Book Review: The Secret Lives of Wives

The Secret Lives of Wives: Women Share What It Really Takes to Stay Married by Iris Krasnow

I don’t really read book reviews prior to reading a book as I find they either give away too much or I don’t end up agreeing with the strong opinions stated by the other readers. I wish I would have read some reviews on this book. I picked it up anticipating a fun tongue in cheek read about what secrets other wives have. What I found instead was mostly a bunch of WASP-y drivel. I kept going though because there were some gems in there.

What is their secret? Having their own lives/identities, mostly through spending summers apart. First part, sounds great, makes sense. Second part is obviously a trick that only a few are able to use given their means. So, with that great advice, is the government heading toward an incentive program that helps funds these happy marriages for those unable to afford those lovely husbandless getaways? No? Didn’t think so.

Here are a few of the gems I did pull out of this book:

  • “You don’t get it all from one person in one place.” I am a firm believer in the saying “it takes a village” throughout all of one’s life. You can’t expect one person to meet your every needs as you wouldn’t want them to expect you to also be their everything. Getting married so young this was one it took me time to come to terms with.

  • “I actually believe that aloneness can enhance true intimacy with another because you get to know yourself better. Self- exploration leads to growth for you, and that renewal fuels your marriage.” You never stop growing in this life. I think this is a key thing that most people forget.

  • Opposite sex friendships don’t always lead to sex. It can be very valuable to have these types of relationships there just needs to be full disclosure and honesty about it with your spouse.

  • “…you must have love, you must have respect, and you must have a sense of self.” This came from a woman married 70 years. Seems small, but I think if more people thought of that they would work on themselves first before committing to another.

In sum, don’t pick up this book. Read an internet article on marriage and you’ll get the same out of it.

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