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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.


Book 11/100: The Way of Marriage - A Journal of Spiritual Growth Through Conflict, Love, and Sex by Henry James Borys

The Way Of Marriage: A Journal Of Spiritual Growth Through Conflict, Love, And SexThe Way Of Marriage: A Journal Of Spiritual Growth Through Conflict, Love, And Sex by Henry James Borys
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book combines two of my favorite book types: marriage memoirs and published journals.

As his wife edges toward infidelity, Henry's faith in his marriage is shaken enough that he begins looking inward. He is at a crossroads, which causes him to examine his marriage in a new way and consciously decide if and how to stay in it. The journal that unfolds is beautiful and straightforward; vulnerable and filled with wisdom. Anyone who has promised themselves they would "do better" in future interactions with a loved one will relate to what is written here. It's accessible and universal and the pages just flew by. I read it as my husband and I worked through one of our own areas of conflict, and Henry's words were like a balm. I've decided to keep the book to reread when comfort is similarly needed in the future.

I do wish the entries had been organized chronologically rather than by topic to get a better sense of how Henry's relationship with his wife was evolving over time. I also suspected that, as much as the journal helped him find clarity in his marriage, he may have also used it as a way to escape actually interacting with his wife; there are hints that she sees it that way. I also could see where her resentments about him being "selfish" came from -- there is one entry where he is annoyed because she did not pick up a birthday card for HIS sister, and it doesn't even cross his mind that perhaps remembering his own family's birthdays should be his responsibility, not hers. Like a lot of men of a generation older than my own, I think Henry suffered major blind spots when it came to what his wife actually contributed to the marriage. Still, I always admire a husband who is committed to deepening his relationship with his wife, and I'm glad that Henry recorded a bit of his journey doing so.

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