That is the title of the book that is currently sitting on my nightstand.
I recently had a small epiphany. I realized that I talk a lot about my marriage and I spend a lot of time and energy working to make it the best that I can, but I have been missing something. Books! I had not read one single book on the subject.
Now, I do realize that just because it is written in a book certainly doesn’t mean that it is fact, but there is definitely something to be said about learning what the “experts”, or non-experts for that matter, are saying on the topic.
So I hit the local Barnes and Noble and started my hunt for my first book on “marriage.” Since I didn’t know what I was looking for, I simply looked for titles that caught my eye. After a few minutes of searching I came across one that definitely grabbed my attention. It is titled, “You can be right (or you can be married). ” Great title and great cover. I bought it on site without even cracking the cover and, let me say, I am glad that I did.
This is a book written by Dana Adam Shapiro, a man on a mission to find out why his relationships never make it to the Honeymoon. His mission took him on a 4 year journey interviewing people who have been thru divorce in hopes to learn from the errors of their ways and attempt to avoid those mistakes in his own relationships. What a great concept!
This is a candid and sometimes graphic look into other people’s marriages spoken thru their own words. He interviewed hundreds of people and put the interviews into this book in a dictation type format. Because the names are protected thru aliases, the interviews are frank, honest and often no holds bar.
It is fascinating to get a glimpse into the lives of others. To hear first hand what their secrets might be, what regrets they have, what lessons they have (or sometimes haven’t) learned.
Growing up, we don’t get an education in relationships. There are no classes offered on building healthy relationships in high school. Such a shame since our relationships are the foundation of our lives. Relationships with parents, friends, co-workers, bosses, spouses….
With regards to love, our lessons come from watching our parents. Watching their marriage or divorce, paying attention to how they communicate, how they fight or face challenges. If you were lucky enough to have good role models in that arena, you might be among the few. Many of us come from ugly divorces or from parents who, maybe, should have gotten a divorce.
When it comes to learning how to develop healthy relationships, many of us are on our own. It is a process of trial and error. Sometimes with the same person, sometimes not. What I do realize, though, is that it is incredibly valuable to learn from other people’s experiences. Whether it be from your parents or complete strangers, we all have so much to learn, but so much to teach as well.
That is what I appreciated about this book. The ability to learn from someone else’s failed marriage. What did or didn’t work? Looking back, what would they have done differently? What lessons have they taken with them into their other relationships to avoid the same outcome?
One thing that I found interesting, is the similarities in the lessons that were learned and the underlying themes that rang true in so many of the interviews. Things that so many of the divorcees confessed to being vital to a marriage’s success; respect, communication, acceptance, a healthy sex life, a sense of newness and excitement. Through all of the various stories of failed marriages, so many of the mistakes are similar. So many of the lessons were the same.
If you are looking for an interesting read on how to improve you marriage, this just might be a good pick. Listening to other people’s regrets and mistakes can be the best education of all. Truly!
Today’s lesson in improving my marriage: Learn from others’ successes and (sometimes more valuable) their failures.
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