A frank examination of one woman’s marriage and how she tried to improve it.
What makes a good marriage? After 10 years with her husband, Dan, New York Times Magazine contributing writer Weil decided to find out. She could no longer view their relationship “like the waves on the ocean—a fact of life, determined by the sandbars below, shaped by destiny and the universe, not by me.” The author wanted to create her own future and discover if her “good” relationship could be improved. Using self-help books, visits to therapists and marriage-education classes, Weil embarked on a yearlong journey with Dan to explore all the facets of their relationship, opening the doors on their present and past lives. In a narrative that is part memoir and part counseling book, the author candidly discusses their intimacy, religions, anger, money and views on monogamy and death. Humorous stories of Dan’s obsessions with cooking, flamenco guitar playing, surfing and other athletic pursuits contrast with the personal pain they both felt and expressed at the loss of their unborn son. In the end, Weil writes that her marriage is “good enough”—a marriage “characterized by its capacity to allow spouses to keep growing, its ability to give the partners involved the strength and bravery required to face the world.”
A woman’s project to improve her marriage reveals she already has something good right in front of her.