How a marital crisis became a catalyst for a painful but ultimately enlightening journey into the depths of the human heart.
Though raised by loving parents, Melton (Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed, 2013) felt socially ill at ease and unworthy. At age 10, she found temporary release in the bulimic cycle of bingeing and purging. As a teenager, she hid her vulnerability behind a mask of trendiness and toughness, divorced her sexuality from all emotion, and began drinking. In college, she learned what she perceived to be the “rules” of female success: “thinness is beauty. Beauty is power. Power is Being Chosen by the Boys.” Melton found the popularity she desired but at the cost of becoming an alcoholic. When she met her future husband, Craig, he seemed the embodiment of the “wholesomeness and goldenness” that she felt would save her. The two wed after the author, who aborted their first child, became pregnant for the second time. Motherhood forced her to get her alcoholism and bulimia under control, but she felt lonely even with a family to care for and resentful toward Craig for imposing sex on her. After creating a successful blog and book that gave her truth-telling spaces she longed for, her world suddenly collapsed. Craig admitted to multiple infidelities, and the pair separated. During the course of therapy, the author realized that she had been seeking perfection in a man who was as needy and broken as she was. To become whole, each needed to own parts of themselves—Melton, the body, for Craig, the mind—they had disregarded. As the two gradually accepted their flaws and limitations, they learned to communicate more directly and honestly with each other. Though the memoir sometimes reads like a self-help book rather than a narrative, it nevertheless tells a compelling story about self-discovery and the nature of mature love.
Candid, brave, and generous.