The Marriage Book: Centuries of Advice, Inspiration, and Cautionary Tales from Adam and Eve to Zoloft

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The Marriage Book | Real Simple

In the worthy and wonky cover story, he and two fellow members urge broadening access to marriage as a strategic move in the battle against social inequality. Arriving not just at the peak of wedding season but also amid this newly vocal worry over the marriage gap, The Marriage Book: Centuries of Advice, Inspiration, and Cautionary Tales From Adam and Eve to Zoloft is an especially well-timed counterpoint to all the earnest, alarmist policy talk. Scaled for an oversize Restoration Hardware coffee table, the glossy anthology presumes to be preaching to a converted, yet far from reverent, audience: readers ready to examine, from an amused anthropological distance, the best, worst, and most equivocal aspects of marriage.

The Odyssey makes a predictable appearance, as does The Feminine Mystique. There is an excerpt from Mrs. Bridge , Evan S. Yet the haunting absence of what might have been useful models for our era is matched by a heartening discovery for the anti-sentimentalists among us—the somethings like me as well as the experts soberly advocating pro-marriage policies. When we did, though, we aimed for full debriefings: all the meetings and meals, the gossip and grind, of our days apart.

Instead of a sweet Irish heart, he got a disconcerted writer facing work and children and the unexpected realization that the quaint wifely role had definitely lost the quaint. We would talk when we could and keep it brief. If something big arose, we would share it.

But mainly, we said what people in love say. The freedom from all the details allowed us to miss each other, and coming together again suddenly provided a fluttery joy. My energy, even for simple tasks, became finite. Daily, my batteries drained. With humor, perspective, breadth, and warmth, The Marriage Book is sure to become a classic. The writing of Genesis has been the source of waves of scholarly discussion that date the book to a multitude of points in the centuries before the birth of Christ.

The Mystery of Marriage

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. But Paradise Lost is, at more than ten thousand lines of free verse, certainly the longest version and generally viewed as the greatest.

The lines below are spoken by Adam after he realizes what Eve has done. Samuel Clemens — , a. After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; it is better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her. Between his books, his columns, and his reviews, H. Mencken — left no shortage of caustic comments about marriage. Yet the author known as the Sage of Baltimore was by all accounts devoted to his wife, Sara, whom he married in In the Oscar-winning screenplay by John Patrick Shanley — , Johnny Cammareri, dim-witted but well-intentioned, is beseeched for wisdom by his would-be mother-in-law.

The Facebook page was soon back up, but Nipplegate lingered online for some weeks as a topic of discussion. Nathaniel Hawthorne — was thirty-eight when he married Sophia Peabody, who was thirty-two. Their ages old for newlyweds at the time did nothing to dampen their apparently childish glee: They used her diamond ring to engrave their names on their study window. They also shared a notebook in which they took turns recording their impressions and, as in the case below on the occasion of their first anniversary, writing love notes to one another.

I know not what to say, and yet cannot be satisfied without marking with a word or two this holiest anniversary of our life. But life now heaves and swells beneath me like a brimfull ocean; and the endeavor to comprise any portion of it in words, is like trying to dip up the ocean in a goblet. We never were so happy as now—never such wide capacity for happiness, yet overflowing with all that the day and every moment brings to us.

Methinks this birth-day of our married life is like a cape [of land], which we have now doubled and find a more infinite ocean of love stretching out before us. Winston Churchill was already a respected member of Parliament when in he married Clementine Hozier — He was thirty-three; she was ten years his junior. Through his legendary career as orator, author, home secretary, lord of the admiralty, and wartime prime minister, he remained devoted to his Kat or Clemmie Cat her nickname for him was Pug, and they signed many of their letters with little drawings of dogs and cats.

Their anniversary letters are one example of the loving gestures they extended to each other throughout a fifty-seven-year marriage in which they were often geographically separated but in which too busy to write never seemed to play a part. Blenheim was the Churchill family estate. My Beloved Winston I hope you are having a very happy holiday.

Not please disdain the caresses of your devoted pug.

Best known for his translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey , Richmond Lattimore — was prolific as a poet, critic, and translator. In addition to serving in the U. He married Alice Bockstahler in Whatever his reputation as an actor, governor, and, eventually, the fortieth president of the United States, Ronald Reagan — was also famously committed to his second wife, Nancy Davis — , his fiercest defender and most ardent fan. He wrote this anniversary letter to her while he was governor of California. This note is to warn you of a diabolical plot entered into by some of our so called friends— ha!

See a Problem?

In the first place it is a known fact that a human cannot sustain the high level of happiness I feel for more than a few minutes—and my happiness keeps on increasing. The son of a Presbyterian minister, Merwin grew up in New Jersey and Pennsylvania but settled in Hawaii in , a practicing Buddhist. Much of his poetry explores themes of nature, myth, and love. Merwin has been married to his third wife, Paula Schwartz, since They live atop a dormant volcano on a former pineapple plantation in Maui, presumably the island of this poem.

Her marriage to music mogul Jimmy Iovine ended in after more than two decades.


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Buy your own anniversary gift, give it to him to give you on your anniversary, and compliment him on his choice. Remember, the important thing is that you have an anniversary to celebrate. Harvey Dean Rutherford — wrote this letter to his wife on their fifty-ninth anniversary. A former pastor in Oklahoma City, Rutherford is part of a large family of clergy. Happy 59th wedding anniversary! That old granddaddy clock has written on its face, tempus fugit, which means time flies.

Looking back, I now wonder why we had any reluctance at all to be married. The deep love I have struggled to define has now defined itself in time. Living out the years with you keeps getting better. Once we figured out that we could not change each other, we became free to celebrate ourselves as we are. So my dear Trish-the-fish, we are gloriously together and it has never been dull company.

There are plenty of moments when I find you to be that blushing and shy girl who took my cheap ring and name and then agreed to explore the world with me. We began to dream and work and love and worship. Sure, we only started with forty dollars and a fistful of promises, but we were wealthy. I can still remember that Georgia wedding 59 years ago today and oh my, how young we both were. We experienced the sweet warmth and love of youth. We felt that God had decorated the night sky with stars just for us.

We drove every false and threatening thing out of our lives with simple truth and honesty. We have met changing seasons and met each challenge. I still smile when I think, how wealthy we thought we were when we were really so very poor. And talk about money, those five children came along. You can remind me later.

And I remember my promise before they were ever born, that they would never take first place in my heart, the first place that you have always held. I love those once-upon-a-time tax deductions, but I could never love them as much as I have loved you. The other morning I was leaving the house and I found you in the kitchen, looking out the window while talking to Debbie on the phone. The morning sun fell across your hair and hands.

I reached down and touched your hand, a hand made noble by its years of service and duty. I left that morning feeling like a king because you were mine. The crispness of the fall air reminds us that we cannot have summer forever. Someday, all too soon one of us will be forced to test the shattering emptiness that we have seen transpire in the lives of couples who have gone on before us.

One of us will go first but the other will celebrate our treasure, our union and love with a transcending joy. We will not sorrow not as those who have no hope. I walk so much slower now, and a little stooped. My biggest apology is that I was never able to rebuke and turn back the wild, hurried pace of the years. There have been times when I actually dreamed that I might be the one person who could defeat old-age and remain in full health just for you.

It was not to be. Darn him! Come walk with me my love. Just not too fast, we will not hurry, because there are still places to go, people to bless and vistas to see. We will continue to pace ourselves. And can I say it one more time with deep meaning and emphasis? I love you. Happy 59th!!! Author of such epigrams as the fat is in the fire and the more the merrier, British playwright and poet John Heywood — was a favorite of Henry VIII.