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January 23 2008

"Juno", Love, and Marriage

Heather R. Higgins

I haven't yet had the pleasure of seeing the movie "Juno", but the promos are everywhere in the wake of its many nominations.  In a clip that's part of the ad for the movie, the young woman is asking how she can know who to marry, how you can know that it's going to last.  A male answers that no one can assure her of that, that the best you can do is find someone who really loves you for who you are.

What wretchedly wrong advice!  It captures the current marriage zeitgeist -- nothing more than the manifestation of love for however long that lasts, or doesn't -- and that in itself explains why more marriages don't last.

How about "You should look for someone who not only loves and respects you, and you him, but you should have shared values, and one of those has to be that you both believe in marriage itself.  Then you've got a shot. Love doesn't stay the same - sometimes it grows, but sometimes even when it grows there will be times when you get tired and irritated with each other, when someone changes, when things get stale.  If you haven't married someone who is committed to making the marriage work, particularly once there are children, sticking it through and doing everything you can to make it work, then chances are you don't have a prayer."  That probably wouldn't make a good movie.  But it makes a heck of a good life.



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