28
Apr
10

Surrendering to Marriage

Last week marked the two year anniversary of my marriage to Jennifer, and either by accident, or perhaps by some divine fate I just finished reading one of the best books on marriage ever. Surrendering to Marriage by Iris Krasnow is a “no-holds-barred” bare-knuckled account of the pit-falls and failures common to every marriage. It is not a self-help book, or a how-to guide, rather, (as Krasnow herself puts it), a “journalistic approach to exploring marriage.” Krasnow visits marriages the way some reporters visits Beirut, or Baghdad; a war zone waiting to be explored. This is not surprising since she was a Washington reporter for several years.

In Surrendering to Marriage Krasnow begins with the assumption that marriage is likely to fail and she reports all of the sobering statistics to support this, but she also assumes that marriage is a good thing and worth preserving. Krasnow had been married seventeen years with four kids as of the publication of this book. Using anecdotal evidence, and several brief interviews with dozens of married couples Krasnow observes all of the conventional problems that destroy marriage including infidelity (which is more common in both sexes than people think) mid-life crisis, men’s and women’s pursuit of their careers and more money, and lack of communication. There are also several examples in the book of divorced couples and what happened after their divorces. In most cases spouses who divorce from their first husband or wife go on to regret it, and this book gives sobering news about the financial state of people who divorce, and what often happens with the sexy mistress or handsome young stud that people are cheating on with, a few years down the road.

Reading this book has brought me face to face with my own fears and concerns in my marriage, particularly my own shortcomings as a husband. I love my wife, but we haven’t always had a smooth relationship. This last year has been particularly hard on both of us. What I think works in my marriage best though, and what I think will continue to keep us together through lives ups-and-downs is that me and Jennifer communicate a lot, and we don’t hide from our problems.

Marriage is not perfect, and approaching it like a problem that must be worked on constantly is the best way to go. Despite all of the divorce rates, more than ninety percent of American adults will get married at some time in their lives. Their is a reason why even in a free society where sex is readily available to both parties, people still choose to partner up. Part of it is that we don’t like being alone, but more importantly we desire to share our lives with someone meaningful and share in their lives as well. As the old saying goes a life not lived for others is not worth living.

It is easy to neglect our spouces,( sexually, emotionally, financially), but we should never lose sight of why we got married to begin with. Often times the problems are not even with our spouces, they are with ourselves. Something to think about if you are married. I would highly recommend Surrendering to Marriage, especially as Mother’s Day is just around the corner. This is a book that couple should read together, and relate the examples in the book to their own lives.

Thanks for listening,

Jack B.

Sincerely,

Jack B.

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