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Book Review -- Surrendering to Marriage

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Surrendering to Marriage: Husbands, Wives, and Other Imperfections
by Iris Krasnow
ISBN: 9780786887712
Hyperion, May 2001

Depressing Reading

Iris Krasnow talked with over 300 people to look at real marriages, real affairs, and real divorces to write this how-to manual on how to save your marriage. She believes that folks need to surrender to the reality that even great marriages experience misery at times.

This is depressing reading. There isn't much here about the love and joy that is such an important aspect of marriage. Krasnow believes that unless there is physical or emotional abuse in a relationship, it is better to be married than single. She writes this inspite of writing that marriage can be humdrum, tedious and sexless.

Iris Krasnow Quotes

"Being married happily-ever-after doesn't guarantee that we get to be happy. When we expect sustained happiness we get sustained disappointment - or divorce."

"Nothing or no one can make us happy all the time. You have to let go of fantasy and embrace the grind of reality and you'll have a real chance of going the distance. Feelings of rage and malaise are a normal part of a long-term relationship and not reason to bail. They're reasons to work harder, talk more, have more sex, whatever it takes to restore civility and intimacy. Marriage is tough, but divorce is worse."

"The people who tell you they're happy all the time in their marriage... they're either lying, or they never see their spouses."

Why People Get Married

According to Iris Krasnow, people marry to:
  • Sustain their soul
  • Make a family
  • Have sex
  • Have friendship
  • Have companionship

Surrendering versus Submission

Iris Krasnow says it is freedom and not defeat. It does not mean submission.

She is NOT talking about women doing whatever their husbands want.

  • It means letting go of expectations and myths about marriage.

  • It means moving with the flow of your marriage.

  • It is not giving up. It is surrendering to the promise of "I do", and working as hard as you can to fulfill it.

Krasnow gives suggestions on how to let go of fantasies and misconceptions about marriage. Many people will disagree with her belief that surrendering is freedom. However, couples on the brink of divorce or who are thinking that the grass may be greener on the other side of the fence may find some solutions to their unhappiness by reading this book.

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