Essay Marriage And Divorce

Pity the poor essay collection. Unlike its close, more creative neighbor — the short story collection — or its snooty relation, The Novel, the humble essay collection is the wallflower of the literary world. And, when an essay collection is composed — as Ann Patchett's new volume partly is — of pieces previously printed in fashion and pet lovers' magazines, it really might seem like a grab bag of minor material — as, admittedly, a few of the pieces here are.

But if you want to learn something practical about writing, specifically how someone like Ann Patchett became the feet-firmly-planted-on-the-ground wonder of a novelist that she is, many of these essays can tell you — both by their very existence and their varied subject matter. As Patchett says in the first sentence of the introduction to This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage: "The tricky thing about being a writer, or about being any kind of artist, is that in addition to making art you also have to make a living." Before novels like Bel Canto and State Of Wonder began paying her bills, Patchett not only worked as a waitress at TGI Fridays, but she wrote for the likes of Seventeen and Bridal Guide. Just like Dickens at the blacking factory and Wallace Stevens at the insurance office, Patchett punched her timecard for a while outside the confines of the ivy tower and the high art hothouse. That experience, she says, "made me a workhorse," and forced her to cultivate a curiosity about things — like cross-country Winnebago camping trips and the rigors of the Los Angeles police academy — way outside her comfort zone.

There are also a lot of autobiographical essays here — so many, in fact, that readers who loved Truth & Beauty, Patchett's memoir about her close friendship with the late writer Lucy Grealy, will be happy to know that this collection takes Patchett's life story a few steps forward. The spectacular title essay, "This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage," recounts the soul-shredding mess of Patchett's early first marriage and divorce and her resolution just to date for the rest of her life. When a newly divorced doctor named Karl is pushed in her path, she agrees to go out with him. Here's a pivotal moment:

Ann Patchett is an award-winning novelist and memoirist who has also received attention for her decision to open an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tenn., where she lives. Heidi Ross/Courtesy of Harper hide caption

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Heidi Ross/Courtesy of Harper

Ann Patchett is an award-winning novelist and memoirist who has also received attention for her decision to open an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tenn., where she lives.Â

Heidi Ross/Courtesy of Harper

The third time Karl and I went out I kissed him; I told him I would help him. He said that he needed some help. Then he asked me to marry him.

I shook my head. "That's the whole point," I said. "I'm the only person you're going to find who isn't going to marry you."

And I didn't. For eleven years.

Patchett, to state the obvious, is a good storyteller, and that minor bombshell about the 11-year courtship leading up to her eventual second marriage is dramatically placed to rivet a reader's attention. Beyond entertainment value, however, that title essay is a spirited contribution to the larger story of romantic relationships that aren't, well, "romantic" in the swooning ways we're used to reading about or seeing in movies. Patchett's down-to-earthness also sets the tone for her essays on the easily sentimentalized subject of caregiving: She writes here about tending to her beloved dog, an elderly nun friend and her 90-something-year-old grandmother. That particular essay, called "Love Sustained," is a must-read for anyone in the draining role of caregiver. Patchett wryly says that "I had planned to live far away from my family and miss them terribly. I had every intention of feeling simply awful that I wasn't with my grandmother in her years of decline." But fate thwarts Patchett's escape plans. She winds up intimately nursing her grandmother — scrubbing her in the shower, clipping her toenails and, as Patchett says, watching helpless as "every ability and pleasure my grandmother had would be taken from her, one by one by one."

Early in this collection, Patchett snarls about people who come up to her and opine that "everyone ha[s] at least one great novel in them."

"Does everyone have one great floral arrangement in them?" Patchett sassily answers back. "One [great] algebraic proof?" I suspect that, given how underrated the essay form is, lots of people also probably think it's easy to toss one of those off, too; but in this terrific, wide-ranging collection, Patchett demonstrates how a pro does it.

Marriage and Divorce Hmmm… a subject I happen know a little bit about first hand. I am happily newly-married my first marriage and hopefully my last, to my best friend, my high school sweetheart and the love of my life. What exactly is a marriage? I believe everyone has their own definition or idea of a marriage based on traditions and family and values and religion. A marriage usually happens when two people are very much in love and decide they want to spend the rest of their lives together.

Wikipedia defines a marriage as: a social, religious, spiritual, or legal union of individuals. This union may also be called matrimony, while the ceremony that marks its beginning is usually called a wedding and the married status created is sometimes called wedlock. Marriage is an institution in which interpersonal relationships (usually intimate and sexual) are acknowledged by the state, by religious authority, or both. It is often viewed as a contract. Civil marriage is the legal concept of marriage as a governmental institution, in accordance with marriage laws of the jurisdiction.

If recognized by the state, by the religion(s) to which the parties belong or by society in general, the act of marriage changes the personal and social status of the individuals who enter into it. People marry for many reasons, but usually one or more of the following: legal, social, and economic stability; the formation of a family unit; procreation and the education and nurturing of children; legitimizing sexual relations; public declaration of love; or to obtain citizenship.

Marriage may take many forms: for example, a union between one man and one woman as husband and wife is a monogamous heterosexual marriage; polygamy – in which a person takes more than one spouse – is common in some societies. Recently, some jurisdictions and denominations have begun to recognize same-sex marriage, uniting people of the same sex. But what makes a good marriage? Many people think that anger is the most destructive emotion in marriage. According to John Gottman and Nan Silver who have spent decades studying good and bad marriages say that is not true.

Anger is present at times in all marriages, and all spouses fight. Happy and unhappy couples differ in overall climate of the relationship and in how couples fight. In happy couples that were studied the partners communicated frequently and with enjoyment, and this leads them to have a deep understanding of each other. When this kind of loving understanding exists, a relationship in not seriously harmed by occasional outbursts of anger or even vigorous arguments. When happy couples fight, they avoid dynamics that rip apart the basic fabric of their relationship.

The way in which happy couples deal with conflict actually strengthens their relationships. A lot of people think that a relationship would work better if the other person would change-if he would stop throwing clothes on the floor; if she wouldn’t be so stubborn; if he would help out around the house more; if she would be less moody? These are the kinds of issues that cause tension sand conflict in partners. Yet, change may not be the answer. Marriage counselors Andrew Christensen and Neil Jacobson say that trying to change people you love seldom works.

Not only does the other person not change, but efforts to bring about change are likely to breed resentment and dissatisfaction. Instead, they counsel couples to accept each other as a package deal, to love each other despite differences and disappointments. Rather, to accept is to realize that the person over whom you have power is not your partner but yourself. Christensen and Jacobson report that partners who approach each other with genuine acceptance and empathy tend to be happier and their relationships more enduring.

I found some quotes about marriage that I thought were cute; “The most important marriage skill is listening to your partner in a way that they can’t possibly doubt that you love them. -Diane Sollee, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. -Mignon McLaughlin, “As for his secret to staying married: “My wife tells me that if I ever decide to leave, she is coming with me. ” -Jon BonJovi. One topic of marriage that is in the headlines a lot today is that of the same sex.

I think that love is love and when you know you want to be with someone you should have that right to be married to them if you wish. Sometimes sadly marriage ends in the inevitable “D” word divorce. I have unfortunately experienced divorce thru my mother, she has been divorced five times and she is on her sixth marriage. Yeah I know…wow! Divorce or dissolution of marriage is a legal process that leads to the termination of a marriage. Divorce laws vary considerably around the world.

Divorce is not permitted in some countries, such as in Malta and in the Philippines, though an annulment is permitted. The legal process for divorce may also involve issues of spousal support, child custody, child support, distribution of property and division of debt, though these matters are usually only ancillary or consequential to the dissolution of the marriage. In some jurisdictions divorce does not require a party to claim fault of their partner that leads to the breakdown of marriage.

But even in jurisdictions which have adopted the “no fault” principle in divorce proceedings, a court may still take into account the behavior of the parties when dividing property, debts, evaluating custody, and support. In most jurisdictions, a divorce must be certified by a court of law to become effective. The terms of the divorce are usually determined by the court, though they may take into account prenuptial agreements or postnuptial agreements, or simply ratify terms that the spouses may have agreed to privately.

In the absence of agreement, a contested divorce may be stressful to the spouses and lead to expensive litigation. Less adversarial approaches to divorce settlements have recently emerged, such as mediation and collaborative divorce, which negotiate mutually acceptable resolution to conflicts. In some other countries, like Portugal, when the spouses agree to divorce and to the terms of the divorce, it can be certified by a non judiciary administrative entity, where also can be served an Electronic Divorce since March 2008.

I was surprisingly shocked when I looked up the divorce rates in the United States and found that “50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, according to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri. ” It’s just really heartbreaking to read that. I think that it’s just too easy these days for anyone to move on just say they give up and be done and gone. And there is so much temptation out there and they say you always want what you can’t have.

I also think people are lazy and they don’t want to “work” on their marriage and relationship they just look for the easy way “out”. I think a lot of people don’t like asking for help or are maybe ashamed but there is so much help out there whether it’s by books or counselors. Divorce also costs a lot of money and grief and emotional stress for all the family involved be it children, pet’s grandparents, it’s just a mess. I never want to say I have been divorced. I love my husband more than he knows and have loved him since we met and I plan and vowed on being married to him until heaven forbid death do us part.

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