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Surrendering to Marriage Paperback – Bargain Price, June 5, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, June 5, 2002
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Editorial Reviews


"This story is pure oxygen." -- Newsweek

About the Author

Iris Krasnow is the author of Surrendering to Motherhood and a freelance writer whose work regularly appears in The Washington Post. She is an assistant professor of journalism at American University and lives in Maryland with her husband and four sons.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax (June 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786887710
  • ASIN: B002UXS160
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,571,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Maxham on June 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book that appeared on Oprah, and to a certain extent the message of this book is similar to that of another Oprah-lyte, Dr. Phil, who says "Would you rather be right than happy?"
Krasnow is not arguing that you surrender to your husband or make yourself subserviant. Krasnow simply recognizes that people are imperfect, and that a marriage is simply a pair of two imperfect people. My take-away from from her stories is basically that people in marriages need to answer the question: What mountain do you want to die on? If your husband doesn't fold the clothes like you asked him to, is that worth making your life miserable? Is it worth letting that problem snowball into larger problems, like beliefs that he doesn't respect you or your needs? Is it worth letting unfolded laundry and uncapped toothpaste lead ultimately to divorce?
The best story in the book is Krasnow's own: she is leaving to go to the store, and asks her husband to do a few chores while she is gone. On her way back from the store, she works herself up into a fury, knowing he hasn't done the chores. When she gets home, she sees the chores were started, but stopped, and can't find her family. She finds her husband and four boys in the playroom making a tower out of ALL the Lego blocks. She notes she had two choices: Be ticked that he didn't do what she expected, or be grateful that he was such a good father. She chose the grateful option, and went and folded his clothes- a chore she hated to do because she thought she was teaching her sons that "wives fold the laundry."
The primary basis for her argument is that perfection is problematic.
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Format: Hardcover
Having counselled many individuals in turbulant relationships over the years, this book will certainly be recommended reading to those looking for self-help material. The author is quite correct in saying "being married happily-ever-after doesn't guarantee we get to be happy."
Couples need to let go of the fantasy world they have created for themselves. As children, little girls were read fairy tales of the prince who would whisk his princess off to a beautiful castle where they would live happily ever after. Little boys, too, were read stories of the strong, fearless warrior who would conquer the world and ride into the sunset astride a gallant, white horse. Alas, that is the world of fairy tales and fantasy, but it is far removed from the real modern-day world.
Too many couples live with the expectations of their childhood. They are in love with what they want love to be. The only constant in life is change. There will always be periods of joyful bliss but there will also be obstacles to overcome and times of pain and sorrow. The ups and downs, joys and sorrows, successes and failures are all part of the journey through this world; they ARE our life. Half the battle is accepting each other for who we really are; accepting the strengths and weaknesses, and realizing you cannot change the other people, you can only change yourself. This book has a way of making the reader see the importance of, rather than working against each other, working together to overcome life's challenges. Share the laughter, but also be prepared to share the pain and sorrow, and life's obstacles. I highly recommend this excellent self-help book; the author offers some very wise suggestions on how couples can let go of the fantasies and misconceptions, and strengthen their relationship in a realistic world.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Readers should know from the start that author Iris Krasnow does not use the word "surrender" to mean some meek, subservient resignation to marriage. She is writing instead of a brave, strong acceptance and commitment to marriage, which may also entail a surrendering of old myths and beliefs about romance, marriage and even personal fulfillment (if that fulfillment comes at the cost of the marriage and family). I enjoyed reading about her personal struggles as well as those of the couples she interviewed and found it refreshing that she was honest enough to admit that she once thought of marriage as a bad thing --- but no longer does. I found myself nodding my head in agreement with much of what she wrote and it certainly expanded my own view and reaffirmed my own belief that marriage, while imperfect, can also be deeply rewarding and fulfilling. Make no mistake- this isn't a book that glosses over the difficulties or the pain of marriage and it isn't a book that says staying married is easy (it often isn't, as most longtime spouses can attest). But it is a book that looks honestly at marriage and at couples from all walks of life and all levels of the commitment spectrum - from those who've hung in there to those who've left to build new lives - and at the challenges faced in those marriages. If you like books that tell it from a personal point of view and are also realistic and honest, this is a great read. If you're married, I'd say it should be at the top of your "to read" list. If you're considering divorce, read this one first. It may not change your mind but it will definitely help you to clarify your position and beliefs.
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