Not necessarily for a happy marriage but for a happier sex life, one of the keys, for a lot of women, is to find some sort of personal massager that is making it easier to have an orgasm. Literally, if you're looking at a fifteen-minute Private Time, then you don't have the hour and a half that you used to have, or the forty-five minutes or even the half-hour. Everything is condensed, and if that is always translating into a quickie for the man, then that's not very satisfying. We didn't use any sort of vibrators or anything until after our second kid was born, and it was like a revolution. Because suddenly, if it's better for both parties then both of you are going to be more interested in initiating. And it's just much more efficient, which sounds terrible to people who don't have kids, but the fact is, it needs to be somewhat efficient or else it's not going to happen in a household with lots of young children.
The people you mention in the book who'd experienced infidelity all had glossed over doubts about the relationship earlier in the marriage—have there been similar doubts in the minds of friends who haven't dealt with infidelity?
The nice thing about the book is it's optimistic—we joke that it's a celebration of monogamy, only to sort of offset the kind of wry tone of the title. But it is a celebration of monogamy, and there are twelve people, six couples at the heart of the book. And they are all people who've worked pretty hard on their marriages and so we collectively are very candid about why it works and why it doesn't.
The interesting thing for me, I interviewed three different women who all are divorced. And all divorced, in part because they were unsatisfied with the sexual part of their marriage. But in every single one of those cases, the women had had doubts even as early as their wedding night, if not before. So, I think what happened in all three of the situations, which was interesting, is that the kids became the focus for both parents. I think that happens—if parents are having a problem it's easier to focus on the kids than to hash out what's actually happening. But if you have doubts very early on in the marriage and things are deteriorating then the natural thing is to focus on the kid, to the detriment of the marriage.