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Atheist Offers Wise Advice on Marriage

In an article in The New York Times, philosopher Alain de Botton claims that for 250 years many of us have been deluded by what he calls the Romantic view of marriage—"that a perfect being exists who can meet all our needs and satisfy every yearning." When that "perfect being" doesn't meet all of our needs we think we've married the wrong the person. De Botton claims that this Romantic view of marriage has been "unhelpful" and even "harsh." He writes, "We end up lonely and convinced that our [marriage], with its imperfections, is not 'normal.'"

Instead, he argues for the following view of marriage:

[That we approach marriage with the] awareness that every human will frustrate, anger, annoy, madden, and disappoint us—and we will (without any malice) do the same to them … The failure of [our spouse] to save us from our grief and melancholy is not an argument against that person and no sign that a union deserves to fail or be upgraded.

Alain de Botton sounds like a Christian. Actually, he's an atheist, but Christians could sure listen to his advice on marriage.

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