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How I Got Through This

In a year of uncertainty, at least we could take control of our marriage

Photo illustration; source image courtesy of the author

My husband and I weren’t alone in having to choose between postponing our big autumn wedding because of the pandemic, or becoming one of those viral (pun intended) news stories about selfish couples hosting superspreader events. We chose the former. It was an easy decision, made easier by having plenty of company in the same boat, including friends with wedding dates around the same time who I could text regularly: “Did you decide yet? What is your band saying? Does your family get it?”

It also helped that it was a slow-motion decision process: An October party, indoors in New…


Women beware: Nearly half of American men still want a housewife

Man looking at family while cleaning carpet with vacuum cleaner in living room
Photo: Maskot/Getty Images

Of all the things young women are taught in order to prepare for their future, there’s one crucial piece of advice that’s so often lacking: If you are straight, don’t even think about getting married before knowing that your future husband will do his fair share of housework. I’m serious.

It may feel like a given — we’ve made so much progress on gender equality! — or an issue that you can work out and divvy up once you’re living together in wedded bliss. But the truth is that the domestic gender gap is one of the only areas where…

The difficult final year of a much-loved and legendarily difficult woman

Photo illustration, Source: Neville Elder/Getty Images

Introduction by Garance Franke-Ruta. Jump to the start of Elizabeth Wurtzel’s essay here.

The late Elizabeth Wurtzel was best known for her memoirs and essays, especially Prozac Nation and Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women, but after attending Yale Law School in her late 30s she also enjoyed having a voice in the political arena. She was as much an original there as everywhere else, and between 2010 and 2012 she wrote a series of pieces for me at The Atlantic.

A feminist and a New Yorker who had really lived, she looked at the world in a different way…

Exposing the absurdity of the right’s latest moral panic

Photo: rasevskaya0/Pixabay

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat scored a perfect 1600 on his SAT.

He would want you to know that, and I don’t mind advertising it for him. After all, given my skepticism about the validity of these tests as proxies for real intelligence, making note of his flawless score serves to drive home rather viscerally the proof of their inadequacy.

Because for a guy who is deemed smart by the standards of our culture, it is nothing short of stunning to read his feeble efforts at erudition, such as the one from this week, which fellow bloviator Ben Shapiro…

The New New

Due to shifting social norms and economic leaps, women are now as likely as men to have affairs

Illustration: Nicole Ginelli

Unlike most everything else she did in her life, Amanda, a 41-year-old executive at a Boston-area creative agency, began her affair without much thought. It was just drinks with an old friend. When drinks turned to dinner, and dinner turned to sleepovers four months in, she didn’t stop it. It wasn’t weakness at play, she thought, but something else.

“As awful as it was to my family, and I knew it was awful, I couldn’t resist the draw,” Amanda, whose name we have changed to protect her privacy, says today. She had a thriving career (and salary to match), plenty…


Advice from someone who’s been married for 10 years

Image: nic/Unsplash

Ten years ago today, I got married in an upstate New York ceremony that I planned down to the dinner napkin placement and band’s song order. I wore gray instead of white — I had just written a book decrying America’s obsession with virginity — and had spent the two previous nights meticulously punching out leaf-shaped pieces of paper with my then fiancé, pasting them on seating cards. It was a lovely and love-filled day.

A few months later I was pregnant, and I started planning again — this time with a registry full of crib sheets and baby slings…

Power Trip

When money moves from “mine” to “ours,” things can get tense

Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty

A few years ago, my husband and I beat the millennial odds and purchased a home together.

Becoming a homeowner is complicated enough on its own, but for me, it was an emotionally tough process as well. When I contacted lenders, they only wanted to talk to my husband. When I sent the down payment I had been saving for years, the escrow service asked him for details. And when we finally closed on our home and I sent a thank-you email to our lender, they replied, “You’re welcome. Congratulations, Brian!”

As someone who prided herself on being independent, I…

Don’t marry someone who won’t take your career as seriously as their own

Photo: d3sign/Getty

One of the most important decisions American women make about their careers has nothing to do with raises, internships, or degrees — it’s about who they choose to spend their life with. The one piece of advice that young ambitious women are never told but could make all the difference: The unequal division of labor that often comes with marriage and motherhood has the potential to derail their professional ambitions and personal passions. …

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