- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Miramax; Reprint edition (June 5, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786887710
- ISBN-13: 978-0786887712
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,977,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Surrendering to Marriage Paperback – June 5, 2002
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"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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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. First, high expectations cause problems because they can never be met- and we bemoan our fate when we are dissatisfied because those expectations weren't met. Second, YOU aren't perfect, and if you leave a marriage, you will still have problems in your next marriage because you brought you with you.
There are some topics that will make your eyes widen into saucers. The discussion of people who are serial adulterers and whose spouses stick with them springs to mind. But again- it really is a question of what mountain you want to die on- and those wives decided not to die on Adultery Mountain. Krasnow even seems amazed and somewhat shocked by a woman who can stick with a man like that (I didn't really get, as another reviewer did, that it was an *endorsement* of lying and cheating- it was just an example of how some people are willing to hang in there through the worst).
The book is sort of a "one note" topic, basically arguing the same thing over and over again. It is a quick read, but the theme is constant throughout- it's probably better in the long run to stick with your husband (esp. if you have children)- and to just change your expectations and see him for who he is and what he does bring you. Stop being so bloody angry that he isn't living up to your expectations, and see the truth and benefit in him and his contribution to your marriage. It's not supposed to be marriage bible and I don't think Krasnow's intention is to get you to adopt everything in it. It's just a perspective on marriage that's worthy of consideration. I'm getting married in 6 months, and I'm very glad I read this book- and I think I'll have fewer Mountains of Death from now on.