Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

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  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at

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Love American Style

Posted by Dale Kuehne on March 9, 2010


What was once a covenant is now a contract.


4 Responses to “Love American Style”

  1. Lauren Fithian said

    I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings with this, but I wonder about the level of cynicism involved in a relationship in which one or both partners refuse to marry without a prenup. I also wonder whether that couple has a high enough level of mutual trust at the outset to warrant getting married. These couples are in fact planning in advance for the breakdown of their marriages. They’re planning to be part of the 50 percent who divorce and I wonder whether they ever even really get to the “covenant” part. I wonder whether they are truly motivated to work on the health of their marriages or are more apt to let the marriage evaporate. It would be interesting to see statistics on the divorce rate for prenup marriages versus those without. If this is a growing trend, as it appears to be, maybe we’ll have such a comparison soon enough.

    I have a friend in his mid-fifties who recently married a woman in her mid-thirties. She was divorced and had one child. He required her to enter into a prenup agreement. I think his fear was that she was marrying him for his money and to have a “protector.” I guess I am being judgmental about the amount or quality of his love but it just seems so cynical.

  2. If I were a billionare, I might be suspicious of the most loving woman that she just might be after my money. You can’t really know anyone until you marry them. I mean, a long courtship, a long engagement, even living together only reveals so much. When you are married, and you go through troubles, you get a clear picture of who that other person really is. A prenup would let me throw my misgivings to the wind. It would allow me to know that the person I want to marry wants to marry me and not my money. So, maybe, I could understand a prenup. Fortunately, I was not cursed with billions of dollars so I don’t have to wrestle with these questions. Kyndall clearly took the “for poorer” part seriously with me. 😉

    However, I might feel differently with a prenup that had an expiration date. For example, we have a prenup for 10 years. But after that, it’s expired. Or 20 years, Or death. Or something that might indicate we were clearly married for the long haul. I don’t know. It’s a tricky subject because we get married for love. But we all know how deceiving the human heart can be and how misleading love can feel (esp at the beginning). A prenup protects us from those, but certainly paints cynicism on the face of things, too. Hmm.

  3. Lauren Fithian said

    Fair enough Jerry! When I got married we were both in law school and had nothing but each other. Our prenup would have had to cover the repayment of some hefty tuition debt!

  4. My heart agrees with Lauren on this. I see the sense of prenups, and can make good arguments that putting things in writing forces couples to talk about issues of enormous importance (now that premarital counseling, formal or informal, is less common). But I can’t escape the impression that this sort of reserving a part of oneself is in itself a permission to abandon ship.

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