Somebody loaned us the book As For Me & My House tonight. It’s probably not a book I would have picked up by myself – the title sounds a little preachy. But it’s one of those books that describes so realistically the joys and challenges of marriage that I will be buying it for myself and some of my friends. The challenges of marriage – idealization, gender differences, forgiveness – are spelled out clearly. The author describes his courtship, and I’m thinking, “Yes, that’s what it was like.” The same for early marriage, and so on.
Marriage immediately forces changes upon the partners, which, no matter how well prepared they thought they were, surprise them and require a new and specialized labor from both of them. This is the fact: the woman does not know who her husband is until he is her husband, nor the man his wife until she exists as wife. Before the marriage these people were fiances, not spouses; fiances and spouses are different creatures, and the second creature doesn’t appear until the first has passed away. Did the courtship last many years? It doesn’t matter. Were they friends long before they initiated courtship? It doesn’t matter. They still can’t know the spouse until he or she is a spouse; and there isn’t a spouse until there is a marriage.
Looks like a good book – realistic and hopeful at the same time about the challenge that is marriage.