Timothy Aubry is a professor of English at Baruch College. His most recent book is Reading as Therapy: What Contemporary Fiction Does for Middle Class Americans (2010).
I remember dancing to a Temptations song with my two-month-old son Julian in my arms, the late afternoon sun filling our living room, and thinking, This must be one of those quintessential joys-of-parenting moments.
The problem with marriage, we all know, is the endlessness of it. Once you’re married, you’ve significantly cut down the options, and it suddenly makes your life feel shorter—like now there’s a direct line between you and your own death.
Therapy, in all its forms, teaches us how to express our subjective experiences in a socially recognizable form, and so allows us to connect with others on the basis of our purportedly private difficulties and dilemmas. Some people pay thousands of dollars a year to learn these lessons; others watch “Oprah.”