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America’s high divorce rate is well known, but little attention has been paid to the flip side: couples who creatively (sometimes clandestinely) manage to build marriages that last longer than we ever thought possible. What’s the secret? To find out, best-selling journalist Iris Krasnow interviewed more than 200 wives whose marriages have survived for 15-70 years. They are a diverse cast, yet they share one common and significant trait: they have made bold, sometimes secretive and shocking, choices on how to keep their marital vows, “till death do us part,” as Krasnow says, “without killing someone first.”
In raw, candid, titillating stories, Krasnow’s cast of wise women give voice to the truth about marriage and the importance of maintaining a strong sense of self apart from the relationship. Some spend summers apart. Some make time for wine with the girls. One septuagenarian has a recurring date with an old flame from high school. In every case, the marriage operates on many tracks, giving both spouses license to pursue the question, who am I apart from my marriage? Krasnow’s goal is to give women permission to create their own marriages at any age. Marital bliss is possible, she says, if each partner is blissful apart from the other.
A fascinating window on the many faces of modern relationships, The Secret Lives of Wives brims with inspiring and daring examples of women who have it both ways: a committed marriage and personal adventures in uncharted territory. For anyone who wants to stay married and stay sane, this is the book to read.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By LaToya on 01-27-12
The Secret Lives of Wives is eye opening
What made the experience of listening to The Secret Lives of Wives the most enjoyable?
While reading this book I felt like I was in a room of my married girlfriends and everyone was being open and honest about their marriages. There was something to learn from each story. I am proud to confess that my husband and I have been married for 17 years and there were good times and there were bad times, but this book let know me know that I/we are not alone. Marriage is an adventure to be shared.By the way my husband overheard me listening and enjoyed the book too.
What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?
She was personable. I felt like she was right in the room talking to me.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Throw away the cookie cutter and find what works for you.
Any additional comments?
I'd like to see Iris's other books available on audible soon.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Lori Irby on 02-05-18
Interesting Spin on Marriage
This author takes an interesting spin on long-term marriages that appear to have the traditional success that people wish for. Yet, she explores varied and secretive reasons on how many couples are able to maintain their marriages. This book is filled with several women who have been married for 20+ years, in which they share their secrets of marriage. Those secrets range from developing outside hobbies to finding other male companions to fill the gaps that are missing in their marriages. These stories are heart-found and personal. Yet, with any relationship type of book, some people listening, might not completely agree with all the situations.
As far as how the book is laid out, I feel there was a bit too much repetitive discussion at the beginning of the book. I got a bit board listing listening all about Iris's marriage which frankly was not that interesting, but I am glad I kept going with the audio because there were some really interesting stories. As far as the narrator, she did an excellent job on this type of book. At times, she had to read the instructional aspect of the book, while being able to change her narrating style to match a fictional type of stories, even though these stories were claimed to be real-life situations. Overall, I would give this a B+.