Over a video montage of frivolous novelty weddings (drive-through, undersea, and "Elvis as pastor" nuptials) NBC's Lee Cowan asserted that that the institution of marriage is going down hill in a hurry. In the "Today" show's "Today's Relationships" segment on June 22, Cowan did find one bright spot. The only people standing for a responsible, serious understanding of matrimony it seems, are homosexuals. Proponents of same-sex marriage Cowan said, "are still willing to fight for the very institution; defining marriage as a source of a national debate right now."
Cowan explained how, when it comes to relationships and marriage, "rekindling seems unnatural and plenty get so bored with marriage, it seems more like a sexless routine than a romance." Yet he did mention, with a hint of incredulity and with the tagline "The Case Against Marriage" floating on the screen underneath him, how "despite the bad wrap" marriage divorce rates are on the decline . People are investing more and more on marriage help books, but not for the children, their love. or morality. The reason is that, "divorce is painful."
Meredith Vieira finished the piece with an interview with psychologist Gail Saltz and columnist Sandra Tsing Loh. Tsing Loh, author of the article "Lets Call the Whole Thing Off: The author is ending her marriage. Isn't it time you did the same?" believed that marriage is obsolete.
"Well, I mean, marriage was originally conceived as a trade union for women to keep the philandering, wage-earning husband kind of on the farm so that the women and children would not be left penniless," Tsing Loh observed. "Today we have, in the twenty-first century, we call the ‘companionate marriage' where the man works, the woman works, they co-parent, they run the household, gender free neutral way, feed the dog, etc. etc. And then 5, 10, 15, 20 years in, though, we overlay on top of that kind of the women's magazine expectation of keeping the spark alive, so even though, according to evolutionary biology the spark will last for about four years, enough time for two babies to get up and out."
Saltz, who just celebrated her 20th anniversary, was the counter argument, but was continually talked over by Tsing Loh and Vieira.
Just before the segment ended, viewers learned that Tsing Loh is in the process of a divorce after she had an extramarital affair. But this apparently had nothing to do with her opinion on why marriage is obsolete.
Maybe Tsing Loh should have concentrated on keeping said "spark" alive with her husband, instead of someone else.