After the Happily Ever After: Empowering Women & Mothers in Relationships


Price: $34.95

Page Count: 274

Publication Date: September 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77258-128-7

This book is about the two-tiered system and invisible imbalance that operates within the 
framework of the family. It is about the fantasy of the “happily-ever- after,” which the 
wedding industry promotes and Western society reinforces. Why are we hanging onto this 
faux happiness at the expense of our future well-being? Why don’t we wonder what 
happened after “they lived happily ever after” and if, in fact, they really do? What I hope 
to achieve by writing this book is to rattle the cage of young brides, about to embark on 
this journey, to talk about these issues with their future partners and to set the system up 
in a more equal way, so no one is caught off guard if and when things crumble. It will be 
difficult to achieve this task because no one wants to think about things falling apart 
before the marriage even begins, and most certainly it sours the sweetness of the fantasy 
of the “happily ever after,” as we know it. What we don’t realize is that there will be less 
bitterness and upset for the family, especially for the children, if we pursue this line of 
thinking. Isn’t that the real “happily-ever-after?”

This collection of diverse and innovative essays intervenes into the challenging and
complex dynamics of our modern-day conceptions of marriage, and more importantly,
what comes next after a couple chooses to wed. The various contributions to this volume
will enlighten readers regarding the many ways in which marriage is an evolving process
over the many stages of one’s life, as well as the various external and internal challenges
that must continually be confronted and addressed in order to sustain relational
satisfaction and happiness. This book also expands our idea of the “good” marriage, and
contributes to scholarship on gender, family studies, family law, and motherhood, by
confronting the impacts of kinship, gender, sexuality, financial and professional identities,
parenting norms, and new and emerging contexts (such as social media, the legal sphere,
the challenges of worklife balance, and our neo-liberal political climate) on creating, and
maintaining, a “happily ever after.” —JENNIFER BORDA, Associate Professor of
Communication, University of New Hampshire, and editor of The Motherhood Business:
Consumption, Communication, and Privilege

Using intersectional feminist, legal, and economic theory, After the Happily Ever After
analyzes how the interconnecting institutions of marriage, parenthood, and sexuality are
(re)formed by and for young adults and beyond. Whether straight or gay, married or
single, a parent or child-free, a novice or expert scholar, this anthology will prove to be
enlightening, thought-provoking, and strikingly relevant. —KATIE B. GARNER, English
& Gender Studies, North Central College

After the Happily Ever After: Visiting the Issue Today
Linda Rose Ennis


“But, Didn’t I Choose This?”:
Laying the Groundwork to Empower Mothers by Closing
the Choice Gap between Women and Men before Becoming
Mothers and Fathers
Lynn O’Brien Hallstein

The Urge to Merge and the Marriage Imperative:
The Happily Ever After in Lesbian Relationships
Alys Einion

A Sociological Adaptation of the Grandmother Hypothesis:
Or, Simply Put, Go Ask Your Grandmother!
Ann Reed Wilder

Growing Together or Growing Apart:
An Attachment Approach to Understanding Marriage
Audrey Brassard and Sue Johnson


After the Baby Carriage:
Navigating the Transition to Parenthood
Solveig Brown

Sexuality, Intimate, and Parenting Relationships:
Women Maintaining Same-Sex Relationships in Poland
Malgorzata Kot

“Hopefully He Puts the Ring on It”:
Teenage Mothers’ Voiced Desire for Marriage
Sarah Bekaert

Making Marital Face(book):
Husband Posts and Face Management on Facebook
Lorin Basden Arnold

Tending the Privacy Boundary between the
Married Couple and the Husband’s Mother:
Its Impact on Marital Satisfaction and Relationship Solidarity
Kristen M. Norwood and Lynne M. Webb


Contracting Out of Legal Protections:
How Popular Culture Messaging Clashes with the
Lived Realities of Women Entering into Prenuptial Agreements
Marie L. Gordon and Tiffany S. Stokes

“Have Your Cake and Eat It Too”:
Challenging and Changing Normative Gender Roles through
Andrea O’Reilly

The Fantasy of Capitalism and Romance:
Consuming the Self
Melinda Vandenbeld Giles

Separateness and Connectedness in the Happily Ever After
Linda Rose Ennis

About the Contributors

Linda Rose Ennis, Ph.D, is a psychoanalytic therapist in private practice, a family mediator, an author, lecturer, affiliated with York University. Her education includes the following; a Ph.D. in Psychology and Education; a Masters in Education; a Diploma in Child Study and a teaching degree from the University of Toronto. She has written and spoken extensively on her research in her area of expertise, “On Combining Motherhood With Employment”, which was the first qualitative piece done in this area. She has written contributions in the Encyclopedia of Motherhood, discussing the “empty nest”, the “mommy track”, and has contributed a chapter entitled “Contract-Faculty Mothers: On The Track To Nowhere” in O’Brien Hallstein & O’Reilly’s book entitled Academic Motherhood in a Post-Second Wave Context (Demeter Press: 2012). Most recently, she has published her edited collection, Intensive Mothering: The Cultural Contradictions of Modern Motherhood (Demeter Press: 2014).