The post is called 'Marriage Isn't For You', and it's gotten 24 million views and counting.
What at first sounded like it might be an edgy, controversial post ended up doing little more than underscore sentimental, conventional values that harken back to, as the author says, pre-Walmart days and the pesky, modern demand for satisfaction (imagine that).
But look beneath the surface and you'll see it's about something else altogether: It's a young, white male treading water, maybe even flailing a bit, in a cultural riptide, as he tries to figure out what it means to be a man and a husband in the 21st century. Marriage isn't about him. He's right about that. And it's put him in a little over his head.
So you know by now that the piece is predicated on the wisdom that Seth Adam Smith, the clean-cut, all-American blogger from Alaska, received from his father when he started wondering if he was ready to get married, and if Kim was the one. "You don't marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy," said Seth's dad. "More than that, your marriage isn't for yourself, you're marrying for a family."
Of course, that's served up lots of fodder for debate, as it threatens to undo all the women's movement has worked so hard to do—give women the right to choose what's right for them (which may or may not include marriage)—by implying that real love isn't about yourself at all. And that marriage is a lifelong favor you pay to someone else. Of course, life and love aren't just about yourself, but to fail to consider and seriously question your own happiness in any commitment is to risk a lifetime of misery.
The road to hell, as they say, is paved with good intentions—and that includes marriage vows that were served up in hopes it was what the other person wanted.
Now stop for a minute and imagine if a woman wrote this piece. You can guess at the outrage. Even women who don't call themselves feminists would get queasy. But I digress.
Seth recalls his father's wisdom during a "rough patch" he and his wife experienced during their first year of marriage, which inspired the post. But what you don't know from reading the article is the reason they hit a rough patch in the first place—which he did talk about on HuffPost Live. Turns out his wife got accepted to school...in Florida. So the couple had to relocate across the country, and Seth, frankly, wasn't psyched about it. He became hardened and resentful (his words), until the sh*t hit the fan and I'm guessing ol' Seth said some things he wasn't so proud of.
Instead of throwing a dish at him, his lovely wife showed herself to be the true embodiment of selfless love, and enveloped him in her arms instead. That's when Seth realized he'd been a real douchebag, and resolved to be better, recalling his dad's words of infinite wisdom.
This is hardly new territory. But it's new to Seth. And new to lots of men. After all, women have been accommodating and pleasing and pushing their own needs and wants onto the back burner for as long as anyone can remember. But a dude says, "Look what I did! I realized I'm not the center of the world!" and he's catapulted to internet stardom and met with instant, widespread praise. Keep reading...
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