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Lovin’ Green

Relationships have changed forever.

3:10 PM, Jan 21, 2010 • By RACHEL ABRAMS
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Arise, oh you underemployed therapists of America, and rejoice! For relief is at hand: Not only can you anticipate a profitable surge in gay-couples-therapy sessions, as gay marriage, and divorce, become commonplace—nay, even humdrum (and by the way, thank you, Ted Olson!)—but you can also expect to see a boomlet in 50-minute-hours with couples whose love lives are suffering from green friction. That’s green as in lettuce, not “lettuce.”  

Gordon Fleming and Shelly Cobb are one such pair struggling over too much and not enough of that in their relationship. Mr. Fleming, says the New York Times, “bikes 12 1/2 miles to and from his job at a software company outside Santa Barbara, Calif. He recycles as much as possible and takes reusable bags to the grocery store.” Yet “Ms. Cobb chides him for running the water too long while he shaves or showers.

And she finds it “depressing,” she tells him, that he continues to buy a steady stream of items online when her aim is for them to lead a less materialistic life. . . . Mr. Fleming, who says he became committed to Ms. Cobb “before her high-priestess phase,” describes their conflicts as good-natured — mostly. . . . But he refuses to go out to eat sushi with her anymore, he said, because he cannot stand to hear her quiz the waiters. . . . “None of it is sustainable or local,” he said, “and I am not eating cod or rockfish.”

You can rely on the Times to climb on top of that “rise in bickering between couples and family members over the extent to which they should change their lives to save the planet” and plant its flag there:

While no study has documented how frequent these clashes have become, therapists agree that the green issue can quickly become poisonous because it is so morally charged. Friends or family members who are not devoted to the environmental cause can become irritated by life choices they view as ostentatiously self-denying or politically correct.

Yup. If I were Mr. Fleming, I, too, would refuse to eat the cod and rockfish. But I wouldn’t waste my lettuce on the love therapy, either. It’s probably a lost cause when the gal who used to be your plain old squeeze is now a high priestess commanding you to make your showers brief and in gray water.

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