"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.
Overall, this book wasn't great; written in a somewhat rambling fashion, no real facts to back up the author's advice, and generously sprinkled with platitudes. But there were a few places where I stopped to take notice.
"A healthy relationship consists of two people, devoted to each other, being true to their path as well as being intimate with each other. We must pay attention to our beloved and spend time realizing their passions and life goals. If you, or he, are being pressured to limit yourself--or worse, give up on your dreams--in order to placate your partner, it's important to withstand the pressure and continue on your path regardless of any resistance. You must continue to expand." - pg. 29
This is important for me to hear because both Ivan and I came into our relationship with big dreams for ourselves already underway. I think it's because of these dreams that we recognized something within one another. I know that we both want to see the other person realize their dreams -- but what about when that makes it difficult for us as partners? What about the opportunity that requires a move, the risk that means less financial security, the time stolen from family or chores to further the dream?
All of the above must be accepted with open arms and love and bravery rather than fear. I know this, but ti's still incredibly scary. But what may be scarier is knowing that you played a part in holding your beloved back from his dreams.
"Making love is an experience of the shared heart that flourishes alongside love and commitment. It flows from knowing each other well and desiring to dissolve into the heart and body of another." - pg. 212
I just really like this, and to remember that sex can be part of something much higher than satisfying physical needs.
"I embrace your body at night. I embrace your mind by day. Now I can embrace your soul in all the moments in between. At last, I know I am in love." - pg. 213
This quote is sort of cheesy, but I included it because I think the beauty and mystery of loving someone completely is being able to see all their many different facets. My husband who rants about politics is the same man who shields his father from the wind on his smoking breaks; who gets lost in his thoughts about what he'll build next; who loves to be with his friends; who holds me when I need it; who makes up stories with me about our pets or the strangers we see on the street; who hates doing dishes but patiently fixes vacuums; who keeps me feeling safe and warm and calm in bed every night. I think we first fall in love with people for certain aspects of them; but truly loving them means constantly marveling at all the diversity and complexity that can exist within a single soul.
"How much sex you have is irrelevant to the quality of the connection." - pg. 225
This seems to make intuitive sense, but I've read a lot of research that says otherwise. In Daniel Kahneman's book, Thinking Fast & Slow, he says that the formula of the amount of sex a couple has, minus the amount of fights, is a strong predictor of marital stability (you want the number to be positive, i.e.: more sex than fights). If the pie chart on the cover of For Better: The Science of Good Marriage by Tara Parker-Pope is any indication, she also considers frequent sex a central component of a strong marriage.
I'm not about to say that couples who rarely have sex can't have happy marriages. Every couple needs to find the rhythm that's right for them. But I think it's a mistake, and the research agrees with me, to think sex isn't an important part of the marriage equation. I think this probably isn't about sex per se, but the fact that couples who feel less connected or resentful are less likely to be having sex; so if sex disappears from a marriage, I think it can be a barometer of other things that might need a closer look.
"Ideally, a relationship will be your safe harbor, not your anchor. You can move about with the freedom of who you are, yet still come home." - pg. 229