A bestselling, groundbreaking author investigates successful long term marriages, interviewing wives and their uncensored strategies for staying married.
America's high divorce rate is well known. But little attention has been paid to the flip side: couples who creatively (sometimes clandestinely) manage to build marriages that are lasting longer than we ever thought possible. What's the secret? To find out, bestselling journalist Iris Krasnow interviewed more than 200 wives whose marriages have survived for 15 to 70 years. They are a diverse cast, yet they share one common and significant trait: They have made bold, sometimes secretive and shocking choices on how to keep their marital vows, "till death do us part," as Krasnow says, "without killing someone first."
In raw, candid, titillating stories, Krasnow's cast of wise women give voice to the truth about marriage and the importance of maintaining a strong sense of self apart from the relationship. Some spend summers separately from their partners. Some make time for wine with the girls. One septuagenarian has a recurring date with an old flame from high school. In every case, the marriage operates on many tracks, giving both spouses license to pursue the question "Who am I apart from my marriage?" Krasnow's goal is to give women permission to create their own marriages at any age. Marital bliss is possible, she says, if each partner is blissful apart from the other.
A fascinating window on the many faces of modern relationships, The Secret Lives of Wives brims with inspiring and daring examples of women who have it both ways: a committed marriage and personal adventures in uncharted territory. For anyone who wants to stay married and stay sane, this is the book to read!
A wife of 23 years and mother of four grown sons, Krasnow (Surrendering to Marriage) advises wives that if they care about their families they "should find a way to make their marriage work." To this end, Krasnow has compiled the strategies for marital commitment of more than 200 women from across America who range in ethnicity, economic status, level of education, age when they married (from 15 to 70 years). Several know the self-affirming value of separate vacations and passions: Gail spends summers solo, painting in Italy, returning energized. Likewise, empty-nester Tracey, who has wonderful memories of her childhood sails with her father, became a yacht salesperson. Shelley turned infidelity to her advantage: her husband's affair with her best friend reinvigorated her marriage rather than destroying it Shauna compartmentalizes her life: because her husband, a good father and provider, is uninterested in sex, she has a landscaper boyfriend who loves sex. Perhaps the best advice comes from a Bengali in an arranged marriage who says women have to take responsibility for their own happiness. Although often trite, overwritten, and unfocused, this is also a spirited, frequently perceptive work that aims to fix marriages by empowering wives.