Has anyone ever studied the same women before, during, and after marriage to see how standards change? People aren't supposed to date during marriage and nobody likes to predict its afterlife, so that's a hard study to fund. Marriage forces both genders to accept the other as the moody, sloppy, and smelly creatures they are. Eventually the expectations lower.
True it may take some acceptance to make it to the altar, but the rate of divorce shows that those who wed aren't necessarily more accepting. Take, for example, one-night stands after a breakup or divorce. Most women will fess up to lowering standards, partially because it's only one night, but also because they've spent lots of time sleeping with partners in less-than-desirable states.
And then there's age. People seem to become less vain as they get older, so maybe Lori Gottlieb's revelation that women need to love the one they're with was more of an age-appropriate reflection after turning 40 than a learned-the-hard-way lesson?