Hope Edelman vs Eric Bartels

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Marriage; Fantasy vs. Reality
Most marriages are formed when two people love each other and share the same aspirations in life. Once couples are married their views begin to change. They realize that marriage is hard and after having kids it’s even harder. Hope Edelman, in her essay “The Myth of Co-Parenting: How It Was Supposed to be. How It Was,” feels frustrated with her husband because of his lack of participation in their marriage. On the other hand, Eric Bartels in his essay “My Problem with Her Anger,” is frustrated with his wife because she is angry with him all the time. Though these essays address marriage from both a male and female perspective, they both discuss idealistic views of marriage, lack of communication, blame, and how to fix their problem.

Before getting married, both Edelman and Bartels have an idealized view of marriage. Edelman imagines it being split perfectly down the middle. She would contribute half the income and half the housework. She is determined not to be like her parents. Her mother did the house work, cooked, and cleaned, while her father was only the man who ate a meal with them at night. Even though Edelman’s role models portrayed the opposite, she believes co-parenting is attainable in her marriage (186). Like Edelman, Bartels, too, has an idealized vision of marriage. He imagines being able to communicate with his wife and talking about the way things should be done. He thinks he will receive credit for all that he does around the house (193).

Neither Edelman’s nor Bartels’s marriages end up they way they have imagined. Edelman’s husband promises her in their wedding vows to be her “partner at home and in life,” but they “stopped feeling like a team” (190). He breaks his promises to her. He works 90 hours a week which leaves him no time to help around the house. As a result, she is trying to contribute to the income, cook, clean the house, and run their child around. She becomes the dominant parent, and...
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