, the time is now, while your husband can still find a woman whose values are more similar to his own than yours are."
There is a whole, whole lot of what’s gone and going wrong with marriage and for that matter with our culture in general in this exchange.