I included this as a link in my previous Wurtzel post but I think it’s worth reprinting an old blog post. I liked Andrew Cherlin’s book quite a bit, but he did this several times:
As other lifestyles become more acceptable, you must choose whether to get married and whether to have children. You develop your own sense of self by continually examining your situation, reflecting on it, and deciding whether to alter your behavior as a result. People pay attention to their experiences and make changes in their lives if they are not satisfied. They want to continue to grow and change throughout adulthood.
–Andrew Cherlin, Marriage-Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today
Notice how the last two sentences say exactly opposite things! Throughout this book (which is generally good), Cherlin uses “grow and change” to mean “place preexisting wants and personality traits above role and obligation.” It’s kind of obvious that sticking it out, placing role and obligation first, might change you more–challenge you more, certainly.