The Art of Marriage

Saturday, January 15, 2011

As a wedding blogger, I naturally go on and on about flowers, engagement rings, favors and gowns. It's glorious, escapist eye candy, and most of us enjoy it not because it's particularly pertinent, but because it's lovely. Of course, the reason for a wedding is a marriage, something I don't discuss often. There are people far better at it than me, including the divine Catherine Blyth. I was sent a copy of her newest book, The Art of Marriage, and if ever there was a glowing recommendation, it was coming home to find John deeply engrossed in it.

The Art of Marriage is everything you hope a book like it would be: well-written, witty, peppered with facts, observations and charming anecdotes, and chock full of sound advice for a sure-footed partnership. Blyth is, in fact, so charming that after I (and John) devoured her book over the course of a weekend, I found myself reading her irresistible blog late into the evening!

And the best thing of all about Mrs Blyth's new book? I'm giving a copy to one lucky reader! Just leave a comment with your very best piece of relationship advice, and I'll chose the winner randomly next Saturday afternoon!


If you're not the lucky winner, you'll be glad to know that in addition to the usual booksellers, there is a copy of her book available on Google Books and as a Google eBook! Happy reading!

27 comments:

  1. oh i am so excited! i am always looking for good relationship advice. The one thing that I am learning that is so true is to compromise and to let things go that are not worth fighting over. I often think that D is way wrong and that I am oh so right but force myself to think "in the end, does it really matter to fight about this?" But it is so hard to let the emotions go to the wayside but I am trying...trying...trying. :)gina
    gina at hiyaluv dot com

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  2. Communication is key. You can't walk around thinking that the person you're in a relationships is going to pick up any cues you're sending them. You need to open your mouth and talk.

    Sounds like an interesting book!

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  3. Very cool- we just celebrated our ten year a few months ago- I think touch is a big part of love- nothing over the top but we like to hold hands and such- I find it jarring and noticible when couples don't touch- I can't stop myself from practically sitting on my husband when we are on the same couch. I think touch is important.

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  4. My cousin recently got engaged -- this would be such a cute gift for her!

    Not sure if I'm the shining star of relationship advice right now, but I think that it's important to maintain interests/friendships/etc of your own, so that you both don't fade into just being a "couple" and lose those aspects your uniquely fabulous selves that both partners fell in love with.

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  5. love is a gift beyond your making and out of your control. Cherish and care for it because you may not have it for as long as you think. Even if you are married and committed to forever, doesn't mean you will actually feel love or loved this entire time. Enjoy it while you have it and as it comes and goes along with you.
    (after 33 years)

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  6. I just got a wedding invitation in mail today for a cousin so this would be a great gift.

    Lets see, advice would have to be communication, assuming your partner knows what you want can lead you down a nasty path. Also have fun and laugh lots

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  7. As a newly wed I'm always looking for great reads on marriage! Thank you for this recommendation. So far the best advice we've been given, and I think I can give others, is to have fun EVERY day. Don't wait to do next week or next year--just find excuses each day, even if it means an impromptu dance party in your living room or heading out to an ice cream shop at 11 pm on a Tuesday night. Little bits of fun every day make marriage SO wonderful. It's by far the most fun I've ever had in my life. :)

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  8. you know I can't resist this...

    my advice? keep laughing. it will get you through anything.

    xoxo, my loveliest one :)

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  9. when my husband and i were still courting he told me something shocking...he said "i don't need you." my world of clouds and rainbows and the way love "should" be was shaken til he explained himself. he said "i don't need you. i can live without you. if we don't get married my life will go on. but the point is, i want you." i love how with these few words he freed me with his love, while so many people think it's supposed to be a cage...a selfish antidote to the longings and needs of the spouse. instead he showed me true love...he didn't need me (i wasn't the thing he had to have or die...so much pressure!) i was the thing he wanted to have and live! Kahlil Gibran sums this up well in his book "The Prophet". It says of marriage " Love one another, but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls." I've seen six of my friends marriages disintegrate just this year as a result of one spouse imprisoning the other with their "love". my advice to married couples and those seeking marriage is this: love is a key that can imprison or set free. the person who is freed by love doesn't have a reason to escape.

    i love being married to a man who didn't marry me because he needed something from me, but because he wanted to share everything with me.

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  10. Kitty, my parents read that passage to each other at their wedding-you brought tears to my eyes!

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  11. I am not married, nor am I currently in a relationship. However, my advice for anyone would be to really know yourself before you try and know someone else. Becuase with that, I believe allows for real honesty and communication. And knowing what you want and need, and knowing can you get that from this person, and how to ask.

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  12. Oh marriage. 5 months in and I love every moment.

    My best advice is to eat dinner together more often than not. No TV, maybe a little soft music in the background, no cell phones. Just the two of you taking a moments break from the day, enjoying one another.

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  13. I guess I'm gonna read it! Like graphics and...if you suggest us to do, it'll be fantastic!
    Laura@RicevereconStile

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  14. oh my. This looks like a great read!
    2.5 years married and my best advice?-> Talk it out. Communication is key!

    Oh and kisses. Lots and lots of kisses. Happy or sad, kisses always help.

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  15. oh, how cool! that book has some incredibly important and lovely things to say about marriage and love. i often write out passages of it and put them in wedding gifts. my favorite such gifts was a beautiful serving tray and i picked out mismatched saucers, teacups and napkins and put the marriage poem on top. they loved it.

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  16. Kitty that's beautiful! I said something similar to my mom after my 1st date with now hubby. When she asked how it went my answer was, 'If I never saw him again I'd be fine. But if he asked me to marry him tomorrow I'd say yes.' Just knowing him for that short time opened my eyes to so much about myself, in turn making me fall for him. I didn't need him to change my life, I wanted him to be a part of it.

    Anyhoo, my advice is to go to bed mad. Correct, there is no 'don't' at the beginning of that...not every little argument or attitude deserves a huge conversation. Sometimes people are just moody, tired or stressed and we say/act things out of the ordinary. Let.it.go. Wake up, say you're sorry and move on. The trick is knowing what things do deserve a huge conversation so resentment doesn't build, good luck with that! ;)

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  17. Lena, my love! I just wanted to participate in your giveaway! It's so important to share advice and, in this case, create a forum to help us understand each other. (I wish we had all come with user manuals.)

    My relationship advice is as follows: Take it slow. I think far too many people worry about the future, whether immediate or long term. You must take the time to basque in the moment with your "other." You have to take time to make and cherish memories without clouding them with the ever looming "where is this going?" question. SO my advice is to breathe, relax and enjoy!

    XOXO,
    Sarah Chapin

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  18. marriage is such a blessing! my advice is to laugh a lot & find joy in the simple pleasures.

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  19. geez, not sure I have much advice to give at this stage... I'd actually say what Katie before me said: laugh together a lot. And also be sure you still make time to do your own respective things. Pretty generic, I suppose, but 8 months in (and late at night) that's what I've got!

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  20. My relationship advice...communication is key! If you're having a spat, or a problem, you should discuss it with your partner, not with your friends. You know? You can discuss it with your friends, but not ONLY with them! :)

    http://annawalker1992.blogspot.com/

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  21. what a wonderful giveaway. i am not married (or engaged--yet--fingers crossed!) but i am in a v serious relationship. i am the happiest i have ever been and i think it is because i am with someone i can really be myself around. also my boyfriend is realllly good about talking things out. he grew up with parents who fought a lot (they are now divorced), my parents fought a lot too (they are still married) but neither couples were good with expressing their feelings and communicating. i tend to want to avoid conversation after a blow up but he is sooo good about stressing that we need to talk or things will not be resolved. i look forward to our relationship developing and growing closer to him. loved reading all of the other comments --great advice! xoxo jcd

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  22. what a wonderful giveaway. i am not married (or engaged--yet--fingers crossed!) but i am in a v serious relationship. i am the happiest i have ever been and i think it is because i am with someone i can really be myself around. also my boyfriend is realllly good about talking things out. he grew up with parents who fought a lot (they are now divorced), my parents fought a lot too (they are still married) but neither couples were good with expressing their feelings and communicating. i tend to want to avoid conversation after a blow up but he is sooo good about stressing that we need to talk or things will not be resolved. i look forward to our relationship developing and growing closer to him. loved reading all of the other comments --great advice! xoxo jcd

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  23. Great idea! My best advice was to never get a king sized bed--it's better to always stay close enough to touch!

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