Each chapter starts with a statement that distills some bit of wisdom. Here are some examples:
- Marriages never outgrow the need for romance.
- Your opinion is not the truth.
- Expectations set us up for resentment.
- Secrets are lies.
- Marriages can stay fresh over time.
Quotable and thought-provoking as these titles are, they aren't the end of the story. Two or three pages are devoted to a discussion of each point, along with relevant examples and good advice. Although optimistic overall, this isn't just a "feel good" book. A recurring theme is that marriage requires commitment and work; nothing worthwhile can be achieved without effort.
One of the most important messages from this book can be best summed up by one of its own chapter titles: "You don't have to be able to love well to get married; the training occurs on the job." When we marry, no matter how mature we may be or how well-prepared we think we are, we really have no idea what is going to happen. The Blooms remind us to be flexible, to keep learning, to let go of unrealistic expectations, and to keep talking to each other. Because each chapter can stand alone in its coverage of a subject, it isn't necessary to read them in order. I recommend keeping this book handy and picking it up now and then for comfort, advice and inspiration.
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