"There is a rhythm to the ending of a marriage just like the rhythm of a courtship --only backward. You try to start again but get into blaming over and over. Finally you are both worn out, exhausted, hopeless. Then lawyers are called in to pick clean the corpses. The death has occurred much earlier."
"Marriage accustomed one to the good things, so one came to take them for granted, but magnified the bad things, so they came to feel as painful as a grain in one's eye. An open window, a forgotten quart of milk, a TV set left blaring, socks on the bathroom floor could become occasions for incredible rage. And something happened sexually in marriage --the swearing to forsake all others, despite its slight observance, had a profound effect. Some people felt trapped by it, impelled to assert what they called freedom. Some accepted it like a rein, and in the effort to avoid pain in the form of hopeless desire, cut off occasions of desire, avoided having long talks at parties with attractive members of the opposite sex. In time, all feeling for the opposite sex was cut off, and intercourse limited to the barest politesses. But something happened to you when you did that, a kind of death seeped up from the genitals to the rest of the body, till it showed in the eyes, the gestures, in a certain lifelessness."
"The curse which lies upon marriage is that too often the individuals are joined in their weakness rather than in their strength --each asking from the other instead of finding pleasure in giving. It is even more deceptive to dream of gaining through the child a plenitude, a warmth, a value, which one is unable to create for oneself; the child brings joy only to the woman who is capable of disinterestedly desiring the happiness of another, to one who without being wrapped up in self seeks to transcend her own existence."