Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Saying I Do Is in Fashion Again

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Saying I Do Is in Fashion Again

Article excerpt

This is the season of Lohengrin and love. It is a time when many thoroughly modern brides - no longer described as blushing - are exchanging old-fashioned vows as they plight their troth to the equally modern grooms with whom they may already have been sharing the breakfast table for years.

What a difference a generation makes in premarital habits and expectations.

Yet even in a marriage-wary, divorce-weary culture, these couples' hopes run high. Just ask Kate Cohen, the author of "A Walk Down the Aisle" (Norton, $22.95). Ms. Cohen was only 19 when she fell in love with a fellow Dartmouth College student, Adam Greenberg. Although they knew they would spend their lives together, their decision in 1997 to marry after seven years of living together produced a serious question: Why marry at all?

As Cohen explains in a telephone interview, marriage for most couples no longer represents "the beginning of your adult life, the beginning of your sexual life, or the beginning of your domestic life." She adds: "Now that couples have to choose to wed, since it's simple enough just to move in together - now that it's so easy to divorce - marrying and being married mean more, not less."

Noting that she "had to think a lot about what I was willing to promise my husband," Cohen says, "You get one chance to gather all your loved ones together to express not just your love for the person that you're marrying, but also what your community and family and friends mean to you." Getting married, she adds, "changed our relationship to the world."

Cohen, now the mother of a 7-month-old son, is not the only author writing about marriage this spring. In "Surrendering to Marriage" (Talk Miramax Books, $22.95), Iris Krasnow urges readers to dismiss the idea of divorce. Her message: "Stick with your marriage. Nothing better lies on the other side of the fence. …

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