Marriage Mondays: What No One Tells the Bride!

So, back in the summer of 2008, I had a bit of a used-book obsession.  There was a library just a few miles from where I was living that had an awesome selection of used books for a steal... and I often ended up with an armful each time I visited.  One of the books I found that summer was "What No One Tells the Bride" written by Marg Stark.  The entire title goes a little something like this...
What No One Tells the Bride: Surviving the Wedding, Sex After the Honeymoon, Second Thoughts, Wedding Cake Freezer Burn, Becoming Your Mother, Screaming about Money, Screaming about In-Laws, etc.
I read a small portion of the book and was intrigued by the concept, bought it, and read it right away.  At the time I wasn't engaged or married - but I was dating the man who is now my husband.  I remember thinking that some of it was a bit pessimistic, but I also think I was just a smidge naive at the time when it came to marriage.

I have yet to reread the book, but I have gone back to see what I noted in the margins and the things I highlighted and underlined along the way.

Here are a random ten passages I highlighted almost 5 years ago:
  1. "The traditional one-year engagement has many advantages... it gives both the bride and groom time to savor the celebration and sift through the emotional consequences of their decision to marry, to find themselves, and the centrality of their love, amid cake tastings and tuxedo rentals."
  2. [During your engagement] "Distance yourself from people who make you feel as though you are about to be stamped by a matrimonial cookie cutter, as if you should be feeling a certain way.  Instead, give yourself permission to feel conflicting emotions - to entertain a real joy and a real sadness, both eagerness and fear, both utter peace and utter annoyance.  Having conflicting emotions... makes you human." 
  3. "Make your own marriage:  Talking about her seventeen-year marriage to Phil Donahue, Marlo Thomas recently said, 'I think that was scared me away from marriage was the idea that there is only one way to do it.  Then I realized you could design your own and it could fit your needs;  you didn't have to fit into someone else's definition.' Imagination, then, is our most powerful ally when conspiring against a life of cliches, against the institution, against divorce, and against unhappiness."
  4. "Child-raising expert and author John Rosemond says that to be good parents we must make the marriage, not the children, the center of the family."
  5. "Obviously, in the first eighteen months, parents must attend to an infant's needs.  But after that, it is unwise to play into a child's egocentric, self-centered view of life.  Rosemond suggests couples right this wrong with certain marriage-protecting strategies, by planning a weekly couples "night out," by not allowing children to interrupt adults while they are talking, and by establishing early bedtimes for children so that a couple may enjoy a few hours alone each night."
  6. "This is another crucial preparation to make before having children. Understand that you cannot do it alone."  And she goes on to talk about the importance of outside help from family, close friends, a higher power, or whatever can get you through the tough times.
  7. "Marriage expert John Gottman says two traits made the difference among the 25% of couples who remained satisfied with their marriages after the arrival of the first child:  First, a husband must be able to empathize with his wife.  The second key trait was that of fondness and admiration.  Gottman says, this fondness is derived from everyday interactions, from the millions of little choices couples have to 'turn toward or turn away' from one another."
  8. "...but time apart is as critical to your growth as time together."
  9. "This is what every woman, and every married person, ultimately must do:  write your own story, make your own myths, divorce yourself of roots and identities that do not work, and bring to life your own defining passions and fulfillment."
  10. "And wouldn't it be nice if young people grew up and aspired to have real marriages rather than fairytales?"
I could go on and on, sifting through this book and pouring out my favorite parts, but I think if any of this interests you that you should check the book out!  The real reason I even thought about this book today resulted from going through the books in my collection and I decided it was time to donate "What No One Tells the Bride."  So, if any of you guys are particularly interested, I've got a copy that will otherwise be heading to Goodwill later this week. 

Throughout the book, there are also really sweet, thought-provoking questions that several women have answered and I thought I'd ask a couple here for any of you marriage or engaged women to answer:

  • How has having a baby affected the fun you and your husband have together?
  • What do you like best about spending time away from your husband?
  • What do you think is the secret of your being happy in a marriage?
  • What has your husband (or fiance) done recently that made you really happy?
  • What has been the most disconcerting change in you since you got married? 

chasing moonlight and roses

Feel free to answer all or some of the questions in the comment section or in your own blogs and link back to today's Marriage Monday post!  I plan to answer these few questions in a follow-up blog tomorrow for those who are interested to hear them (and perhaps I could get my awesome husband to answer them as well)!  In the meantime, make sure and tell your spouses something you find endearing in them this week - I bet you won't regret it.  Have a super week!


  1. 1) Less time! We don't live near our families, and we are pretty much on our own. We can't exactly leave Forrest behind when we go out, so we take him with us, and he's at this age where he's more alert and aware of his surroundings. Our dinners are now cut short, and revolves around Forrest. Ha ha ha. It is much easier to do "dates" at home when Forrest is sleeping at the night. We watch our favorite TV shows, and cuddle.

    2) Hanging out with my girlfriends! LOL I love my husband, but spending time with my girlfriends makes me appreciate my husband more. Spending 24/7 with my husband isn't really good for us, so it's better for us to spend time apart to appreciate each other more.

    3) Communication. It is hard to have a decent conversation these days because my husband's work schedule is so unpredictable these days. We do have a remedy to that solution. WE email to each other during the day, and fill each other in. It reminds us that we are still there for each other.

    4) Stu helped me out around the house. It may seem so trivial to you, but I clean the house all of the time, and to have Stu pick up something and put them away for me without me reminding him makes me happy.

    5) Our sex life. It has gotten to bust ever since I got pregnant. Time, motivation, and energy aren't there anymore. Our sex life isn't as "freeing" anymore. It is not spontaneous. Sometimes I don't feel like doing it, and do it for my husband's sake. I wish my energy, and motivation are back.

    Good questions!! :) I enjoyed answering them. :) Keep them coming!

    1. Couldn't agree more with the majority of these, Ashley! A lot of it applies to my marriage, as well. It still surprises me just how much a baby changes the dynamics of everything! Thanks for sharing your answers - I absolutely loved reading them! <3

  2. This sounds like a great book! I love reading books/articles/blogs ext. about marriage & relationships! Can't wait to read your blog tomorrow :)

    1. It was a pretty interesting read and I definitely feel like I got some good insight from it. Like I said I'm planning on getting rid of the book to make some space around here - so if you'd like it, it's yours! :)


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