The Enigma of Marriage October 27, 1929

David Seabury, October 27, 1929
“Every censor is a libertine afraid he will go bad and so wanting to make restrictions for himself and to put them on others. The romantic love of Romeo and Juliet, in which a couple think each other perfect, is no real foundation for marriage.
“Only real love, based on some resemblance in tastes and a disposition to give in to the extent of 60% in order to preserve mutual compatibility, is likely to maintain a happy marriage. A 600% increase in the annual number of divorces in the United States in the last 30 years proves that marriage today is a botch, showing that while we have grown up we have not learned to adjust ourselves to the grown-up state.
“Recently in a hall where there were 1800 persons, when I asked how many were blissfully happy in marriage, one young woman, only, arose.
“I believe that possibly in the nation there are 10% blissfully happy in marriage and 50% ranging from contentment to misery. As an indicator of how widely sentiment differs on the subject, a president of a woman’s club recently declared that 50% of married people were happy, while a male speaker declared that an estimate of 10% indicate preposterous optimism.
“What state is the most moral to al outward appearances?
And what state has the lowest moral standard of the nation? And the answer is Massachusetts. It is the same in Massachusetts as in England. They pull down the blinds.”

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