Friday, November 22, 2013

COMMITTED {a book review} on Marriage

I just finished reading Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love).  I loved it! I really enjoy her writing and plan on reading The Last American Man written by her as well.  She writes in an honest, quirky, personal way that I can really connect with.  Not to mention she is very intelligent and has lots of life experience for a younger woman.

So...on to the book.  I think everyone should read this book before getting married.  She gives a lot of history, experience, and world insight about "the institution of marriage".  She is divorced and never wanted to remarry, but life gave her an interesting hand when it came to marriage.  So she goes on an all-out-mission to learn everything she can about marriage within her family and around the world.

A few standout portions of her book:

(Page 48)  She talks about a woman traveling to the US in 1919 and writing home about the crazy fact that people had the "expectation that every part of their bodies should be warm at the same time!"   Referring to the fact that a spouse/lover/mate should be able to make everything about you right, warm, and fuzzy.  The author then talks about how people always say "marriage is hard work" but concludes it only becomes work when you expect your spouse to make you feel warm/fuzzy at EVERY moment.

"Marriage becomes hard work once you have poured the entirety of your life's expectations for happiness into the hands of one more person."

WOW!  That makes sense, right?!  You cannot "give" everything to your spouse and expect them to maintain it for you.  Relationships go two ways.  Don't make it work, make it love!

(Page 97)  She talks about the philosophy of Aristophanes:  that humans used to be two-headed, eight-limbed creatures, with the "perfect partner sewn into the very fabric of our being".  People were so happy and content, they stopped worshiping the gods, and eventually (in a fury) Zeus split the beings into what we know today as humans.  The thought being that humans now are all searching for that lost portion of their being to become complete/satisfied/happy.  And that's where "love" comes in.

I thought this was extremely interesting and hope to look more into it in the future.  What I wrote here is a high overview, she goes more in depth in the book, talking about searching for your other half, infatuation, (think soulmates, if you will) and it is fascinating.

(Page 130)  "Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person....Can you accept the flaws?"  The point here being:  people fall in love, take in all the magnificent things, and think everything is perfect, meant to be.  There's a reason it's called the "honeymoon phase".  IT TAKES TIME to see and learn people's faults.  Obviously someone is not going to show you their worst parts right off the bat.  That is why quick marriages IRK me!!  But that's another post...

Point is:  read this book.  It's a quick read, eye opening, and interesting.  You will not regret it, it really makes you think!

PS-  This is one of the books I got from my book exchange :)  Read about that HERE.  

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