3 minute read

Forever Together

I applaud TIME and Caitlin Flanagan for highlighting the strong case for marriage [July 13]. Admonishing us to embrace “hard work and self-sacrifice” may not make a very sexy story, but it is refreshing. Flanagan presents the bald truth: marriage is the best foundation for children. Just as the media have shifted their focus toward decidedly nonsexy financial stories about hard work and saving, it is time for more truth-telling about marriage, sexual relationships and family–including the profound benefits of pouring oneself into a lifelong marital partnership. Mandi Mangler, FAIR LAWN, N.J.

Flanagan grossly understates the complexity of the causes of infidelity and divorce in the U.S. The world is not divided between loving couples and divorced “casual sadists” who don’t care about their kids. Many parents continue to care for and nourish their children, as my ex-wife and I do our daughter, and have a decent relationship with each other. Flanagan avoids entirely the subject of spouses’ irresponsible acts other than infidelity and misses the point that when the failings of one or both parents, including extreme ones like spousal abusiveness and alcoholism, make for a miserable environment for their children, it is more sadistic to stay together than to divorce and try again. George Kalmar, PACIFIC PALISADES, CALIF.

I was surprised that you did not mention the obvious cause of the problem for marriage today: gay marriage. The far right has long insisted that allowing gay marriage would ruin the institution of marriage. Now that several states have made gay marriage legal, I guess we can all see the terrible chaos (forgive the sarcasm) it has caused. Karen Baker, COTTAGE GROVE, WIS.

Your article disparages single parents and poor women who choose not to marry. It reads as opinion, not news. Shannon Sawicki, SAN FRANCISCO

Flanagan’s outright dismissal of marriage without children is insulting. My husband of 31 years and I–who by choice have no children–share interests, values and a sense of humor. Marriage also matters to couples who wed for other reasons. Irene Burkhard, BECKET, MASS.

As a child of a 37-year marriage that survived only because my parents were “too stubborn” (their words) to let it go, I agree that the reward for “hard work and self-sacrifice” is a lasting marriage. It is what I hope for and what I will work hard for. Sally Inman, DALLAS

Once again, I notice a major story that reads as if I, a gay man, do not exist. Today such an omission is inexcusable. Clifton Snider, LONG BEACH, CALIF.

Israel’s Wavemaker

Let me see if I have this right: Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wants Arab citizens of Israel to take a loyalty oath and disavow Hamas, which fires rockets on Israel and pledges to destroy the Jewish state [July 13]. Hamas consistently liquidates Palestinian moderates who would coexist with Israel. And Lieberman is the obstacle to peace? In 60-plus years of Israeli statehood, there has yet to be a serious Palestinian negotiator who wants to “share the neighborhood.” Until there is, let’s stop the disingenuous Israel-bashing. Rubin Guttman, CLEVELAND

Let’s Just Eat In Tonight

Joel Stein’s placenta article made me laugh out loud more than once [July 13]. Although I saw the afterbirths of all four of my children and thought they resembled pizza, the idea of grilling them–the placentas, not the children–never crossed my mind. Tracy Thompson Khan RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA

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