Saturday, December 12, 2015

More on Marriage

I’m still thinking about marriage, and loving what I learn from reading. Sometimes the best learning comes from reading about relationships that don’t work, until they do.
I loved Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “Eat. Pray. Love” I read it and I listened to it: God and pleasure and faith and fear and how she learned to overcome fear.
Yes, OK, it did help that she had a big house to sell and a huge book advance. But none of that discounts her humor and good grace of her book. I especially loved when she asked –by name-- everyone in the universe co-sign her prayer to have her divorce end peaceably. And I also loved that water tower scene in India, finally, finally turning that ex over to God—

But her book that followed “Eat, Pray, Love” is Gilbert’s second memoir, and the rest of the story,  “Committed” about marriage and how she reluctantly married the man she fell in love with at the end of “Eat, Pray, Love.” One of my favorite lines from Committed is this:
“There is good reason to end such stories with weddings, and buoyant celebrations of love. Because what follows a wedding is a marriage. And marriage is an institution, not a party.”
A great line. Quite borrowable for toasts, I think.
What Gilbert also says is, “Marriage is hard when you invest all of your expectations for happiness in one other person. A man can be part of a good life, but not the life.”
Now that’s a tattoo or a poster or a mantra for young women and all women.
So how do you get that great marriage from the reality of “Marriage is hard”? By investing in all parts of your life and in many relationships. You have to make (intentionally create) your own good and full life, and then a man/partner can be a great accessory.

I write lots about relationships and marriage in my book, “Out of the Woods”—available at bookstores and, of course, on Amazon.

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