Marriage becomes hard work once you have poured the entirety of your life’s expectations for happiness into the hands of one mere person. Keeping that going is hard work. A recent survey of young American women found that what women are seeking these days in a husband—more than anything else—is a man who will “inspire” them, which is, by any measure, a tall order. As a point of comparison, young women of the same age, surveyed back in the 1920s, were more likely to choose a partner based on qualities such as “decency,” or “honesty,” or his ability to provide for a family. But that’s not enough anymore. Now we want to be inspired by our spouses! Daily! Step to it, honey! – Committed
I’m reading and loving Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert. The Eat, Pray, Love author examines married life as she once again finds love and circumstance require her to marry. Like any good librarian, I enjoy immersing myself in the topic.
For the record, I haven’t always loved Elizabeth. Oh, when Eat, Pray, Love came out I bought nine copies sending it to friends, giving copies away, even accidentally losing a copy to a Mexican rainstorm. Then, I confess, I got really angry when I reread the book after my ex-husband walked out on me. I dubbed her a thoughtless, careless person who had no regard for the spouse left behind.
With Committed I have found a lot of peace and more respect for Elizabeth and I hope she’ll forgive me for my judgmental past. She does a brilliant job of showing her tender heart, cataloging her faults, and talking about marriage in an inspiring and hopeful way.
I myself have never been a skeptic about marriage. I will work to temper those, “you must inspire me!” tendencies for a partner in life, a soft place to land, someone with whom I can share the journey. I feel fortunate that through all the pain of divorce and broken dreams, I have emerged on the other side with my heart remarkably intact. Elizabeth and I may have different views on commitment, but I think we agree that we’re fortunate to choose who and how we love.
I thank God and the universe everyday for Kevin, a good man who believes in the risk and reward of marriage.