In this week’s conversation with Stephanie Coontz, we discuss the history of marriage, its social and political significance, and marriage’s changing paradigm in the modern world. We learn about the factors surrounding marital and sexual satisfaction, the importance of egalitarianism in long-term relationships, and the lessons to be learned from single people.
Lastly, we speak to the importance of cultivating a sense of community and trust through casual connections and small interactions—particularly in today’s perpetually disconnected world—and the ways in which putting more energy into interactions with friends, coworkers, and even strangers can actually help strengthen romantic partnerships.
Stephanie Coontz is the author of five books on gender, family, and history, including Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage, which was cited in the US Supreme Court decision on marriage equality. She is a Director for the Council on Contemporary Families, as well as emeritus faculty of History and Family Studies at The Evergreen State College in Washington.