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Grown-up marriage : what we know, wish we had known, and still need to know about being married

by Judith Viorst

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Interesting but not earth-shattering   (2018-06-14)

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by booksonthebeach

Someone gave this to me for a bridal shower gift, I think, but it sat on my to-read shelves for the past 8 years until I picked it up almost at random last month.  I'm actually pretty glad I didn't read it prior to getting married or even in the first few years of my marriage, as I found the tone of much of it quite dismal and depressing and focused on unhappy people. 

On the bright side, I appreciate my own marriage and husband even more now that I've finished the book!  Perhaps it's a generational thing, since Viorst is substantially older than I am, or maybe her intended audience is the generation younger than I, who might be getting married before they've figured out who they are and what they want?  Really, though, there aren't a whole lot of earth-shattering revelations.  Much of the book boils down to: 
  1) Choose your life partner very carefully  (I personally recommend eHarmony!)
  2) Communicate honestly, kindly, and frequently
  3) Treat each other with respect
  4) Don't cheat on your spouse and expect anyone to feel good about it
  5) Really, just don't cheat on your spouse
  6) Maintain your sex life (with your own spouse--see #5)
  7) Have fun together because those memories will help sustain you through the rough patches
  8) Everything will change all the time as you move through the stages of life, so expect continual adjustments and plan to do the hard work of making them in concert with your spouse.

I don't want to give the impression that I hated the book--it wasn't awful, it just wasn't as helpful as I'd hoped.  Clearly there are plenty of other reviewers for whom it clicked.  Maybe they recognized themselves in some of the couples or situations, maybe they had some "Aha!" moments while reading one or more sections, or maybe they just read it at exactly the right moment in their lives.  That's great!  I will donate my copy to the Friends of the Library for a book sale so perhaps it'll make its way to someone who'll get that kind of benefit from it.




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