Ira Glass, on Marriage and the “No Escape Clause”

KURT BRAUNOHLER: I do have a theory now that if I do get married in the future, what I think I would want to do is have an agreement that, at the end of seven years, we have to get remarried in order for the marriage to continue. But at the end of seven years, it ends. And we can agree to get remarried or not get remarried.


KB: Because then I think you get to choose. And I think it would make the relationship stronger.

IG: ...I think actually one of the things that’s a comfort in marriage is that there isn’t a door at seven years, and so if something is messed up, in the short term, there’s a comfort of knowing, ‘well we made this commitment, so we’re just going to work this out. And even if tonight we’re not getting along, or there’s something between us that doesn’t feel right, you have the comfort of knowing, we’ve got time, we’re going to figure this out’. And that makes it so much easier. Because you do go through times where you hate eachother’s guts, and the no escape clause, weirdly, is a bigger comfort to being married than I ever would have thought before I got married.

(From NPR’s Valentine edition of This American Life).

This is one of the best, accurate depiction of marriage I’ve ever heard. Mr. Bubbles and I had a discussion about this last night and we both agree that Ira made a valid point.

Because let’s be real, marriage isn’t always peaches and cream. And the fact that, somehow, in so many words, when we made that vow “for better or worse”, we imply that we’re stuck with other for.. well, ever, so shouldn’t we always try to work it out?

Because being “stuck with each other forever” is actually a very, very good thing. Marriage to me is a lesson in humility, a lesson in selflessness, a lesson in communication,and  a lesson in efficiency. Because I chose Mr. Bubbles, and now we’re in a team and we’re bind by this “for better or worse” contract. Even if, truth be told, some days I feel like strangling the dude, but at the end of the day we insist on making shit work. Because, well..

if we’re going together in this long journey, might as well work well with each other and enjoy the ride.

What are your thoughts, blogger friends?

15 thoughts on “Ira Glass, on Marriage and the “No Escape Clause”

  1. aah sweet amat sih kata2nya mbak ira iniii..

    belum kawin nih jadi kaga bisa komen banyak. heuheu..

    kebetulan gw baru pulang liburan bareng pacar. cuma 3 hari bareng, tapi banyak hal yang bikin gw kaget. mulai hobby kentutnya, kelakuannya kalau bete, kebiasaan makannya. gw rasa kawin itu bukan cuma perkara cinta, tapi menerima seseorang apa adanya. karena, well, you will pretty much stuck with him/her rite? 🙂

    • Yes,pretty much so tantri (at least for me) 😀 Kalo ada opini yg menyatakan bahwa nikah itu hanya perkara cintrong, biasanya opini itu datang dari orang yang belon ngerasain susah-mudahnya kehidupan nikah. Kalo hanya berdasar cinta aja udah cukup gue rasa tingkat perceraian di dunia nggak akan sampe aujubile seperti yg terjadi di dunia modern ini. I think marriage is constant effort, constant work based on a shared common goal of lifelong happiness and success together.

  2. however, marrying the one you love actually helps to live through your ‘not-so-peaches-and-cream” moments (and all those efforts can be justified!)

    • Yes, that’s very true! I think love is a key element, but not the only one. And you’re right, when you married the person you love, all hard work/efforts can well be justified.

  3. yup setuju…

    lagian pada dasarnya, menikah itu kan komitmen seumur hidup. selain di hadapan negara, keluarga, teman, dan terutama di hadapan Tuhan!

    jadi ya apapun yang terjadi dalam pernikahan ya harus di work it out….

  4. Bener banget Wu! I’m agree with you!
    Pernikahan itu bukan seperti dongeng, happily ever after. Pernikahan butuh perjuangan tiap masing-masing pasangan utk mencintai tanpa syarat, apapun yang terjadi, yang terbaik dan terburuk. Aku rasa, itulah saat kita membuktikan cinta.

    Mdh2an pernikahan masing2 kita langgeng sehidup semati ya Wu! ^_^

  5. Gue suka being in a relationship, makanya gue suka ide pernikahan, a lifetime companionship. Tapi gak urung sih, pas awal-awal nikah tiap ada masalah nangisnya lebay banget “o my goood, i will have to live with this for the rest of my life”, kalo kata Mikko semua masalah kecil gue multiply 50 tahun jadi kesannya besar banget. Justru Mikko yg lebih optimis kalo the good thing about marriage is we have a lifetime to work on our problems.

    And I’m grateful for his optimism. Kalo gak karena dia gue bakal stress terus kayanya.

    • Toss dulu Rik, gue juga sama, kecenderungan dramatis 😀 masalah kecil x 50 tahun=gue banget. Kayaknya gue terlahir glass half empty, hahaha. Suami gue orgnya jg optimis banget, so much so that it’s contagious at times. I can’t help but think “it’s going to work out”.. he just has this sort of idealistic optimism that’s almost unreal, sometimes I think it’s delusional, hahaha. But like you as well, gue berterima kasih untuk optimismenya dia.

  6. Wow.
    This post is slapping my face.
    I always thought I could have the 7 years or 10 years door, you know, not because I could go out at the certain checkpoint, but just because I think marriage with options could get stronger since it’s a choice, not a must.
    But Ira really made a point. And really made my mind thinks a lot now.

    Thank you for making this post and share it. =)

    • Hi there! 🙂
      I’d like to think of the no-escape clause as a lesson in finding security in captivity (in this case, marriage). I understand Braunohler’s point as well, that a strong marriage can be built through the contract idea. But then upon further pondering, a question came to mind : wouldn’t this then be a marriage that is fought for because of insecurity? Based on the “fear of losing”?

      I rather like Glass’ point. In the no-escape mindset, my marriage would be a marriage that is fought for not because I’m scared that he might decide not to renew his contract with me, but rather because I believe in his willingness to always try his damnest with me and vice versa. Because we put stock in this commitment, it’s an investment and we want to see it bloom. Together.

      It would then, to me at least, be a marriage that is fought for because of the trust that exists within it. Would I rather live in a marriage that is based on fear, or based on trust? I think this answers itself.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thought! I love hearing people’s thoughts.

      • Well,
        actually, it’s all how we see it again, because at first, I saw Braunohler’s point as a strong fundamental of trust in marriage. Because I trust him, so i don’t care of how many years contract, because it’ll renewed eventually. But the no-escape policy will drain my willingness to fight or stuff because however, he will always be there, as my husband.
        But again, you made your point, so I guess those two opposite idea can be perceived through two different perspectives too.
        And i hope whatever I chose is the right one. :p

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