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The Economics Dance of Marriage

Friday, March 04, 2011

Katherine Rosman, columnist and author of If You Knew Suzy, talks about her new column in the Wall Street Journal, which tackles the economics of marriage and family. Read a recap at It's A Free Country>>>

Guests:

Katherine Rosman

The Morning Brief

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Comments [29]

cracked the code. seriously

Oral sex -- the U.S. Dollar of relationships.

Mar. 04 2011 08:33 PM
Caitlin

Jeez, what's with all the haters? The last segment of the hour is usually a bit lighter than the rest. What the guest said is, I thought, common sense- that any relationship has give and take, and it should eventually even out. I'm in a long distance relationship, and there's always negotiations about who visits whom for the weekend, for example. Does this deserve its own column? Perhaps not, but it's not complete drivel, either.

Mar. 04 2011 01:21 PM
dboy from nyc

5 year old needs a job before getting married - NOT funny!

Mar. 04 2011 01:04 PM
Elizabeth from Manhattan

Hi -- I was in a marriage for 21 years. There was no negotiating with my ex-husband -- the "ledger" was all on his side! So, you need a partner who is reasonable! Now I'm in a great civil union -- my partner does so much for me that I'm always afraid I'm not doing MY share. She says the same thing so we're very lucky. So, it all depends on whom you're with!

Mar. 04 2011 11:11 AM
dboy from nyc

... and the culture and parent(s) that put them on the internet!!!

Please make it stop!

Mar. 04 2011 11:03 AM
dboy from nyc

Please, deliver us from the budding scorekeeping, money preoccupied, narcissistic five year olds!

Ahhhhhhhh!

Mar. 04 2011 10:59 AM

Marriage is just another corrupt political institution. It should be abolished and outlawed. Corporations should produce babies in factories.For example, if Microsoft needs cheap programmers, they should just grow then in-house, and program them to be good programmers willing to work for peanuts and video games :)

Mar. 04 2011 10:58 AM

Marriage is just another corrupt political institution. It should be abolished and outlawed. Corporations should produce babies in factories.For example, if Microsoft needs cheap programmers, they should just grow then in-house, and program them to be good programmers willing to work for peanuts and video games :)

Mar. 04 2011 10:57 AM

Marriage is just another corrupt political institution. It should be abolished and outlawed. Corporations should produce babies in factories.For example, if Microsoft needs cheap programmers, they should just grow then in-house, and program them to be good programmers willing to work for peanuts and video games :)

Mar. 04 2011 10:56 AM
Alison from NYC

Too much to say and not enough time (I am at work, unfortunately would rather be a stay at home mom!) - first of all this kid on the video - I want to know if she has a single mother - sounds like it to me!! That language has to come from home, no? I don't think it's too cute.

Marriage is such a compromise - mothering is so difficult these days - we are expected to do so much now as working parents - the pressure is too much. And if you don't have a real partner who pitches in EVERYWHERE things fall apart quickly when you have kids - my marriage, sadly, is an example of that.

My experience is that you need to find a partner who is enough like you to have a good base and enough different from you for the attraction and COMMUNICATE!! Good luck to all couples!!!

Mar. 04 2011 10:52 AM
Kevin from Tri state area

What about the family as a safe haven from the economic marketplace?

Mar. 04 2011 10:52 AM
dboy from nyc

bernie from bklyn and Soupygirl

These two are on to something!!!

Mar. 04 2011 10:52 AM
bernie from bklyn

as with most youtube vids of kids doing "funny" things; it's just sad, not cute. she's saying this 'cause he's heard her family members talk like this. maybe we should get married for love? what a concept!
it's not about "payment" and who owes who what in a relationship and it's not cute to hear a 5yr. say she has to have a job before she'll get married. it's borderline exploitation, in my opinion. there should be a non-wall street journal- reading adult in her life to forget about garbage ideas like that...people like ms. rosman really make me sick.

Mar. 04 2011 10:52 AM
CL from NY

Beyond stupid.

Mar. 04 2011 10:51 AM
Faustina

Given the state of the economy and it's brutal effects on relationships marital and otherwise, the WSJ decision to run this pap is insular and ideological. This interview is
beyond dumb, beyond boring, beyond responsible. I give the column 3 months.

Mar. 04 2011 10:51 AM
jm

Now wait, why would anyone assume that little girl is repeating something she heard? How do you know she is not making a logical statement and that normally society isn't just trying to tell her otherwise?

Mar. 04 2011 10:50 AM
TishNYC

The moment we begin to keep score in our marriages is when the relationship changes into an enterprise. And as Brian quoted the rabbi saying, someone will always lose -- but because you've kept a ledger, they will also always know they've lost. And who wants a marriage like that?...

There's a lot of wisdom in those marriage vows, "... for better or worse, richer or poorer...." Why isn't that enough?

Mar. 04 2011 10:49 AM
telegram sam from Staten Island

Right on, Karen. The true blessing in my life from my ltr is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Granted, we're human so we have a ledger in our heads, one that sometimes is discussed when things aren't going well. But otherwise, I really hope she doesn't keep a ledger and I know I try not to have one myself. What happens if a partner becomes disabled? Or is otherwise unable to keep their end of the "bargain" for whatever reason? I've always thought the WSJ op-ed page was disgustingly callous and it seems under Murdoch they're doubling down.

Mar. 04 2011 10:48 AM
bob from NJ

Definately keep a Ledger. You will need it in divorce court. I know, I did.

Mar. 04 2011 10:48 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I don't think the "ledger" has to be at 50-50 constantly, but if it averages out to near 50-50, that's better than if it's 1-sided.

Mar. 04 2011 10:48 AM
Elizabeth from Manhattan

Hi -- I was in a marriage for 21 years. There was no negotiating with my ex-husband -- the "ledger" was all on his side! So, you need a partner who is reasonable! Now I'm in a great civil union -- my partner does so much for me that I'm always afraid I'm not doing MY share. She says the same thing so we're very lucky. So, it all depends on whom you're with!

Mar. 04 2011 10:48 AM
CBrown from Brooklyn

For my wife and I, this 'ledger' concept only comes into play with social time. For the most part, we like each others' friends, but we each have friends the other doesn't like. So going out for drinks with one non-favorite friend compensates for dinner with another non-favorite.

Mar. 04 2011 10:48 AM
Phoebe

My boyfriend and I have gone through various times of inequality in our relationship, such as when one or the other was unemployed. When we both feel we are on equal footing, the ledger is never an issue. When we are not feeling equal, its a big issue who does the dishes or the laundry or cleans the kitty litter.

Mar. 04 2011 10:47 AM
Herb J.

Any man in a heterosexual relationship eventually has to learn to bargain for sex. Otherwise it will never be frequent enough; women just don't think about sex as often as men (women: fortnightly; men: every five minutes).

Mar. 04 2011 10:44 AM
bernie from bklyn

jeez, what an inane conversation about NOTHING. "after i get back from yoga can i go hit some tennis balls?" does this really warrant air time? coupons? if you have to work this hard at your marriage maybe you should give up....
aren't people/protesters getting shot in libya as we speak? c'mon producers, this is so lame.

Mar. 04 2011 10:44 AM
Cathy O'Neil

My husband and I absolutely do the negotiation thing, and have for 15 years. It has *kept* us from holding grudges. And I've noticed that the friends of ours who make fun of us about it are the ones that have gotten divorced.

Mar. 04 2011 10:43 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

It is unavoidable that we keep some kind of a ledger in our heads. The danger though is to not understand that (a) it is impossible that it will be perfectly balanced; (b) depending on circumstances, at any given time, the ledgers may be wildly out of whack.

The way to keep ledgers from getting too big is for both partners contributing consistently. Another important point is that it is not efficient for both partners to be contributing the same things. We should contribute what we are good at and emotionally suited for. (Which is not an excuse not to stretch ourselves and push ourselves at least a little beyond our comfort zone -- for the benefit of the relationship.)

Mar. 04 2011 10:42 AM
Karen from NYC

Leave it to the WSJ to turn marriage into just another "deal."

Married 37 years -- we don't keep score.

Mar. 04 2011 10:42 AM

Is this serious? This is beyond dumb!

The ledger thing...I'm going to go throw-up!

Mar. 04 2011 10:39 AM

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