A collection of essays about what marriage really means to the author and an honest look at the ups and downs of binding yourself to another person.
In general, marriage doesn't turn out to be the complete "happily-ever-after" we envision on our wedding day, but neither is it the soul-sucking institution that some would have you believe. Calhoun takes a look at some things you may not necessarily realize about marriage until you've been in one for awhile. I thought she made some good points, ones that made me think. A lot of married life revolves around the mundane - paying bills, going to work, etc. Your partner will probably change throughout their life, as will you, and you both will need to find ways to be happy with each new version. Communication is so important, but sometimes there can be comfort in silence.
However, I had a lot of issues with this book. At less than 170 pages of actual text, it's just way too short. It seems like Calhoun did a lot of interviews/research and she probably could have included more of it. The writing felt very scattered, even for an essay format. I didn't care for her cavalier attitude about infidelity, and when she and her friend fantasized about becoming widows, I almost had to quit. 3 stars
How To Be Married by Jo Piazza (2017)
After a whirlwind courtship, Jo Piazza and her husband Nick spend their first year of marriage traveling the world and learning what it means to be married in various cultures.
I really enjoyed this book - it was part travel memoir and part personal memoir. Piazza included a lot of research and interviews that she did with people in her travels, but she also opened up about issues such as her health and the stress of buying a home. Her writing style is very comfortable and easy to read.
I loved learning about the different ways marriage is viewed throughout the world:
- In Chile, women spend a lot of time nurturing their husbands egos, when really they are the ones in charge.
- In Denmark, couples work hard to create a cozy home where they can relax and be present in their relationship.
- A work-life balance is super-important in Holland.
- Gratitude, especially for the small things, keeps Indian marriages alive.