Toward Commitment: A Dialogue About Marriage and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$4.00
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: While this book has been loved by someone else, they left it in great condition. Hurry and buy it before someone else does and take advantage of our FREE Super Saver Shipping!!!
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Toward Commitment: A Dialogue About Marriage Hardcover – September 24, 2002


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$2.48 $0.01
Audio CD, Unabridged
"Please retry"
$62.25

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; English Language edition (September 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375414304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375414305
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,185,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Rehms met in 1958, when Diane had been married and divorced once and John had had "scant experience with women." They married a year later, and that they are still happily married poses the inevitable question, "How did you do it?" In an unusual format of essays and dialogues, they offer their response "in the belief that an honest account of a marriage of more than forty years may encourage other marriages and comparable relationships not only to endure, but to flourish." Diane has been a well-known radio talk-show host for more than 20 years, and except for her highly successful career (which did not begin until their daughter was at boarding school and their son was working abroad), theirs has been a traditional marriage for their generation. John, an attorney first in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations and then in private practice, attended more to his career than his family for many years, and the authors discuss this and other common marital issues, in alternating voices. Each chapter covers a single topic, including expectations, anger, sex, solitude, money, careers, religion, parenting, friends, in-laws, retirement, illness and aging. Focusing solely on their own personal experience restricts the amount of knowledge they have to offer on some subjects, while in other cases they speak generally rather than providing detailed real-life anecdotes (perhaps the fault of the dialogue format). Blaming the difficulties in their marriage on ignorance of themselves and each other, they recommend individual therapy, premarital counseling, couples counseling and thoughtful discussions of both marital issues and childhood experiences affecting assumptions and behaviors within the marriage. Insufficient as either a marriage manual or revelatory memoir, this "dialogue" offers useful, if limited, relationship advice from a seasoned married couple.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

John B. Rehm is a retired attorney, while radio personality Diane Rehm authored Finding My Voice. Together they have been working at their marriage long enough (43 years!) to make it look easy. Like everyone, they started out "with gross ignorance" of themselves and each other. Through devoted, sometimes dogged commitment to each other, they found that "marriage-or any long-term relationship-is a never-ending process of exploration and growth." The reader becomes a fly on the wall during the couple's discussions of some 25 topics (e.g., food, sex, commitment) in individual and then mutual conversation. These transcriptions tastefully make public the very private and often profound musings, reflections, and wisdom of two intelligent people who have been through life and now know something about it. Readers should listen up-they just might learn something. While the Rehms chose the straight and narrow, Robinson (Star Country) and Shaw walked the razor's edge. Two former alcoholics (now in recovery and in their sixties), they here describe their courtship and chronicle their misspent pasts in lurid detail. The authors alternate first-person narrative, a method that quickly becomes tiresome and confusing, and their pompous, self-important tone doesn't hide their obvious desperation. This offers zero how-to advice and is a bit too confessional in nature. Both books present the very personal side of the individual/couple dynamic as examined in self-help books like Martha Baldwin Beveridge's Loving Your Partner Without Losing Your Self. Of course, marriage doesn't universally equate to happiness and success, as Xavier F. Amador reminds us in Being Single in a Couple's World. Also consider Laura Davis's I Thought We'd Never Speak Again for a concerned, optimistic take on reconciliation. Toward Commitment is recommended, while Falling in Love is not.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By T. Martin on April 11, 2003
Format: Hardcover
As a young woman (23) trying to find resources to understand what it takes to develop, keep and maintain a committed relationship the Rehm's anecdotal book was enlightening in an easy to read format. I am a believer in the idea that each relationship is a country unto itself but there are certain themes, struggles, etc., that tend to be common among all relationships which comes through clearly in the dialogue throughout this book. Regardless of any degree of fame Diane has gained over the years through her radio career and publication of her book "Finding My Voice", the Rehms are real people, with a real relationship that has weathered MANY ups and downs. (The fact that their relationship has endured to see 42 years seems like a miracle after reading this book!)
If you are interested in reading lay people's account of enduring and maintaining a committed relationship please give this book a try. The set up of the book (each chapter focuses on a different theme) allows the reader to pick and choose the concepts of interest to them. Both writing styles are clear and fluid making this book one that can be picked up and put down as time allows.
PLEASE ignore the reviews from disgruntled individuals who gave this book a low rating based on their opinions of Diane Rehm the radio personality and NPR. Those views in no way relate to the insight that can be gained from this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Joy Bennett on October 13, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very candid book detailing the ups and downs of a marriage spanning over 40 years. Between work, health, children, in-laws and financial challenges, it's sometimes hard to work things all out; and it's nice to know that someone has finally demystified the myth of "happily ever after." It takes work, communication, and trust; a solid marriage is something two people create together through their commitment to each other, and not something that just happens automatically.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
You don't often find a relationship-building book that makes you laugh out loud and this one did. I loved the format of "his thoughts", "her thoughts", then their dialogue on the topic. It proves that even if couples are miles apart in how they think about something like money or religion, there is a positive way to talk about it and reach agreement on a path forward. The totally honest, but always respectful way they talk to each other is a good lesson in effective communication. I feel this book is one of the few "relationship" books that has really helped me grow.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Methinks the previous 'reviewer' doth protest too much - his/her cynicism is not only sad, it's ignorant. The Rehms make no bones that their relationship was hard work, that any relationship worth its salt does not come easy all the time. I appreciate learning some communication tips from a couple who's weathered the many ups and downs of 42 years of an overall happy, satisfying marriage. Recommended reading.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My husband and I view this very honest book as a generous tool for individuals and couples to digest, consider and learn. We would read a chapter or two at a time and share comments or enlightenments on the various topics which would lead us to more deeply discuss our own views on solitude, profession, criticism, retirement, money, sleep, etc. Not only was it thought provoking but it brought us to better appreciate how everything we do in our relationships sends some sort of message, and that if your relationship is a priority in your life you had better be both present and paying attention. Through the Rehms' enormous capacity for articulation, honesty and candidness we feel they have offered a "mining" tool to couples inclined (read; willing and able) to learn, evaluate and, perhaps, adjust (improve) where/who they are. Thank you Diane and John.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
This is a very personal exploration of one couple's thoughts about the ups and downs of their marriage. They discuss, in detail, such basic topics as personality differences, anger, finances, work, children, values, etc. The only problem was that this was more of a memoir and I did not relate to much of what they wrote, since it was so particular to this couple and their own backgrounds and personalities. I was hoping for a book which would make me think about what it takes to maintain commitment and what issues one should think about before and during marriage - or even living together.

My hopes were fulfilled by one section at the end of the book, a questionnaire list of questions at the back of the book which could be helpful to nearly any couple contemplating commitment.

Finally, I took issue with a section which covered the "third person". Clearly, the couple were talking about being attracted to other people but I'm not sure how far this attraction went. Was there an affair? For how long? I understand the need for privacy but if one is to write a book which is truly honest and open about one's own marriage, then it is a bit disingenuous to be vague about this. Discussing how they got through it would have helped many readers, I'm sure.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?